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  1. #40
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    I've always been Union and they pay well form the beginning of an apprenticeship. It seems the same performance issues persist.
    There is a generational issue or so it seems. I know a geographical issue are there also but I don't understand it well. By that I am referring to the mananasyndrome in the SW.

    I once knew a plumbing super that couldn't help himself when say, driving past a hole some company had dug. He had to stop and look in the hole.
    I think he just loved the idea of building something. Construction can be an attraction by itself. I know I get excited being around construction. It feels like home.
    The techs have a kind of different world.

    I still have a Heath-kit auto oscilloscope. I used it back when a person could analyze problems w/o a computer. Observe spark plug firing, set dwell, all that stuff.
    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

  2. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    I've always been Union and they pay well form the beginning of an apprenticeship. It seems the same performance issues persist.
    There is a generational issue or so it seems. I know a geographical issue are there also but I don't understand it well. By that I am referring to the mananasyndrome in the SW.

    I once knew a plumbing super that couldn't help himself when say, driving past a hole some company had dug. He had to stop and look in the hole.
    I think he just loved the idea of building something. Construction can be an attraction by itself. I know I get excited being around construction. It feels like home.
    The techs have a kind of different world.

    I still have a Heath-kit auto oscilloscope. I used it back when a person could analyze problems w/o a computer. Observe spark plug firing, set dwell, all that stuff.
    It seems a lot of older people who did well in a union thinks that it is a generational problem.
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  3. #42
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    I guess techs were better when they oversized everything when they can't get away with that now. I guess techs were better when beercan cold was good enough. Maybe techs were better when there were probably 4-5 parts to go wrong on a furnace and the only safety was a high limit. Maybe they weren't as good as some seem to remember.
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  4. #43
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    I agree that more money in this trade would be great but where does that money come from? How does one charge $100/hour when Bubba is in for $50? The customer doesn't seem to care if it takes Bubba multiple trips to get it running when it should a only take one or 2 is special parts are needed. They also don't realize that running is not necessarily "fixed", which is why when it quits again with slightly different symptoms the customers don't realize they are making the same fix again because it has never been fixed.

    I have a customer that works at a place with multiple units. One day they had to call the company back that had been working on their system. My customer asked his boss why they kept calling these guys back, the never fix anything. He even asked his boss if he would put up with this kind of service at his own house. He never got an answer and they are still using the same Co. . . . and he still has his job.

    So many times the customer only know price and as long as Bubba will do it for half they won't investigate why he is so much cheaper. For example I had a former customer the bought a home warranty. Several years later I was called in for a bid. Talking to the Mrs she got it, she knew they were paying more for service than they were when I was doing their work,but he felt they were saving money. She knew they had more breakdowns than when I was doing the work, but all he saw was the savings he thought he was getting. Bubba did the replacement. They had me quote a WSHP, Bubba put in a 13 SEER air source.

  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    I think people are missing my point.

    If they don't offer really good money, there is NO reason to be doing this in place of other career paths.

    Parents and guidance counselors are happy to push careers where the kid can comfortably retire at 60 and want for nothing. Currently, that is not typical in our field.

    We, as an industry, have to compete. The conditions will not get better, so the pay and benefits MUST get better, unless you can send out R2D2 to talk to the unit, and have another droid fix the system. We are another 50 years from that point. Until then, we have to compete with the other potential careers for the same group of kids.
    I would guess that the average homeowner and business owner think that they already pay a premium for our services. So to get a better idea of where you are coming from are you saying HVAC businesses need to charge even more or are they making more money than they should and just pay us more? I guess the third possibility is for HVAC owners to raise prices and take a paycut,
    Last edited by pageyjim; 11-22-2019 at 05:28 PM.
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  6. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pageyjim View Post
    I guess techs were better when they oversized everything when they can't get away with that now. I guess techs were better when beercan cold was good enough. Maybe techs were better when there were probably 4-5 parts to go wrong on a furnace and the only safety was a high limit. Maybe they weren't as good as some seem to remember.

    I agree the old timers often had little training and learned by osmosis. Equipment was generally simpler. There were complicated systems also. Specialty systems. Cascade, large absorbers and screws like today but that wasn't typical also like today.
    Information could be scarce and hard to come by. Couldn't Google. So how did someone 40 - 50 years ago find information. Where ever you could.

