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Posted: 6/26/2002 6:13:23 AM EDT
Just started to really investigate the possibility of going 'back to school' to study HVAC systems. Currently work in a totally unrelated field - IT/Networking - so basically, its a whole new realm for me. In my considerations on relocating to TX in about 5 years - I want some sort of back up career/schooling. This is just a consideration at this point, so any input would be appreciated. Any HVAC techs/managers who could shed some light onto this field and the certifications that may be involved? What to expect, job market etc.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:00:10 AM EDT
HK, I really don't know much about HVAC,but I have done a couple of systems. I do know that in my area they are in high demand and would think that in Texas it would the same. I think HVAC is damn near resession proof. My best friend used to be a major fuck up and he never had a problem getting work out of the hall and he wasn't even connected. If you learn the trade well and have a decent head on your shoulders you should be able to make a very good living as an independant. If you get into it and like the challenge shoot for working for yourself ASAP. Working for yourself and making big checks is about the best thing in the world (next to family). Good luck. Andy
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 7:05:53 AM EDT
After installing my unit in my garage/shop I started thinking the same thing. I have a EE background so the wiring/schematics are no problemo. I am also an IT weenie tired of the constant wave of worry and also the "commiditization" of our jobs. There is a good school down around Mesquite. I think it is Easfield or something like that. I buddy of mine who is in the security line of work just called some major HVAC companies and asked where they hire their best techs from. My brother and I are thinking about doing this someday. Also maybe welding and electrical, fencing, etc.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:18:52 PM EDT
Funny you should ask. I work maintenance for a local government agency and this year I have done more AC work than ever. Auto,commercial and residential AC work in my area is in high demand now that temps are in the upper 90-100 degree range. I bet in Texas it would be almost a year round job. I was talking to the boss today about going to attend a few classes. Good Luck!
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:35:56 PM EDT
That's what my dad does (commercial and residential). We installed the a/c in my new house. I don't know how he does it. I was in the attic in August last year helping him with the a/c and I thought I was going to pass out from the heat! It doesn't seem to bother him. I also stepped through my ceiling one time too. I don't think I'm cut out for this line of work.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:49:30 PM EDT
Actually the commercial/industrial HVAC field has alot to do with a strong computer background if you want to be a Tech. There are many zones in a large building and each zone is not only controlled by a conventional thermostat but also a computer controlled thermostat running what is called a VAV in each zone that controlls airflow, also alot of new homes are starting to use a mini version of this. I have been in the HVAC field for about 7 yrs now and love it. Good Luck
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:13:33 PM EDT
The HVAC tech is the part of the field to get into. They wire the controls and test the systems and fix them when something goes wrong. I can see your computer background being an asset, now that a lot of systems have programmable controls. The downside to being a tech is being on call at times. I used to work for a medium sized HVAC contractor here in Iowa. I did the CAD drafting, shop drawings, etc. The techs were the best paid of all the shop guys. One of them went on his own a couple years ago & is doing really well.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:33:28 PM EDT
Houston is literally the "air conditioning capital of the world"...we use more AC per square foot than anywhere on earth. The commercial HVAC guys in Houston are seen as having made it to the "big leagues" and can make real good money. HOWEVER, if you are doing residential and are having to go into attics...well, 130 degrees with high humidity is not fun. I personally would RUN LIKE THE WIND from that type of job. Someone said be a HVAC "tech"...sounds like DAMN GOOD ADVICE! At least, here in Houston.
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