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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    san jose
    Posts
    31

    I just got a Controls Job offer

    Questions for all you controls service techs. How's the stability of the controls industry during this economic crisis? Is there plenty of work? Are layoffs typical as they are in commercial service hvac? My background is in commercial HVAC service work for 8 years. I have to say that during those 8 years, service work has been up and down.. Fluctuating hours and many layoffs.. In 2007, I decided to go in-house as a stationary engineer at a world renowned research hospital here in the bay area. During those years, I became very interested in building automation and began reading tons of material and asking a lot of questions to our ALC and siemens reps. I learned to write my own PPCL programs and took all the classes to become a certified siemens programmer. Recently I was offered a job for a reputable controls contractor here in the Bay Area.. The pay is the same as I make right now as a stationary engineer, but obviously my focus would be on controls and no more plunging toilets or replacing steam traps.controls is something that I really have an interest in and really enjoy. My concern is the stability of the industry. Here at the hospital, I have a very stable job, guaranteed 40 hrs. It's not a very sexxy job but it is very stable. How stable is the controls industry? Are layoffs typical? Do your hours fluctuate like mine did when I was an hvac service tech? Should I take a chance or just stick it out in a secure job until the economy recovers? Any advise appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Somewhere in the world.
    Posts
    1,618
    I can tell you that we are very busy work a 40 hour week plus O/T I like it haven't seen any problems yet.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    48
    It depends controls is a more specialized field especially if you know the programming side and would not be susceptible to layoffs as much as service techs, there are alot of techs but not many programmers in comparison. It is still a risk I was a tech for the same company for 15 years and walked in one day and was told I no longer had a job with no warning, not a good feeling if you know what I mean. Now I am at a university and feel very stable, but also know I could make more money in the private sector, but I think I will stay we're I'm at for the stability.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    san jose
    Posts
    31
    Thanks for the replies fellas, appreciate it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
    Posts
    4,224
    If your really good at what you do and care you'll have a job 95+% of the time.
    There's lots of control job opportunities, the biggest thing is finding the right company.
    I've had an 'ad' in the controls section for pushing a year, and so has another guy and we still haven't filled the positions. Mine got filled for about 3 weeks, turns out the guy wasn't what he said he was...
    Best of luck and you'll see the controls section can offer plenty there during your controls endeavor.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1
    I might be new to this site, but have been a controls tech for the last 12 years. It is a great field with lots of work. You might get a little slow if all you work on is new construction. I find lots of work in retrofit and upgrading. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    ARKANSAS
    Posts
    5

    Go for it

    I would take it! Regardless what company it is with. You can learn alot in the ten years working in the private controls sector. This will allow you more opportunities to advance your career and pay. Ten years plunging toilets doesn't create a whole lot of advancement opportunity. That is just my opinion!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    104
    Been doing controls for 15 years and from what I have seen good controls techs always have work, and I am in MI. The difference you need to ask yourself is will you be able to adapt to the change of pace. Out in the field doing new installs or service on controls there is not a lot of downtime. We dont do morning break, 1 hour lunches and very seldom do I quit right at 8 hours. Something to think about.
    If it aint broke dont fix it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    san jose
    Posts
    31
    Appreciate the advise guys. After the holidays, I will accept the controls job offer. I'm a little nervous about the possible risks, but I'm still young and am very excited about the controls industry. Besides, if for some reason it doesn't work out, I'm sure I can go back to plunging toilets ;-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Posts
    2,338
    If you have a clear understanding of how HVAC mechanical systems work then you will have no problem in the controls field. Get training from your company about the line you sell. And you will learn alot just reading through the posts on here.
    UA Local 141

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    ARKANSAS
    Posts
    5
    It really comes down to the companies sales department and controls market in your area! I used to work for a corporate controls outfit and watched good service techs be cut every fall. That is the nature of service work. I never saw any control techs be laid off in my branch but there were only two of us! We started to loose every contract we had and some weeks it was hard to justify 40hrs. Since then, I went to work for an independent and they have a phenomenal sales turnout. We all easily get 40+ and work is steady throughout the year, regardless of the season. I also learned that local companies are better to work for b/c they actually notice your work and promote you based on your performance. Corporate business could careless! The math doesn't lie either. More sales = more money. Therefore pay advancement opportunity actually exist. In conclusion, I would say it is more stable work than with mechanical service work. Yet union mechanical labor scale is nice and there are some in house year round preventive maintenance contracts out there that guarantee 52 40hr work weeks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,223
    Good response, Nixonau, but a little untimely. The OP said he was going to take the job right after the holidays (Christmas 2011)!

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