unfortunately, most companies would tend to hire younger people. life experience is way underrated. i prefer to hire people with some people skills and good analytical skills that can only come from living. with your technical background, you are far more capable of picking up troubleshooting than many young guys who have little confidence in their abilities because their skills are not honed yet. now that i know your age, i can understand your frustration, especially being financially strapped. don't give up though. there are many ways to be involved in this business. if you want to own your own business, make sure you are following the rules of your state. i'm in texas and you can't do service for money without a licensed contractor in the company. i don't know how it is in sc. here it is a highly protected industry. contractors here are more willing to hire people out of school because there is so much service being done wrong. it is cost effective to field train people who have studied the basics and understand how the systems work. there are also hospitals and other industry related positions you could check out. even if you work at an apartment complex taking care of ac calls, it will give you some hands on experience. you can come here for advice. not all of us will put you down. i don't know if you are in a position to relocate, sometimes it is necessary to go where the work is. although it is slow in the winter for a couple months, for the most part, there are not enough of us during the hot months in houston. sometimes it is encouragement we need. i don't need to tell you that it is ultimately you who will sell yourself. don't asume your training was wasted. your age may be a challenge, but without the training, you have no chance. with it, you just need to find the right opportunity. it could be your next interview. good luck.