Thought HVAC Techs made good money, what happened

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Raymond Czenszak in Wading River, New York

73 months ago

I am at two and a half years in the HVAC industry and unemployeed at the moment.
I am 47 and have worked in the service sector all my adult life.
I loved my start to this bussiness working for Service Experts but made the wrong choice in leaveing because of no men above me with expirence after an upper management firering.
The Guy I went to work for started the service department and moved on 20 years ago when service experts took over.
I thought I would have gained alot of knowlege working for him instead,I lost my confidence due to his abusivenes.
I have a lot of certifications now but no employment.I just press on.

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Koocoojoe in hooksett, New Hampshire

73 months ago

I hear all of you and appreciate the reply's . Seeing how some of you are unemployed i guess i can't wine too much. I will work 50 to 70 hrs a week no matter what time of the year it is and for doing this for only 3 years and making over 20hr with commision on top i guess isn't bad just thought we would be making lots more.Am trying to get to commercial just taking a while so ya i guess just keep pressing on

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Howard Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina

72 months ago

One would think in this business employment wouldn't be an issue. This business has always had its ups & downs but I have never seen it this bad.
Good Luck and hang in there.

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HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina

71 months ago

Sure it's for real. There's alot of money to be made in HVAC, just not in NC. I'm originally from NJ with over 30 years, the average salary there is 25 to $30 an hour; down here they pay what I was making in the mid 80's in NJ but yet they charge almost as much down here as up there... what's up wit dat?

The biggest mistake owners in this business make is they buy multi million dollar homes, boats, cars, etc. another words they live beyond their means, a couple of bad seasons and that's that. HVAC is a weather driven business and as fast as you have it can be taken away.

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ABB 4 ME in Fayetteville, Georgia

71 months ago

I'm just ending my first quarter in HVACR. I should be through in another year and a half I'm relly enjoying it compaired to what I was studying (drafting technology). I live outside of Atlanta. But would like to move to Charlotte or Chattanoga. What should I expect if I can even get a job money wise? I pretty sure my teacher will help my fine something. He is a really nice guy and has worked with a lot of different companies and left on good terms. He is still a Supervisor at one company. But I;ve never really talked to anyone about this (money)except with a friend who does this, but he sits behind a desk. Also what is the best region for this job? If anyone could help me out I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
ABB 4 ME

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hvactech12 in Concord, North Carolina

71 months ago

igor Isamov in Spokane, Washington said: i hate scab small mom and pops hvac companies. i work for one and teh guy's a rip off. we never tripple evacuate our AC lines, even if it's raining and humidity's up the roof!! and now with refrigerant 410a which is prone to acidity due to humidity!! god i hate my boss!! we're so small i'm the only employee, i work about 30 hours a week, 4 days a week if lucky, no benefits, no paid vacation or holydays or anything, yet he charges as much as the honest bigger hvac companies....
he knows nothing abuot refrigeration, i had to explain to him what superheat is. lol i'm not kidding!!! he's the kind of guy that charges a system by feeling both lines and once one's cold as a frosty beer and the other as warm as oven fresh pizza slice then he closes the valve!! half @ssed work!!! we have maintenance contracts, and i'm instructed to not waste time doing teh actual maintenace!!! the guy's a sales man!! we've replaced systems that are just 10 years old for no reason!!! instead of replacing that capacitor we change both the motor, and the blower((sales sales sales)) and also replace that inducer motor, even though it had nothing to do with the ibm capacitor !! anyhow, even as small a company as we are, the guy makes tons of money, i can tell by where he lives, what he drives etc...

i need a job so i'm screwed.

IT WILL COME BACK TO HIM SOMEDAY. especially without doing a tripple evac. on 410a refrigerant. that oil soaks moisture like a straw. try going to www.hvacagent.com

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skman78 in Henderson, Nevada

70 months ago

I am in awe, I do not care for employer's like that! but it is the uneducated beer can tech that allows people like that to prosper! guys that think they can train people with out the technical side of the trade, get real!! seriously, stick to drywall and painting! you cannot kep thinking that the work you people do actually fixes the problem ( same problem with the auto industry) yea the unit is full of refridgerant (it is not called freon you shmucks)and it might blow cold air but 2 weeks down the road, you didnt check youre pressures did you, oh yea i knew that compressor was going bad, yep! you guys are the running joke at my school! thanks for being the punchline! I guess in the end that when you guys go through and mess everything up, us real techs will actually go and do the proper repairs, maybe check for super heat/subcool, check low/high side press. uh, check fla,lra, yea actually use a meter and not a beer can in the other hand to determine the proper temp of the discharge/liquid line, actually grab that discharge line it works better! Ya know, this is a real forum so real techs are probably reading this, to those of you i just needed to vent.The last few employer's man, some of the employee's /old timers that don't need a meter! you know.... well this is a great way to vent, thje north Carolina guy probably feels the same way, as far as the triple evac. even if you did do that he wouldnt let you go back to get the l.line drier anyways so the system would get contaminated in a few months so... keep fighting the good fight and keep posting, maybe employer's will read this and start to understand that they could get a good name hiring the guys that actually care about they're work! Good luck with the economy & finding work! even the desert is a little slow but not bad.

