Just happened to be browsing the forums and thought I would chime in here on my current state of affairs.
Im now working at a health club as the facility maintenance guy... alot different than my old job at the hotel cause now im responsible for EVERYTHING! Including ordering all my parts and staying inside the old budget. Getting my hands on boiler repairs, icemaker repairs, package rooftop units... etc.
I still want to eventually segway into a HVAC career, but im so happy here now. This environment is actually what I was expecting at the hotel, but never got. My biggest problem now is that im so satisfied with this job that giving it up to take an installer position making less money seems like a really tough thing to do.
When I worked at the hotel I would have easily quit and taken a pay cut without hesitation, but this job is so different... they respect me, and go out of their way to make sure I have everything I need to succeed. It actually brings a tear to my eye after working for such a nasty, vicious company who didnt give a rats behind about me.
So anyway im still on the road to eventual HVAC stardom, but right now im just happy where im at... got a smile on my face and money in the bank so its all good. =)
I've replied to your prior posts, but don't know if you remember I have an extensive background doing "in-house" work, specifically hotels, apartments, and a fitness research center.
I say that to say this: land the right gig and you can make a decent living at in-house work. The wrong gigs for me were apartments, even at that one of them wasn't all that bad. I got lucky with two good hotels, and the fitness research gig lasted several years. The working environment was very similar to what you posted about your curent job; i.e supportive staff and involvement with many varied operations of the building.
I've also done time in a service truck running residential and light commercial calls. My early time in the HVAC trade involved doing installs of split systems in existing homes during blistering hot weather. I'll be honest with you; I like the in-house work more than being in a service truck or humping ductwork through an attic. I realize in-house gigs are not for everyone; some seem cut out for the more independent nature of being in a truck or performing attic acrobatics. To each his own.
Some may tell you that taking an in-house route to your career limits your exposure to various HVAC equipment and challenges. I haven't found that to be true. At the in-house job I now have my hands are full, and the variety of equipment, controls, and responsibility all in one facility make it hard for boredom to set in. I've picked up several building trade skills doing in-house work, from electrical to carpentry to drywall finishing to plumbing. Seldom do I have to call trades to my house unless the size of the task becomes a time issue.
And...you're getting exposure to boilers and ice machines? Run with it, man. Those two skills, once refined, got good traction. Some guys here can't stand ice machines but I like the work. I have three at my building (two Mani's and a Scotsman) and they're allright to work on. When you get an ice machine running sweetly, it's a cool feeling. Same goes for a boiler.
In closing, I wouldn't leave your gig if you're happy there, and the money is good, to take on install work. You'd be trading steady employment for seasonal work, and you'd be working in some hellish environments from time to time. That is, unless you REALLY want to hone in on that aspect of the HVAC trade. Truly, this is a vast field. Good continuous luck to you!
[Edited by shophound on 12-24-2005 at 05:43 PM]
Building Physics Rule #1: Hot flows to cold.
Building Physics Rule #2: Higher air pressure moves toward lower air pressure
Building Physics Rule #3: Higher moisture concentration moves toward lower moisture concentration.