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  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    Cool Why did you get into HVAC?

    1. Why did you get into HVAC?
    2. How old were you when you started and how did you start?
    3. How long have you been in the field and what do you do now?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2018
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    Thread Starter
    follow up: what is your wage now?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Atlanta GA area
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    Was a basement remodel contractor... did not like what the HVAC subs did...
    Learned it and got my license.

    Then decided I was tired of building basements...
    And went full time HVAC.

    Transition was around the turn of the century...
    Then turned 50 a year later.

    Closing in on that point where I can honestly say:
    "20 years experience"
    Even though that does not mean much anymore...
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
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    One should NOT pursue HVAC only for the $$$...

    This is a difficult trade, the most complicated... the most physical... the most mentally stressful...
    And the one that will break you if you do not take care of yourself.

    IMO ONLY pursue a career in this trade...
    If you TRULY enjoy the work!

    And it helps to have both a technical mind, as well as good diagnostics and technician skills, good electrical diagnostic skills... and good people skills (you will be dealing with people).
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    St. Louis
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    Father, older brother ran commercial service both in the UA. I was going to be a auto mechanic ready to go to trade school and the the old man talked me into it.
    Total package over $68

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    The Deep South
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    [*]Why did you get into HVAC? For the girls...of course.
    [*]How old were you when you started and how did you start? I was my grandad's free helper. Officially in the trade at 16 (paid summer job.)
    [*]How long have you been in the field and what do you do now? Since summer of 1987. Now I am an OEM chiller/boiler mechanic

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    San Diego
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    313
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    Needed a job that played better than minimum wage. Didnt really know what I wanted to do after the Marine corps so I wasted time going to school and working random jobs. My cousin is a PM at Emcor and used to be a tech and service manager, he told me what classes to take at the community college.

    I think I was about 27 when I started taking classes. Took a long time to get a job even doing residential maintenance. Got fired for poor sales numbers. Cousin got me a job working with him, and with that came the UA apprenticeship. Never sought out the union and still not really sure if I'll stick with it, but for now I figure I'll finish the apprenticeship as I am going into my 3rd year.

    Been working about 3 years in the field and have basically been school non stop since 2014. That's between getting my AS in HVAC and the UA apprenticeship. I wish someone had told me about being able to test in higher, but at the same time I'm glad I didnt because I've learned alot.

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    SeaTac WA
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    Bad attitude in high school I was taking auto shop in my senior year as for something to do in the teacher suggested it

    Went to UTI in Phoenix graduated in 1985 I was 20 it's all I've ever done

    33 years doing it I just wish my body could stay at 23 for a little longer even 33

    Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

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  15. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
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    When I was a kid, finding air conditioning in a home was an extremely rare experience... and finding air conditioning in a retail establishment was almost as rare.

    So, when my grandmother had a window unit installed at her house in the living room, and she had an electrician run a special line from her panel just to power it, I was fascinated.... and I could stand in front of that unit and have the cold air blow on me...and it was a psychological revolution to know that a machine could make me feel that good on a hot humid day, and I wanted to learn everything I could about this mysterious machine.

    Later, in the back of Boys Life magazine, there was an ad for a correspondence course where you would be shipped various parts, and with professional guidance over time, assemble your own Refrigeration condensing unit.... and I thought what a great way to get started in the business.

    Well my mother had been one of the few women to attend college in the 1930s and 40s and she was not going to have her son... her firstborn....go into one of those "blue collar" trades. Well actually, things would have been a lot better for me if I gotten in sooner, but I waited until 1973 to begin working in the mechanical trades, and eventually I moved from mobile air conditioning systems in tractors, bulldozers, trucks, and cars, and began working for a contractor doing commercial air conditioning work...... and I've never looked back.

    The best part of this business is applied physics, and using your knowledge of the variables to put together a diagnosis and a plan for repair, and then to see that repair become effective for the customer.

    Then....... I feel like I'm standing in front of my grandmother's window unit again.
    [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:







  16. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    columbus, OH
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    I went to trade school to be an electrician and realized bending conduit and greasing wires is not for me.

    then shortly after i had a maintenance job at a bacon factory on first shift doing odds and end helper jobs landscaping, painting, pulling wire, whatever they wanted me doing. Got promoted to second shift rebuilding vacuum dies on the packaging machine but for about an hour a night i went around the whole plant with a clip board and took pressures off the boilers and a huge ammonia refer system, temps of each room. had no idea what any of it meant but I did admire all the piping and gauges and glasses and mechanicals.

    Then i got laid off and had various jobs and after i worked in a steel mill for 6years i was basically tapping out and had to find something with equal to or better pay. And I remembered the compressor room and boilers and helio system and DAF room and all that. Actually after school i appied to go back to the bacon factory but they had strict rules on not hiring twice.

    Most people come into service as an installer first but I more less skipped that step and would probably not be that great of an installer. Im not above it but it doesn’t match me, all jobs that ive enjoyed have been me doing a job by my self with little to no supervision.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  18. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Metro Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    542
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    I got into HVAC because I had no air conditioning in my house. My old plumbing boss tracked me down at the auto shop I was working at and offered me a job in his new HVAC business. I figured I would learn enough to get an air conditioner put in my house for cheap and then go back to working on cars.

    That was back in 1999, so I guess my "temporary" job turned into a full time passion.

    Now a field supervisor at a medium sized company that does mainly residential heating and air.

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  20. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    SeaTac WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by servicefitter View Post
    Father, older brother ran commercial service both in the UA. I was going to be a auto mechanic ready to go to trade school and the the old man talked me into it.
    Total package over $68
    My good friend is a sheet metal Foreman for a union shop out here in Seattle. If you told me about the what they just got. $68 an hour you think you'd be rolling but when you got to pay five six hundred grand for a house.....

    Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

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  22. #13
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    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hibbing, MN
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    Was a manager for McDonald’s. We went through a lot of refrigeration technicians before we found a great one for our three stores. This guy was top notch. Eventually, he told us he was closing up shop and going to work for someone else. He wasn’t selling, and he didn’t have any recommendations to service us.

    After talking to the owner of our McDonald’s I asked our refrigeration tech if he would sell us his equipment and we would service our own equipment in house. This conversation led to him offering to sell his business to me and to train me in the trade. I was as high as I could go in our company, so I decided to quit my job and buy a refrigeration company.

    I only got about 2 weeks of training and I was on my own! Thank God I had a STRONG background in electricity and mechanics. I bought a lot of books, asked a lot of questions, and made a lot of mistakes. That was 29 years ago!

    I think I was charging $26 per hour at the beginning. I also paid $1.00 per pound for refrigerant. Today we are at $95 per hour and pay $1,000,000 per pound for refrigerant.

    Today I’m still learning. Working on weird stuff like industrial lasers, milling machines, 1940’s soda fountains, building automation, water treatment plant chemical storage, as well as the run of the mill walk-ins, reach-ins, and ice machines.

    This is a fun and challenging career. Full of stress and rewards.
    If God didn't want us to eat animals... He wouldn't have made them out of MEAT.

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