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  1. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    1,830
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    When Austin started booming in the early 80s I started building houses to rent. When the ac units broke, I would call
    a repairman to fix, I soon figured out I was getting taken advantage of, and with my mechanical abilities I quickly
    figured out how they worked, so I started fixing my ac units myself. As time went along, I got better, and attended
    some classes to learn more, and got my license as it became harder to get equipment. One day I was at the ranch
    of a friend who was having numerous problem with several units, that had been repaired many times. He asked if
    I knew someone who could look at them, so I repaired both units, that had been butchered. He instantly signed me
    up to repair all his hvac at his multiple businesses. He alone had over 300 hvac units up to 80 tons.


    From there he recommended me to others and got me more business than I could ever handle. Did that for over 35 years. I also bought over 74 rental properties in the last economic downturn in 2009, took care of all these ac units
    and when the economy got better began selling them, down to just 8 rent houses now. Going to slow down now.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Saint Pail, Minnesota
    Posts
    674
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    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    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?
    Got sick of playing restaurant assistant manager working 70 hours for little money in high stress environments. Figured out how to get the AC and exhausts running in my stores with no mechanical knowledge. Just cleaned coils and changed belts...with no tools to speak of lol. Had an service tech in a store telling/showing me a few things and I put in my two weeks when I got accepted to a tech school.

    Started running parts for a company at 26, “service tech” at 27 when I graduated school. Got in the residential union at 28. Jumped to the commercial apprenticeship at 29. Now 31 and a 4th year service apprentice. I work on light commercial HVAC systems and restaurant refrigeration. I get a good mix of everything servicing a few boilers, lots of RTUs, walk ins, small reach ins. I’ve worked on a couple rack systems, and water cooled heat pumps. Lots of work with MUAs and exhausts.

    So I got about 5 years experience went from low $20s with no good benefits to $40 now with another $20/hr in benefits.

    Started working at 16 in the Culver’s restaurant where I grew up. Now 15 years later I’m working in them again fixing the stuff I abused as a cook.

  3. Likes GenesisRefrig liked this post
  4. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    5,831
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    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?
    Seeing that you asked....

    1) I was going to go into autobody but a relative suggested something else. I always was interested how a refrigerator operated.

    2) I was in my early 20's as I used the GI bill after my discharge from the military.

    3) Have been in the profession 42+ years, self employed since 1986 " What do I do now" I'm semi retired.

    4) follow up question post #2 Competitive with other Contractors labor rates in Residential and light Commercial work in my area.

  5. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a machine room
    Posts
    8,130
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    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?
    I was doing auto repair and didn't really see much of a future in it, in 2006 a friend of my dad's had a hvac business and was looking for techs and said if I could fix cars I could fix anything they had. I was 24. Now I do commercial refrigeration everything from self contained to supermarket to chillers.

    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    follow up: what is your wage now?
    $62.30
    Worry is a really gross misuse of one's imagination. -- PHM

  6. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1
    Post Likes
    I get into this HVAC Business because my father does and these days demand of HVAC is increased due to global warming. Name of my Business is Geminair Solutions. We are specialised in repairing and installation HVAC in Sydney, Australia.

  7. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    9,422
    Post Likes
    I like to say I came in through the back door.

    When I was in High School I had a job at a local hardware store as a set up delivery person. I really had no clue what I wanted to do, but always liked to tinker on stuff. I decided to go into appliance repair. A near by tech school was the only place I could find a AP repair program which turned out to be 1 class in of 1 quarter of the 6 quarter (1.5Yr) HVAC program. I graduate in 78 and have been living the life since.

    The pay has been fine, you always want to make more money just so you can spend more, but the satisfaction is the real payday. Fixing the problem others can't, giving people something they didn't realize was possible is worth more than the money. I feel sorry for those that hate to go to work everyday. Are there times I don't like what I do, sure, but most days I go to work and come home the same way, Happy!

  8. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    5
    Post Likes
    1) Started working for a plumbing/heating/cooling company as a plumbing technician.
    2) I was 23 when I started and it was after my boss told me I'd get a raise for getting my EPA 608 and other certs.
    3) I have been doing HVAC for 3 years and mostly do residential work for the same company I started with 3 years ago.

  9. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Pavilion, NY
    Posts
    3,441
    Post Likes
    I wanted to get into electronics but the electrical program looked better. 2 yrs electrical and I was bored, went to college trade school for plumbing,hvac and I have been doing residential hvac for 23yrs at the same company. I'm bored but like passing my knowledge along to others.

