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  1. #14
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    Continue your schooling if you are able to.
    Signature removed Violated rule #15

  2. #15
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    Aug 2018
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    I was lured into the trade by someone on the stationary side but worked for a light commercial shop for about 3 years before moving into a stationary apprenticeship. School still ongoing through community college and union. Having a kid played a big role in my decision.

    I'll say that that I'm lucky to be in a facility with a supervisor who's really driven and is a wealth of info and a boss who gives me the freedom to take on repairs and budgets things needed to do them.

    During the apprenticeship I took a big pay cut but due to the 3-11pm shift (now on an overnight) I was able to continue working for the other company, who was (and still is) happy to keep me on.

    Being a little removed from the stress of call to call allowed me to assess my own shortcomings and address them. If there was a call I ran in the morning that left me scratching my head I could sit down think about it and research in the evening.

    For me it was a really tough and stressful decision at the time. That being said there is a lot to learn even in a confined building/facility. Automation to fire protection to plumbing with HVACR right at the center. This has also been a door into large commercial equipment that I wouldn't have dreamed of working on at the time. 3 years in I'm not regretting it.

    There are also some menial, boring tasks to complete and some down time but staying focused on the important things keeps me engaged.

    I figure that were about the same age. Hope my experience can help. Sorry for being long winded. Wish you the best.

  3. #16
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    Aug 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    There are some variable I do not yet know... will mention them as I go with this idea:

    If you are licensed and have side jobs and customers... you know the potential hourly $$$ you can make on those side jobs...
    And as someone that went to college and worked... it is a time when you have dual goals that will conflict with each other:
    College takes time to study... work takes time to make $$$...
    There will be times when one wants to pursue one goal at the expense of the other goal, and then the opposite.

    There is one more factor that has not been discussed... and it is fine if you do not want to post it: What demands do you have on your income (mortgage, loans, CC debt, family, etc)...
    If your income demands are low... then taking the leap and going self employed now with college is a reality...
    OTOH: if you have a family, mortgage, and debt... income may be a necessary thing... and risking to depend on a small business just starting, may be a big risk with debt to cover.
    Another issue is savings: how much can you (and are you willing to) finance your day to day expenses and debt; so you can go to school??? That is, above and beyond what you can hustle running your new business???

    Note that if you are willing to hustle residential change-outs... you may be able to make easy $$$ on the side doing that...

    Lots of balls you may be juggling up in the air.

    Personal opinion: There is a lot one can learn in college, it makes one a better person (lots of trades folks may or may not understand that statement). If it were me... and I could... I would DEFINITELY get the degree! You will look back years later and be glad you did!
    As noted above; the small business accounts we have had... the ones run by an MBA made lots more $$$ than the ones run 'seat of the pants'.
    Thank for the reply GA- If you recall we had similar conversation about school a few years ago about what degree I should choose, glad to see your still willing to lend your advice! As far as answering your questions. I am single with no children. Live in a 1 BR Apartment, monthly rent is about 1300. No debt..YET. Would like to buy a house in the near future. I have a decent amount of savings maybe enough to live one year off of I would say..The degree is definitely something I am not giving up... As you said its something to look back on and be thankful for. Im thinking if I can get consistent work in the summer..which is not too hard to find in the phoenix summertime..the income from the side jobs will offset the lost income from current job. Also will be able to build my business on the side with having 5am to 2pm wide open. Just a hypothetical scenario, not sure how true it would be in real world applications.

  4. #17
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    Oct 2016
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    If it were me, and I'm probably younger than you are.

    Training and education are irreplaceable but so is experience, the only thing that can be replaced is tools.

    My philosophy which I currently apply is that I'm going to train and get as much experience as I can in whatever I run into, if you are going to be an HVAC tech and that's your thing, then I don't see a point in getting educated in anything else, devote your attention, time and money to what you'll be doing.

    I don't think good management of a business can be taught, perhaps parts of it and accounting but again, as a boss over a company, as long as you can do better than anyone else who works for you, the service you provide, I think you'll do really good and if you end up wanting to do accounting in house or whatever it is, then you can learn it pretty quick I'm sure.

    I would stay where you are and if you want to get your degree, then do so, but I think you'll get bored in a fixed spot, you sound like you like the challenge and you won't get much of that in a stationary position.

  5. #18
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    Mar 2017
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    USA
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    If you got nothing tying you down as of family, financial hardship, or just brain farts because studying isn't your thing.... I would go to school and get the engineer degree. You already did the tech work and know your sh*t in the field. Now if you become a engineer then you can be even more an asset to the field of HVAC/R. Because you now have field experience and know what's going on in the field. Like for example "hey it's a bad idea to install this VAV box here, because a 2" water pipe can be in the way of changing out the blower motor" . Sh*t like that where we techs curse out engineers for a crappy layout. Plus remember you can always do tech work if you get bored of engineering. But if later if your body starts to ache then you can always go back to engineering. I know in some states becoming a Professional Engineer is half the battle in getting your state license in HVAC. If I had the chance that's what I would have done. Too late now I got my hands full with family and financial obligations. Oh by the way University work can be boring but it can also be kick back. You can use a lot of the down time to study. Hell I would ditch the apartment and stay with family. Save money and pay your way through college. Avoid accruing student debt loans which becomes impossible to pay back. Well maybe it can be paid back just don't let it ballin to 100k or something!

