Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 74
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    6

    Confused Going HVAC at 55 years old

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    179
    I think we would need a lot more information about what you have been doing for the past 30 years to be able to give you an informed answer. In my experience of being in this business for the past 30 years, it takes a good five years to master the technical aspects of the trade. If , on the other hand, you have been troubleshooting electrical systems for 30 years, that timeline could be drastically cut.
    In any event, I'd suggest you go work for someone to see if you enjoy the work before expending the energy and money to start a business. Good luck in whatever you decide.

  3. #3
    Wow, I'm glad someone posted this. I'm the same age and trying to figure a new career path. I realize these professions are not walk right in,but 5 yrs. to become proficient enough to be on your own ? Heck,I'll be 60. The age discrimination I get already is forcing me to really make an informed decision about what path to follow as far as new career training. I know schools will promise the moon but ,are employers willing to hire 55 yr old newbies ? Hmm. I also thought of appliance repair. Mechanically inclined,30 yr. experience ,concrete truck driver thinking of commercial refrigeration tech. career. Man,I dont know anymore,about anything in this world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California/Nevada
    Posts
    3,607
    talk to technicians in your area and ask them how long they've been at their current company, and what kind of wages they expect new employees would earn.

    in my area truck driving is a far better job

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Arnold, Mo
    Posts
    394
    Find out what the local regulations are in your area. In St. Louis, you gotta be a licensed journeyman to work on your own which requires 7500 verifiable hours to be approved to take the licensing test. Good luck to you. Your never too old to start something new. And remember, once u go HVAC, u never go back!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,911
    15 some years ago we needed a good tech. Asked at the local vo-tech and they suggested Juan. Retired from US Army, he went to their school for HVAC but instead of a job in the field, he was working cargo at the airport. The boss called him, got him in for an interview and hired him. He worked 10 years til 65 and "retired". We called him back and he worked 2 summers 3 days a week doing cleans. Customers loved him. This year he didn't come back, age and family obligations prevented it to our disappointment.

    It is hard on the bod. I'd rule out installation but service up into one's 60s is possible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    what a great post

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    15 some years ago we needed a good tech. Asked at the local vo-tech and they suggested Juan. Retired from US Army, he went to their school for HVAC but instead of a job in the field, he was working cargo at the airport. The boss called him, got him in for an interview and hired him. He worked 10 years til 65 and "retired". We called him back and he worked 2 summers 3 days a week doing cleans. Customers loved him. This year he didn't come back, age and family obligations prevented it to our disappointment.

    It is hard on the bod. I'd rule out installation but service up into one's 60s is possible.
    thanks for sharing this post. I like to know that it is not tired and then retired
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Memphis,TN
    Posts
    31
    You are never to old to learn a trade. Age is just a number as long as you are in good health. I am in my mid 50's and still work as many hours as the job requires. Good Luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    354
    I work with a guy who turns 60 next week. He has no problem with the physical aspect of the trade...having done it for the last 30 years. I don't know if I'd want to start this job at 60 though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Orange County, in a Galaxy far far away...
    Posts
    277
    Oddly enough you might be at an advantage when it comes to sales/upselling.

    People will automatically assume because of your older appearance you've been doing it a lot longer than most. This will help you relate to middle aged slightly better off customers than the wasted bums playing ps3 and hooking up on twitterbook.

    Realistically I'd see an older guy in a maintenance/sales position. Installs are harsh on even the youngest and fittest. 55 years old it might put you in the ground!
    You cannot cheat an honest man. But that doesn't stop people trying!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Citrus County Fl
    Posts
    9
    honestly any 200 hr class sickens me, to the core put in your time like i did become a real tech not a fly by night , i am not a sales man i am a technician Their are many mechanics out their im insulted when someone calls me a mechanic i put in a year and 3 months of technical collage and earned my stripes in this trade many a times and am sick of going behind 200 hr course fly by night MECHANICS/SALESMEN but i am grateful for them at the same time , cause i can prove them wrong and take their customer that they have been screwing over , yes i know not everybody that does the 200 hr course is a POS but alot are and its a damm shame, me personaly i would love to keep non professionals away from a/c units.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Citrus County Fl
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by hvac1232 View Post
    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
    Whoa! u need way more hands on experience before u even think about going out on your own, i have all the nate certs they mean nothing compared 2 good old on the job experience get a job at a company first

    honestly, if u feel you arent physicaly able 2 do attics and mobile homes commercial refridgeration/ice machienes/appliances is way less impactful

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    N.W.Indiana
    Posts
    59

    Never too late

    I started going to school to get my associates degree in HVAC at the age of 36. Had electrical/mechanical experience prior. Started working for a Industrial/Commercial union shop 2 years later. Was told by a service manager that he thought I had gotten into the field TOO LATE and would have trouble understanding many concepts. HE WAS WRONG. I've learned alot and Iam still working. Just turned 60 and have no plans to retire for some time. I will say it's important to be in good shape because the physical aspect is always present. Your never too old to learn. Just how you apply your new skill sets will determine your success.

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event