A few months ago I enrolled in a 200 hour HVAC maintenance and repair course, and received my EPA Universal Certiication. Unfortunately, there was not much hands experience, but alot of reading about refrigeration, AC electrical components, charging & evacuation, etc... The only hands-on we received was putting together fan circuits and troubleshooting them. Oh yeah we volunteered our services to troubleshoot and repair some old PTAC units at a motel. Well anyway I got hooked. I am planning on enrolling in a HVAC associates degree program at a local community college, and also independently study for a NATE Heat pump certification. What I would like to do is start my own full-time HVAC maintenance and repair business after I receive my associates. I will be 57 years old, with 2 years experience as a "freelance" HVAC tech. I was wondering if I am will able to meet the demands of repairing split units and in some cases crawling under homes to get to a discharge line. Also, can I realistically compete as a middle ages guy with no real track record. Am I being realistic at all?

What is your opinion about my plan?
What are some of the obstacles I might encounter?
What are some of the advantages?

hvac1232