Advice and Info

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Advice and Info

Postby brad2 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:42 pm

Hello everyone.

I am a middle aged man who is going through a career change and very interested in pursuing a career as an HVAC mechanic. I realize that this will require serving an apprenticeship, however, when I try to research the particulars of where/how to apply, what is required, etc. from the various government sources available it becomes confusing to the point of exasperation. I've been to a few of the union sites as well and found lots of general info about what the apprenticeship involves, but very little on how to actually pursue one.

I was really hoping that the experienced members here could share some of their input/knowledge to get me pointed in the right direction. Any advice you could give would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Brad
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Postby heatseeker » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:33 am

what is your past experience?
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Postby brad2 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:25 pm

Nothing useful that's related, really. I would be starting from scratch. I do have what I feel is a natural talent for mechanical things and it's something that I really enjoy doing. I already have a truck and a lot of the tools I would need. I know there are preapprenticeship programs available and I'm willing to do that if necessary. However, if there is a better path to follow, these are the types of things that I would really like to know before committing myself.
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Postby heatseeker » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:36 pm

by middle aged what do you mean. HVAC can be very demanding especially in the summer crawling around the attic, you can get heat stroke easily. Now back to you, Your best bet is to start in a maintenance position where you can change filters and wash coils, go with an independent company where you can start and work your way to a tech. Go to school at night to book learn as much as you can.
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Postby mr151 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:14 am

for starters im courius to know what tools u bought ,cause according to you u said your starting from scratch with no expierence so what tools did u buy and who or what basis did u go buy in buying these tools?for being middle aged im sure u didnt go into something blindfolded talk to me and ill talk to u...did u buy a truck too or already have it?
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Postby brad2 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:46 am

First off, by "middle aged" I mean 47. I'm in pretty good shape and have climbed around in my own attic many times without any issues. I know that's not the same as what I'm going to be required to do, but it's a start. I didn't buy the truck specifically for this purpose. I just bought it 'cause I like driving a truck and I do a lot of projects around home, your basic decks, sheds, fences, small renos involving framing, drywall, simple electrical and plumbing, that kind of thing. I didn't buy a specific set of tools from anyone. I have a fairly extensive collection of them though, nothing specialized, just what your basic handy guy is going to want to have. I know I am going to need specialized tools, but I have the resources to buy them so that's not going to be a problem.

I'd have to problem starting in a maintenence position. Hell, I'll take out the trash all day long if it means I get an opportunity to learn. Heatseeker, are there any good places you could suggest to start looking for positions like that? What I mean is like places that would have job postings exclusive to the industry, as opposed to just going through the want ads or picking up the Yellow Pages to look for companies and then bugging people when they're trying to work? I used to hate it when people did that to me in my last job. It's like they think your time doesn't have any value.
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Postby heatseeker » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:33 am

Trust me changing out equipment in a 120 deg attic is a lot different than getting xmas ornaments out of the attic. Really with no experience you will have a hard time finding a position, but you have to pound the pavement in any case.
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Postby brad2 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Thanks, I realize that. That would be why I'm here. Presumably everyone in the field started out from where I am today, and no doubt they have learned an awful lot along the way. If anyone has any advice that they think would be useful to me in getting started, I'd appreciate it if they would share it with me.
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Postby mr151 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:57 pm

first and foremost no dis respect depending on where u live at 47 personnally i think u presenting yourself to a hvac employer with no exp. is a waste of time cause u have nothing to offer. however i would suggest to you to befriend a tech ask to do some ride alongs and pick up the basics which are very important in the world of r22 and 410a or as some of us who know the proper name puron .invest in a nate book goodluck
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Postby brad2 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:08 pm

Thanks. I guess just because the advice isn't what you want to hear, doesn't make it bad advice. LOL. They offer pre-apprenticeship programs at the community colleges here, that run six months and give you some experience with both furnace and residential and industrial AC units. You also write the exam for your gas ticket as part of the program. I'm guessing from what you guys are saying that that would be my best option. If anyone else has any suggestions for things I could do, tools I could buy, maybe what to look for in pre-apprenticeship programs, good approaches to take when I'm talking to potential employers, any other tips or advice that you think I might find useful, I'm all ears.
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