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  1. #1
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    Are there any new techs out there?

    I have been in the Atlanta area for 15 years and I still see the same people in the supply houses and not many new faces. I put up ads to hire techs and I get very few real technicians most of the guys I know in the field are always looking for help. What gives is it really that hard for guys to get into this field? Are we that picky? Are people not interested in fixing stuff anymore? I have hired some guys out of school and trained them but most have not been able to keep up the pace or did not like the work. One guy became one of my top techs. I love this industry from ice machines to 100 ton RTUs. I like the fact that with experience we can always find a job but where are the new guys? I saw a picture of all the techs from one of the big companies down here and I don't think there was a tech under 40.

  2. #2
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    Good question.


    *edit*

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    We had this discussion at work last year..only one guy under 40 at our shop..and he is 39.

  4. #4
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    Shortsighted and selfish, probably...but I love seeing these threads. Youngest at our shop is thirty-something. I do see some younger faces at RSES meetings...but not real young - late twenties maybe? Every four months or so a trade school graduates a fresh batch...wonder what happens to all of them?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    We had this discussion at work last year..only one guy under 40 at our shop..and he is 39.
    I'm the youngest at my shop and I just turned 40. Kids do not want to do this work.


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  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    I'm 27, been in Hvac since 17, got a temporary job doing crap work and kinda hung around, I did do construction a few years as it was what I thought I wanted to do. That got old and paid for ****. I would always see the Hvac guys while building a house and figured I'd better get back Into it

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    When I was in tech school they were graduating 9 or 10 a month. My instructor told me of the 10 that graduate each month only one or two will be in the field next year.

    Most don't realize how hard the work can be. Or young guys who think they are gonna make 100k first year.


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  8. #8
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    Where we mow our own grass
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    Just from my perspective, I'm 24, when I started I was 19.

    I think part of the problem is that its so hard to get into hvac when you first start out.

    When I graduated Technical School, everybody wanted 5 years experience, and wouldn't hire any of us.

    I don't remember the exact number, but probably five of us that graduated from Technical School where 19-22 years old, and only two of us where able to get jobs at hvac/r companies. The rest are all doing something else because they couldn't find a job.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike19 View Post
    Just from my perspective, I'm 24, when I started I was 19.

    I think part of the problem is that its so hard to get into hvac when you first start out.

    When I graduated Technical School, everybody wanted 5 years experience, and wouldn't hire any of us.

    I don't remember the exact number, but probably five of us that graduated from Technical School where 19-22 years old, and only me and one other person where able to get jobs at hvac/r companies. The rest are all doing something else because they couldn't find a job.


    I think that is why I'm so loyal to my employer. I was turned down by 15+ companies pretty much because "they wanted 5 years experience in the trade". Whereas my employer thought I was a good guy and just hired me.
    Ditto here. When I was going to school, I'd say at least half of the people in my classes were career changers in their 40s. I think a lot of people have no interest in being the gofer for a couple years, making squat, especially when they have a family to support at home. A new guy straight out of school does not know much, and employers know it. They are not willing to pay a lot of money and train someone who may leave after a few months.

    And for the kids with no prior experience, they make it impossible to get a job. Like Mike said, every job posting out there wants 5 years of experience. Even a job considered "entry level". But how are you supposed to start off and learn if someone won't even give you a chance? It's a catch-22. And when people go 6 months-1 year job searching and come up empty, they get discouraged. Maybe they go work at McDonalds or something, I don't know. But from what I've seen, it is very difficult to break into this trade. Even hitting the pavement and knocking on all the doors and exhausting all your options, you sometimes turn up empty. It stinks. You really have to get lucky.

    But on the other hand, I'm always reading about how there's a "shortage" of workers. My local UA had 5000 people apply for apprenticeship last January, from all different states surrounding mine, for building trades and HVAC service. So obviously there are people that want to get into the industry, but for whatever reason it's practically impossible.

    Who wants to get into this business anyways? When I was growing up there was no real big push for the trades. In high school I was pushed to "go to college to get a good job". No mention of apprenticeship or technical training. I think a lot of people in this business, their dad or grandpa used to do it and they have just been exposed to it more. Maybe they grew up riding in the truck dragging tools around. No one really grows up and says "I want to be an HVAC technician". (If you did no offense) but I haven't met anyone like that. We just seem to fall into this somehow. Maybe I have a narrow minded view, but from what I've seen this is what it's like.

  10. #10
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    There does seem to be an odd training/experience thing goin' on in hvac. You have what I consider extreme views, such as might be held buy an owner down in Sherman, TX; that considers new techs are worthless and not turning a profit for up to a year. You have a more reasonable concern that new techs are a liability and definately have some major ground to cover really quick. Then of course you have kids that have no idea how hard it really is at times or those trying to start a family at the same time with these crazy hours.

    But the industry has to realize that fresh blood must be added regularly. In fact, the USDOL estimates we will need about 90K more by 2020; with the industry growing 34% until then and likely beyond.

    Whatever, man. I like the notion of being needed up into my sixties and beyond. My wife was done with me at 40, kids are gone

  11. #11
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    I can see why people have their reasons for being reluctant to hire young techs with little to no experience. hurtinhvac defined it pretty well.

    On the other hand, if you have a new tech, you're probably paying quite a bit less than what a seasoned tech is making. The new tech might not be able to do as much, but he's a good helper for two-man jobs, and if you take the time to help him and teach him, he might turn into a pretty good tech some day.
    Last edited by Mike19; 12-09-2013 at 11:29 PM.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2009
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    Hell we tried to get a 18 yo to go to school. We where going to help cover the cost of it. Never heard back from him again.

    all the people we get that look for jobs either have ****ty references. For example guy seemed to know what he was talking about called a friend that he used to work for and said ya he does good work when he comes to work. But sometimes he wont show up for days because he will be doing side jobs in neighboring towns.

    We have been even offeringto our helpers to step up and try to learn and get more $$$. Most dont want the responsibility of being on call. A couple have and i thank them for it. When they are on call i keep my phone on my hip because if they run into some trouble i want them to know that there is help available. And their paycheck shows the appreciation also.

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  14. #13
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    So I've been thinking about back when I was in Technical School.

    I will split it into two groups: the "young guys" ages 18-22, and the "older guys" who had been in the workforce or where back from military service

    All of the "older" guys showed up for class every day, tried hard, did a good job and graduated.

    Of the "young guys", over half didn't finish the class. Either because they didn't show up half the time, they didn't want to do anything in class, or they thought the work was too hard. A couple of them where good students, but decided that hvac was not for them, and went into other programs.

    And of the five "young guys" that graduated, only two of us have hvac jobs that I know of.

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