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Thread: HVAC career path questions

  1. #1
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    Aug 2020
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    HVAC career path questions

    Hello. I live in Houston, TX.
    I am working at school in Houston as hvac mechanic. I have a concern about career path. School job pays less than field tech but their benefits are the best options in town.

    I always want to do real job like a field tech does such as meeting customers, driving places and troubleshootings.
    Which way do I go for residential / commercial or keep What I am doing right now?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Better money in commercial. Steadier income, too.

    As for what to do - you need to weigh the options and decide what's best for you.

    If you're single and have minimal/no responsibilities beyond yourself then moving to the field may be a good growth opportunity.

    If you have a partner and/or kids to tend then being on the road all day, every day, may have some drawbacks. I've missed a few family functions over the years and I'll never get that time back.

    Good luck, whatever you choose!

  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by chesehd View Post
    Better money in commercial. Steadier income, too.

    As for what to do - you need to weigh the options and decide what's best for you.

    If you're single and have minimal/no responsibilities beyond yourself then moving to the field may be a good growth opportunity.

    If you have a partner and/or kids to tend then being on the road all day, every day, may have some drawbacks. I've missed a few family functions over the years and I'll never get that time back.

    Good luck, whatever you choose!
    Thank you for your opinion. Unfortunately, I am not a single and have an young child. My wife is a homemaker so I have to take care of my family. That's why I am concerning too. As You know, school job won't make a lot of money, no over time and no pay raise for years.
    I am seriously don't know what to do and nowhere to ask...

  4. #4
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    Stay where you are at until the job seems easy and no longer challenging. Schools have a variety of equipment, good opportunity to learn, typically low job pressure, backups readily available. Take night classes &/or online classes, get related licenses and learn as much as you can.
    Then go for the commercial/industrial service market.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2014
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    IMO, stay where your at, possibly consider starting your own one man legit, licensed insured business, I’m guessing you get out of work pretty much at the same time every day, so you can start jobs after work then finish on a Saturday, or what have you. Guessing you get a decent amount of time off on school systems, and a somewhat generous vacation time. Veterans Day, MLK are paid holidays for state workers with time off, in the private sector we work those days. How busy is your job when school is out compared to when they are in session?

    Thinking updating older worn out lower SEER units, with existing ductwork. All you really need is couple custom made fabrication for the return and supply or a tad more fittings. It’s not like your in competition with the school system for available jobs, or stealing customers from them. Heat Pumps are almost a 12 month run time of work. When work is slow you still got the steady income coming in, or if you don’t want to be to ambitious you can afford to. Thinking stay away from Refrigeration. May want to network with someone for coverage when your on vacation or what not....anyway that’s my worth.

  6. #6
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    The best thing you can do is put yourself in a place where you can get the MOST experience. If the school can give you the most exposure and there's a good boss working there who will let you thrive than go that way. I actually worked at a college for 4 years and worked on their high pressure steam boilers. It was perfect for me. The contractor may just hire you to do one or two things over and over again and you'll never build your skills that way.......

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Apr 2021
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    The best thing you can do is put yourself in a place where you can get the MOST experience

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