  6. #19
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    Feb 2016
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    Ambition please send me an email. I tried to send you a private message but got nothing but error messages.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  7. #20
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    Mar 2016
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    Your young, and you dont mind the hard work, so stay in school and finish your degree.

    Education is something that cant be taken away. So once you have that piece of paper that states you have it, it is yours forever. You never know when you might need that education.

    God forbid, you have an accident and you can no longer turn wrenches, at least you can move into a office role somewhere without having to go to several years of school.

    Im still taking classes as well. Have 8 classes to go to get a finance degree. I take 2 classes a semester. Everyone asks, you going become an finance advisor when your done? No, im going to be n hvac tech when im done. but I dont know what tomorrow holds, so im going to get in all the training and education I can now, cause you never know when you might need it.

    And while you will always be able to hire good accounts and managers and marketing people, it never hurts to have any type of business degree so when you are in the room with these people, you are able to be involved in the conversations.

    question, to everyone really...... the largest company in your area, (mine is 200-300 mill a year depending on year), do you think the owner is a great tech, or a great business mind?
    what relevance does the question have? Ask yourself, do you want to run the biggest shop in town, or just a 1-3 man gig. The answer to that will help you answer your other questions.

    Just my 2 cents

  8. #21
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    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhenergy View Post
    Your young, and you dont mind the hard work, so stay in school and finish your degree.

    Education is something that cant be taken away. So once you have that piece of paper that states you have it, it is yours forever. You never know when you might need that education.

    God forbid, you have an accident and you can no longer turn wrenches, at least you can move into a office role somewhere without having to go to several years of school.

    Im still taking classes as well. Have 8 classes to go to get a finance degree. I take 2 classes a semester. Everyone asks, you going become an finance advisor when your done? No, im going to be n hvac tech when im done. but I dont know what tomorrow holds, so im going to get in all the training and education I can now, cause you never know when you might need it.

    And while you will always be able to hire good accounts and managers and marketing people, it never hurts to have any type of business degree so when you are in the room with these people, you are able to be involved in the conversations.

    question, to everyone really...... the largest company in your area, (mine is 200-300 mill a year depending on year), do you think the owner is a great tech, or a great business mind?
    what relevance does the question have? Ask yourself, do you want to run the biggest shop in town, or just a 1-3 man gig. The answer to that will help you answer your other questions.


    Just my 2 cents
    This is a good question...

    And I can guarantee you... the BIG shops... have an MBA or two at the upper levels of management!
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

    GA's basic rules of home heating and AC upgrades:
    *Installation is more important than the brand of equipment
    *The duct system keeps the house comfortable; the equipment only heats and cools (and dehumidifies)
    *Cheap is not good, good is not cheap; however expensive is not a guarantee of quality!
    Choose your contractor wisely!

  9. #22
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    Aug 2009
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    My 2 cents worth probably less.

    You like where you work, you like what you do. You will keep learning new things where you are from a technical standpoint. How old is your boss? Have you talked to him about your dreams/goals. Have you thought about talking to him about learning the business side from him and buying in at some point with the intent of buying him out. Most owners would love to have an escape route set up for when they retire. It is much easier to maintain a client base than build one, it is much easier to keep good employees than train new ones. It sounds like you have a good boss that want's you to learn. This may be a good place to start.

  10. Likes jbhenergy liked this post
  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BNME8EZ View Post
    My 2 cents worth probably less.

    You like where you work, you like what you do. You will keep learning new things where you are from a technical standpoint. How old is your boss? Have you talked to him about your dreams/goals. Have you thought about talking to him about learning the business side from him and buying in at some point with the intent of buying him out. Most owners would love to have an escape route set up for when they retire. It is much easier to maintain a client base than build one, it is much easier to keep good employees than train new ones. It sounds like you have a good boss that want's you to learn. This may be a good place to start.
    .
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  12. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BNME8EZ View Post
    My 2 cents worth probably less.

    You like where you work, you like what you do. You will keep learning new things where you are from a technical standpoint. How old is your boss? Have you talked to him about your dreams/goals. Have you thought about talking to him about learning the business side from him and buying in at some point with the intent of buying him out. Most owners would love to have an escape route set up for when they retire. It is much easier to maintain a client base than build one, it is much easier to keep good employees than train new ones. It sounds like you have a good boss that want's you to learn. This may be a good place to start.

    Talking to your boss in such detail could be a great idea or it could backfire. Just be careful and it seems you have good judgement so far.
    Signature removed Violated rule #15

  13. #25
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    The refreshing thing about this thread to me is a young man is asking good questions in order to find the best course of action to get where he wants to be. My prediction he will make it.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  14. #26
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    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAYNE3298 View Post
    The refreshing thing about this thread to me is a young man is asking good questions in order to find the best course of action to get where he wants to be. My prediction he will make it.
    Him and I talked quite a bit before and your absolutely right Wayne. Dude is a hard worker, great aspirations and well ahead of his time. Wish I was him 10 years ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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