    Still many would rather be told what and how rather than find out on their own. Probably that hasn't changed. The path of least resistance still holds true for many.
    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

  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pageyjim View Post
    It seems a lot of older people who did well in a union thinks that it is a generational problem.
    After WW2 in the 50's there was a strong work ethic. A man was judged by how good a hand they were. Maybe things have gotten too easy. I don't have a problem with the newer generations, I just don't understand them.
    Still I would be glad to turn in my years and start again.
    The Unions provided a life where a working stiff could raise a family, own a house and have a decent retirement. Today a family often takes 2 incomes.
    A family decides if they can afford a dog or kitty. A serious pet sickness can cost more than the animal.
    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

  8. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pageyjim View Post
    I would guess that the average homeowner and business owner think that they already pay a premium for our services. So to get a better idea of where you are coming from are you saying HVAC businesses need to charge even more or are they making more money than they should and just pay us more? I guess the third possibility is for HVAC owners to raise prices and take a paycut,
    An HVAC business owner that wants to be able to send out a tech and have the job done right will have to pay more. That means, yes, they have to charge more.

    Homeowners and businesses will discover the free lunch is gone, and it's hiding a basement playing fortnite.

    Or, all residential companies become sales companies, and only the best sales companies will stay in business.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
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  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Now we probably can't offer $100,000 a year but we better be ready to offer $75,000.....or none of those kids in those basements are ever going to come outside.
    Unions can offer that kinda pay. $75K???...Our industry can do better than that. An experienced tech should easily be clearing $100K.

  10. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Man View Post
    Unions can offer that kinda pay. $75K???...Our industry can do better than that. An experienced tech should easily be clearing $100K.
    I knoiw that.

    Most shops are not union, and their top pay will NOT convince a pajama boy that he should trade his gaming and schedule for our environment and responsibilities. He needs that 75k to be lured into the trade.

    We do not have enough union contractors to cover all of the service needed, and many market segments such as retail will not pay a union price for service, even though it is better for them.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
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  11. #50
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    One other thing to remember when we talk wages: there are areas of the country were you could not survive on $100k and there are other areas where you can live very well on under $50k. The point is so that some tech in rural America doesn't feel like they are getting shafted because they are not getting $100k and so that some owner in a heavy urban areas doesn't think their techs should be happy with $100k. For example my second house I bought for under $80k but it would have sold in parts of California for close to a million at least from what I have seen on TV and the web.

  12. #51
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    I am talking about median incomes across all regions, just to be clear.

    It is not inconsequential that the IRS does not use different scales for taxation according to regional cost of living, and the commensurate wages. In NYC, for example, if an HVAC tech makes 100k, they are still taxed at the same rates as a tech in Florida making half of that.

    The 16th amendment has allowed for the growth in both rates and spending. The Congress that passed the amendment never imagined the intrusive, unlimited power which is the nature of the collection process, and the confiscatory rates being collected today.

    So, when I suggest the $75k income, it would be adjusted upward by the percentage difference of the local cost of living in places like NYC and LA.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
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  13. #52
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    $75,000. isn't going to be enough.

    My oldest daughter with just a BA gets over $100K working for a mortgage company. My son makes close to $300. with a MBA. Of course my youngest adult child has two Phd's and makes less that $50K - but mostly because she wants to help people other than herself. And they are just kids - less than a ten year work history.

    Any young person with the ability to get into a degreed business employment situation is never going to chose HVAC/R as an alternative. It's hard work, it can be dirty, you have to know an insane amount of stuff - virtually every trade's work is incorporated - and there's no real money in it for an employee.

    I think it will eventually trend like car sales / car leasing has. Every few years you get a new one and just make a monthly household budget payment forever. Cable Bill, Cell Phone Bill, HVAC Bill. That's where the "sales tech" companies logic seem to be headed to me.

    PHM
    --------



    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    I knoiw that.

    Most shops are not union, and their top pay will NOT convince a pajama boy that he should trade his gaming and schedule for our environment and responsibilities. He needs that 75k to be lured into the trade.

    We do not have enough union contractors to cover all of the service needed, and many market segments such as retail will not pay a union price for service, even though it is better for them.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

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