    'The more you know, the more you realize you don't know'
    ...

  10. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    78
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    Well, I am a little long in the tooth, so I'll save researching some of the details that are now fuzzy.

    I was a registered Electrician in the city of Pittsburgh when I was 18 - that started me into the construction sites.
    My first career move was to Virginia Beach for Simplex Time Recorder Co, That got me trained a variety of building systems, to where I could win the argument on the job-site with the MCC powers guy about who was going to provide the duct detectors on the AHU.

    After obtaining a NICET level IV certification, that career fizzled (unless I wanted to move my family to where it was cold), and I landed a job with a major hospital system (back to Pittsburgh).
    There, the fire alarm system (mostly) worked, the DDC system - not so much. As the HVAC systems needed some attention (we were in the maintenance dept. Central Command Station) that is where I got my cross-training on some over-engineered systems.

    When I asked how the Derivative element worked in a PID loop, I was told to always make it zero. As that was not an an answer to my question, I started digging in the library and then took a night class at Pitt for Business Calculus. I now know when to mess with the 'D': to put a software band-aid on a mechanical issue.

    And I haven't stopped learning, all through a series of failures.

    So with some other experience (A/V, pro sound) under my belt, I consider myself to be a "jack of all trades, master of (2)". I am only an expert on the stuff I don't have to Google.

    ahh, but ... I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
    A Rocket Surgeon? is that a thing?

    sorry I didn't answer all the questions, got distracted by a shiny thing.

  11. Likes ga-hvac-tech liked this post
  12. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    1
    Post Likes
    You said in another post you had replaced two Chrysler Airtemp units. I am looking for the boot size for the ductwork so I can swap it out with an airhandler and a heat pump

  13. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    616
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    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    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?
    Well Now, i must have missed this one when you started it last year, so here is my condensed story overview....My first good job after my US Army Service, was as an Automotive Machinist Apprentice, working for a Large, well known Engine Rebuilder on the West Coast, and Hawaii. I worked in the Crankshaft shop, Magnafluxing, Welding, and Grinding Crankshafts, all day, everyday. They would not rotate me around to the other stations like they were supposed to, as i out ground every Journeyman in the shop. One day, my brother-in-law said hey, you want to make more money, and work on everything Mechanical, including Hvac/r, and Machine Shop work too boot? He shows me the modern refrigeration book, and explains what this 2 year college program can do for me. I got on the registration waiting list, and finally got in. They only took 50 bodies per year as this class, (Mechanical Electrical Technology), had over 200 on the waiting to get in. I graduated 2 years later, and the rest was a wild ride that I could have never imagined! About 45 years total plus a few months, of the most fantastic experiences that I could have ever imagined. There were, 8 Stationary Engineers in My extended Family, and all of us made "Chief Stationary Engineer", including myself, before I Retired. I have worked in almost every type of Hvac/r Job description in the business to include, My own Private Hvac/r Business, and also, the City, County, and Federal, as well as the Carribean Island chain, Costa Rica, Panama, and way too many USA States to list.

  14. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    riverside calif
    Posts
    513
    Post Likes
    condensed version, my folks had 3 restaurants at one point while i was in my teens all the way up to being a adult in my 20 something. well i was always one of those pesky ******** get into anything and all that I had to see wtf is going on kind of guy.

    well what I couldnt fix i would stalk the repair man and see the invoices. well this further pushed me into wanting to know more information. (ice machines) is what pushed me in further as i did not have the patience for or understanding they will drive a teen batty as patience is what you least have at that age. I went to community college and got my associates in science.

    worked in a industrial bakery while going to school and getting married, this was the true eye opener for me. I never thought I would see so much equipment along with the fact that i was about to be married.

    fast forward to 30 years I am still working still learning still tinkering and getting involved in construction and our trade.
    Sent from the van with the a/c on.

  15. #26
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    St.Petersburg
    Posts
    137
    Post Likes
    Took a 1 year hands on course during my 5 yr. stay in the state pen. Ohio 2009. Got my universal EPA, got out and didn't do anything with it until 4 years ago I moved to Florida and a brother I met at my new congregation said they were looking for help at the company he was managing\ license holder. Started me out at 14$ put me with an old timer to train me . Now I'm the lead installer at a 2yr old company. Making 24$ hr. Doing residential and light commercial

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