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  1. #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Question HVAC Bachelors Degree

    Hello. I'm interested in some feedback from any and all of you that are in the hvac industry. Specifically, what you guys think of the bachelors program at Ferris State University for Hvac. I'm currently in my last semester at TCI college in NYC for Hvac. I'm a night student. I work for a mechanical contracting company(family owned) by day, and have worked there on-and-off pretty much my whole life. I'm 29. I'll be attending Ferris State this September. As I have already fulfilled my liberal arts requirements, I'll be taking only Hvac and construction management courses. I'm hoping to be there only three semesters, do the intership in Nyc, and finish up through their online program. After that, I plan on getting a Masters in Construction Management in Nyc. Here's the Ferris course schedule:
    http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/colleges...HVAC-BS-TE.pdf


    What I'm concerned about is that the B.S. in Hvac is kind of in this no-man's land between technician and engineer. As a future commercial mechanical contractor, will these skills really be applicable to my day to day duties? Thx

  2. #2
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    Jan 2015
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    Bellevue, Washington, United States
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    I must admit that I never wen't to HVAC school. I apprenticed for 3 years and got my Steam Engineers License. Then I worked another 5 years in the field with a large HVAC company. Then I started my own HVAC business and things have been great since. I tell you this because I see a lot of people go to school and incur significant, and sometimes debilitating debt. This debt hinders a persons opportunities far more than the education helps them. Therefore, if you can enter and be trained in this trade without going to school then maybe that's better.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    I don't know where experience comes from (sheet, metal, piping, service, etc) but unless you want n to be an engineer just learn the trade and the business from where you are. It sounds like a good company they seem to like you. Learn how to estimate too if you can.

    take accounting courses in college, learn how to use your money and take advantage of tax right offs too

    sorry if writing is a bit choppy I'm on my tablet

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Having a Batchelors Degree will open more doors for you if you eventually decide to get into the design/engineering end of the Trade and if you eventually want your PE (Porfessional Engineers) License . Ive never heard of a specific Batchelors in HVAC...but rather : Batchelors in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) which incorporates HVAC . Certainly down the road if an employer is trying to pick between you and the typical guy, he will lean toward your education . I see nothing wrong with being qualified or over qualified for what a person does as a career . While I didn't get my BSME degree, I did learn all I could and ended up designing and engineering commercial HVAC systems and Pnuematic Control Systems for a Manufacturer.... but I spent a lot of time reading, going to a University for specific engineering classes, and picking the brains of those far more qualified than I .

  5. Likes DavidDeBord liked this post.
  6. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    First, I think you are very smart guy to have these concerns, because I believe that they are 100% justified.

    It is a no man's land between technician and engineer. Right now, the industry is in what I call a "race to the bottom" to find out how cheaply technicians and companies can be compensated to get the needed work performed. I would search long and hard to find people that are willing to pay you more than a technician's rate before putting forth the effort for a BS, when you have nearly done the amount of work needed to become an engineer.

    In fact, if I were to advise you and you were a friend of mine, I would say if you want to go this route, fine, become an engineer and get paid like an engineer.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  7. #6
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    In fact, if I were to advise you and you were a friend of mine, I would say if you want to go this route, fine, become an engineer and get paid like an engineer.
    THIS x1000

  8. Likes DavidDeBord liked this post.
  9. #7
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    Jan 2014
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    Education is great if you DESIRE to become the aforementioned engineer. That being said, being out in the field as an HVACR technician is a totally bada$$ job and some of the guys with years in the field really are engineers just without the sheepskin. I've done work for engineers before... I like techs better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #8
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    Feb 2004
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    There is a real problem when you might be perceived as over qualified for a job that's usually filled by HS grads with a bit of college or less. I did once work with a guy that was an installer that had his Masters but it was in gymnastics.
    Anyone with the discipline to get a BS some would wonder what's he doing here. While many techs I've known could easily have gone on in education but chose not to for various reasons this trade doesn't require that level of learning. The Bachelors degree includes so many classes that simply aren't needed in this field.
    I will say that any learning experience will have positive results thru life. I've taken courses that I didn't know would be helpful because I might not be able to apply them. The thing is our paths might not always concentrate on earning a living. Right now I'm having a lot of fun with amateur geology.

    Some just can't see themselves behind a desk and are going to be hands on. I built my first workshop when I was 12 even though I didn't know how to build anything.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    If a person wants to create a machine that will be more likely to fail...Make it complicated.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

  11. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate all your different viewpoints.
    I do want to get into design/management/estimating. I visit the school next week. I want to know if I'll learn enough to be able to handle design. The Master's in Construction Management will help with the management/estimating. Here's the curriculum for that:
    http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/de...urriculum.html

    By the way, when I said "family owned", I meant, my family. Yes, they do seem to like me. lol.

  12. #10
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    Nov 2006
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    If you are going to be taking over the family business, I would get the mechanical engineering degree if I were in your shoes.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

    AOP Forum Rules:







  13. #11
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    Mar 2015
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    You will be successful no doubt.
    An Engineer with practical application experience.

    We in the Trade say it almost on a daily basis about engineer's,

    "These guys should be MANDATED to spend at least 5 years minimum in the field BEFORE being allowed to even think about design,thing's would be SO much better."

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  15. #12
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    DP.

  16. #13
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    I see a lot of Journeyman license holders that have not a clue and a few MASTERS...
    It certainly isnt the best way to judge qualifications.
    Nothing beats hands on experience.

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