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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2
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    Thinking about going from stationary HVAC role to mobile tech

    Hello everyone, I have been contemplating going from a stationary HVAC position to a mobile tech position in the residential or commercial realm. I currently work for one of the big property management companies doing commercial HVAC/R related work. I have been doing this for over 10 years now. My question is what are some of the challenges of going from this role to full contractor role? I talk to a lot of HVAC contractors and they seem to have no interest in doing what I do even though I make 60K a year. Some say they like the freedom and extra overtime. Others prefer the contractor role because they have done facilities work before and had to deal with other tech's insecurities, gosip, cliques and the general BS. I have gained a substantial amount of knowledge and have gone to a HVAC vocational school years ago. I know there is a great more to learn and am always absorbing new information and skills along the way. I was just trying to find out the pros and cons of going full mobile tech as opposed to what I do now. I am happy at my role and I do have a guaranteed check every 2 weeks and full benefits paid time off 401k ect. Seems like a lot of contractor aren't so fortunate when it comes to these things. What drives you to do this work? Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Have a great day and take care!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    23
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    When working for a contractor you can go to a different p!ace every day, you don't have a boss looking over your shoulder and you see and learn allot more then staying in one place all the time. Also the compensation is much better if you find the right company.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    East Side
    Posts
    5,144
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    Time isn’t garunteed.

    Drama of different sites.

    Lots of driving.

    Outside when you don’t wanna be.

    No time to research all the different equipment you work on.

    Serious time frames for repair.

    All that being said, I couldn’t do stationary work. I love the challenge, and can’t stand being in the same place for more than a few days!

  4. Likes lions_lair liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    19,067
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    What I have noticed through the years is that it's difficult for an in-house tech to transition to doing service work in the field. One of the biggest reasons is that when you are in-house, you know you'll be there the next day to check on your work. Not so with field work.
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

  6. Likes lions_lair liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggg333 View Post
    you don't have a boss looking over your shoulder

    This so true, now you have multiple “bosses” looking over your shoulder! It comes with the drama of the job site, they all have stories, some interesting some not so helpful. I wouldn’t recommend residential personally, but I’m not a person who likes to go in another’s house. That’s my opinion

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    3,078
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    Not long ago my employer hired a facility guy, he came from a large manufacturer, he is mid50s I would guess and I hear nothing but positive about him, my employer offered him a facility gig with some perks on top and he turned it down and opted for staying on the road.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    2
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    You should do it, it will keep you sharper & you will learn more. Challenges begin with finding location and a place to park. Sometimes it's a job all it's own just getting you and your tools in front of whatever needs fixing.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    PNW!! gotta love Oregon
    Posts
    20
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    Lots of great advise given here, if i'm correct you want to be your own contractor? There is a lot of responsibility in being self employed but the payoffs can be great indeed, if you want to work for a contractor first then the advise given that working in the field is much different than in a facility is by all means true, I actually went the facility way from my own business and if the benefits and pay weren't REALLY good I would go back, I still hold my contractors lic and refuse to give it up even though I don't use it.
    Don't burn any bridges where you currently work if possible and if you really like the idea of contact work do it, if you hate it which I kind of doubt you will, try to go back,,,

    Good luck!

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    6,682
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    The main reason I like to be "on the street" is because I don't like to be in one place too long. After a week in one place I start feeling like a caged animal. Most people are okay with being stationary, seems though most trades people are not like most people. There is a freedom associated with going from one call to the next.

    Beyond the freedom is the variety. Every building is different. Different layouts, system, makes, etc... It breaks up the monotony. Also in this trade particularly, there is a natural thirst for knowledge amongst those that do the work. And variety helps fill that thirst.

    Stationary guys seem to go in 2 directions. The ones that coast and are lazy, and the ones that do as much as they can themselves, and go as deep or deeper then a typical contractor (such as replacing bearings on a small motor, and repacking valves ). If your the latter, you will do well.

  12. Likes icy78, CDHCR liked this post

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