I'm 20 years old, female and planning on going to school to do HVAC and refrigeration. The only experience I have with either has been when I worked with my mother at a parts store for about a year. I know a few parts and how they work. All I need to know is what is it like out in the field besides too hot or too cold? Any advice for me?
It can be very heavy work. As long as your strong, in good shape, and dont mind dirty finger nails you could make it.
I think ideally, everyone new to the trade believes the calls start at 8AM, continue one after the other, with no overlap, through the day and end with the last one at 4PM to polish it off. In a perfect world...
If you are in the grunt end of the this trade (hence the user name) "it just don't work that way" :P This job can be an excellent career; I know many women in the supply end of this business, but it can also consume you; I know many divorces, unhappy, disillusioned people, both men and women.
It's all what you make of it. But, get as much formal education as you can and be patient.
Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2¢.
if you think:
:all will be rosy
:you'll get off at the same time everyday
:you'll be clean & comfy
:you are going to start at the top of the pay heap
you are going to be greatly disallusioned as so many find out
It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.
I was thinking of finding a company that would allow me to ride with one of their service techs so I could see what it's like while I go to school.
Originally Posted by dandyme
I know the work day may not be just an 8 hour work day but it could be 2 am service calls, have to work until it's fixed and then be at work the next day. I wouldn't expect a good pay right off. I'm sure I'd barely get over minimum wage until I build a rep. As for the divorce, I'm already in that direction so I'm not too much concerned about my future career messing that up.
Originally Posted by gruntly
Dirty finger nails aren't a big deal. Neither are bugs and other critters. For the most part I'm in good health.
Originally Posted by newoldtech
Don't make any plans for your summers and take care of you back. I'm 36 years old and going in for back surgery this winter because of this trade. But I've been doing it for 16 years and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it, the people you meet and some unique engeneering you will encounter. But on the other hand it can really be stressfull. Cleaning evaporators in 140 degreee attics. Replacing compressors in malls where you have to tote 400 lbs of equipment to the roof and back in 100º weather. And rewiring rooftops when it's -10º and snowing like hell is a blast as well. But when the job is done and at the end of the day you will get a lot of satisfation on what you've acomplished.
This ain't the "best" field when it comes to working environments.
However, if you like walking away knowing you fixed it, then it is a good career.
All I can say from a Apprentice point of view. If you don't make this trade your life right from the start and you dont show a ton of intrest your journemen will know and not spend much time with you and you will be a turn out burn out..
Be ready to be mother natures "*****" as well as your company. Im in though the union now but when I was in as non union its still the same thing.
Im up every day at 4:30 ( due to long commute to work), I work usally until 4. Then I need to drive home. When I get home its try and relax and study and try to eat something then gotta go to bed again. It has been ruining my relationship.. but its what I love to do. The way I see it.. When you get to a unit and if you think of it " Damn customer didn't take care of you" I honestly sometimes feel bad for the equipment I work on... A lot of stuff is really messed up.
I wish you best of luck. Though try to start studying and start learning all the fundamentals. That way when you start you know whats going on. You may have a basic understanding of the parts side.. But you will be amazed of the learning scope of this trade. One day you could be doing electrical the next you could spend like 8hrs trying to balance and level a pump after a new install or after installer a new coupling. (Lazer tool is amazing if you get to use it).
It is what you make of it.
The folks on this board are not steering you wrong. Gruntly was spot on when he suggested getting as much formal training as possible. Tiger93 is also on the money when he mentions that you need to consider physical stresses involved in some HVAC jobs.
I would like to add that there are a number of different career paths within HVAC. If you get the opportunity to take some classes or buddy up with some people in the field you will probably be better able to determine the path best for you (in or out of the HVAC trades).
As an example, I love solving puzzles and I'm a bit of a control freak. For that reason, HVAC controls are right up my alley. I get a real charge out of coming up with the most efficient way to control a building.
You just need to spend time up front determining what satisfies you, then take the classes that will get you there. Changing to a different HVAC career path midstream is certainly doable but you're better off in the long run if you have an idea about what part of the field you want to be in (or eventually retire from).
Thanks for the responses, guys.
This is my daughter that put up this post.
I had tried to tell her all of the things that you have mentioned, but I thought it would be best if she heard it from someone else, too. After all..... I'm just Mom: what do I know?
To my beautiful daughter: I love you so much and I know that whatever you decide to do, you will be great at it! (You will have to be great at it: you've heard the guys that come into my store: I'm just a chick.... what do I know??? hahaha You'll have to show them how good you are and grow a thick skin!!) It's a tough job: heavy lifting, dirty, really really hot, really really cold, rainy, snowy, late nights, long days, crappy pay (til you get really good at it), crabby homeowners/business owners (that you HAVE to be nice to unless you are the Svc Co owner and can tell them to take a flying leap and call another company) and of course, you have to deal with the folks at the parts houses (hehehe.... you know what I mean).
Love you! Mom
I plan on looking around to see if maybe a company will allow me to ride around with one of their service techs to see what it's like. What exactly is involved with HVAC controls?
Originally Posted by BACnet
Originally Posted by Gorgoth
I feel better when I fix stuff. I've always like to take stuff apart and then put it back together just to see how it works.
Originally Posted by stonewallred
Just because you're a chick doesn't mean you can't do a man's job just as good, if not better then a he can.
Originally Posted by kedalion
As far as I know the only plans I really have for summer is taking care of my daughter and it helps to have a job. I would say I probably won't have any back problems cause I'm so use to my back hurting but I'm only human and I'm sure one of these days it will take a toll on my back. Plus it will just give me a chace to prove a female can do mans job just as good as a man can if not better in some cases.
Originally Posted by Tiger93rsl