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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Advice for getting into HVAC/R

    Hello all. I'm looking to get into a career in HVAC/R. I'm looking for advice on how to get started. Right now, I'm gathering info on two different schools (one is a local state college, one is an actual tech school). There's a sizeable difference in price and length of each program, and I would like to find out which one could be a better choice, based on others' experiences. Ideally, I would like to try to get a job in the field while attending school (both do offer night/evening classes). I realize that it would be a bottom-of-the-barrel job, but I figure it would help me with experience over time. Any advice on how I could do this, or if there's a different way to go about it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    25
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    I'm about to graduate tech school and just recently got a job.

    Call up companies you aspire to work for and ask them which school they think is best.



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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14,176
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    Are you certain you want to enter into this industry ?
    It's very all consuming and will take up most your time.
    Constantly wanting to expand your knowledge in something that can never be completely mastered.
    Using any free time on internet forums and debating the things you've discovered only to find others found different. Yep, if that's sounds like your cup of tea well then ...welcome to our world !!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    I just got into the trade less than a year ago. My advice to you is to find a smaller family-owned business and put in an application for a helper. It will be grunt work at first just to see if youre cut out and even after it doesnt really get much easier as far as labor-wise (if you are doing install that is) but other aspects become easier/quicker. I am also a little undecided, not sure if Id rather attend trade school or join the local UA.. its just that Im in a right-to-work state and Im not too sure what the pros and cons are but Id rather get paid to learn than the other way around!! So Im leaning towards that more..


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Posts
    163
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    When I switched from sheet metal to refrigeration I went straight to the refrigeration UA and tried to apply with them. They told me I needed to get a job with a unionized company first before I could apply to the union. So I found a company who was willing to hire me on then applied for the union after that.

    It was a short while after that I had my chance to go to school. The union pays for school in my area and has a top notch curriculum.

    If you can't find an employer that is willing to hire you without any experience then you might need to spend your money on a prerequisite course to show the employers that you are serious and that you have a basic understanding. It's up to you if you want to take that schooling first or try applying to employers first. In my case I had a trade ticket under my belt already so I didn't need another course to help persuade them. If you don't have any experience at all it might be worth your while to take a short course to learn the basics. I would be hesitant to suggest taking a long course without first having some field experience because you will spend so much time trying to figure out what they are talking about as they teach you that you won't grasp a whole it of info in the process.

    You need experience followed by education followed by more experience followed by more education followed by... You get the idea. Every time you get more education you go a little more in depth.

    So in short, the cheeper short course may be sufficient to get your foot in the door. But with that being said. You haven't given us any info about how long the two courses are or what the difference is between them. A 2 day afternoon class isn't going to get you very far. A 4 month full time class is way too much... Perhaps more detail about the courses would help us help you make a better decision.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    17,051
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    Start Here: http://ua.org/locals

    Get paid to get educated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    10
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    I have a Brother in Law whose MOS in the army was working on HVAC in the middle east. He just got on with Trane and is being paid while he learns on the job as well. It was a good deal for him. Maybe that's an option where you are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,015
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Start Here: http://ua.org/locals

    Get paid to get educated!
    What pecmsg X2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    14,176
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    X3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
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    Thread Starter
    I actually did apply for the UA apprenticeship and was denied (they said there weren't enough openings, which could be true). Earliest I can re-apply would be sometime in January, I believe. Meantime, I'm still looking at schooling options. Tech school is a lot more expensive but shorter ($18-20K and 7-9 months). State college is longer and a lot cheaper (1-2 years depending on day or evening classes and about $5k).

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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    19
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    I would probably wait to get into the UA since they are paying you to learn but thats just my .02.. Im still leaning towards that route myself I just dont know the pros/cons especially living in a right-to-work state


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  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    230
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    Start knocking on every union shops door. Give them a resume maybe start taking some night classes to show them you are serious. You may start as a pre-apprentice yard/warehouse or helper. A UA shop dosnt have to pull someone off the list at the hall at least not here.

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