Just wanted to throw this out there to guys in the field with experience that may want a little easier pace of life, awesome benefits, and a different environment.

I work at the University of Iowa as an Environmental Systems Mechanic (ESM). We work on everything from small mini split units to massive chilled water and steam air handlers.

We are looking for HVAC techs and it's been very hard to get anybody because the starting pay is way below the market rate. The benefits are better than you will find anywhere else. The big thing that they don't or can't tell people in the job listing is the work pace, hours and work environment.

We work 40 hours a week unless there is some wild exception. The work is very self paced in many ways. There isn't typically a person breathing down your neck. We are able to take our time and do a job right without worrying about getting to the next call or what the customer will say about their bill. We have "flexible" schedules and have a lot of say in what work we get to do. The lack of stress at this job is unbelievable. All tools, vehicles, supplies, training, etc. are provided.

Yes, there is the usual state institution BS that has to be dealt with such as lazy long time employees, old buildings and systems and generally slow process to get approval for certain things but it's otherwise been an amazing job so far.

If a person is at a point in their career or in a situation where they don't have to get top market pay rate then these jobs are really hidden gems in the industry. If you live in Iowa or are interested in this check out https://jobs.uiowa.edu and find the skilled trades jobs listing.