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tradefutura1 in Yonkers, New York

70 months ago

skman78 in Henderson, Nevada said: very informative, i am 31 and have been in the const.trades for 15 + years and finally stepped up my game & went to school a accredited 6 month tech school, now I will state that there are a few that lack costomer service and straight up common sense. I am one that has been amongst all trades and have a wide array of knowledge I intended to get a hvac-r degree so I could further climb the managemnt ladder in the hospitality ind. I am just offering my advice! If you think you got the cust. skills & your not a scum bag it is the way to go, even entry level can earn 23-26hr. (w/other all aroung skills) & with experience can jump into higher positions. Screww working all your life use this as a stepping stone to elevate your career, I have back issues & this is my 5-10 yr. plan. So working the residential field may be good for exp. but I do believe that you will get now where unless you own your own company like the guy was talking about earlier.Just some advice I am in las vegas so the hotels are a little more forthcoming with money, (it takes a miracle to get into some though) Dont settle with a meager residential job & hope to get anywhere with it!oh & not all fresh out of school guys are bad, just like any crowd there are few bad & a few good!

I am looking to get into the HVAC field. Can you tell me which trade school and what it cost you to complete the course?

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Jim in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

67 months ago

WOW...that was a loooooooong sentence Scott!

SCOTT in Merritt Island, Florida said: I here what you guys are talking about and until recent decline in job market the trade has been pretty good to me once I paid my dues there is no way you can expect to make real money within the first 3 to 7 years it does not work that way in any trade and even once you have experience there is no promise of longevity I have been in the trade almost 23 years and was recently layed off but prior to that i have made an average income between 78k to 105k a year if you are going to be in this industry you must be well tooled and diversified a strong word of advice you need to be able to install any type of equipment and service it as well most guys go to trade school and learn the basics get out and think they should be making senior tech pay with in the first couple years not very realistic you must stay the course or find another trade but remember with out paying your dues you will just in the same boat differnt trade

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Lance vista in Bay Shore, New York

67 months ago

I am 30 years old I decide to get into the hvac/r trade graduated with a universal e.p.a certification about a little over a year ago. After i finished school had a hard time finding a job in the field, bills were backing up so i took the first job smoking, working a at refridgeration supply house for about a year got layed off. Been out of work since the month of march looking to get into a company for sometime now but it seems to me that most company's are only hiring experienced tech how can i get my foot in the door.

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HVAC-RIPOFF in Kernersville, North Carolina

67 months ago

HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina said: Sure it's for real. There's alot of money to be made in HVAC, just not in NC. I'm originally from NJ with over 30 years, the average salary there is 25 to $30 an hour; down here they pay what I was making in the mid 80's in NJ but yet they charge almost as much down here as up there... what's up wit dat?

The biggest mistake owners in this business make is they buy multi million dollar homes, boats, cars, etc. another words they live beyond their means, a couple of bad seasons and that's that. HVAC is a weather driven business and as fast as you have it can be taken away.

Amen to that

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micmike78 in Suffolk, Virginia

67 months ago

Im thinking of taking hvac classes in the fall.The pay in hampton roads is great.Any suggestions from you heavyweights.

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igor isamov in Spokane, Washington

67 months ago

well, i might not be a heavyweight, but i do know this... from being in the field for 9 years... you gotta start from the bottom to know if you like the trade or not... it's hard and UNREWARDING work in the beginning. i my self did new construction for about 3 years, running duct in new homes,, and it's not easy work, and did about 3 more years doing RETROFITS which is way harder work.... pulling out old oil and coal furnaces out of basements and attics and replacing them with natural; gas furnaces... so that includes running gaspipe in tite CRUMMMy crawl spaces and attics.... nasty hard work... i hate every bit of it.. and i've been a service tech for about 3 years... physically the work's not as hard, but you do need to have some brains to read and interpret wiring diagrams and electrical ladder diagrams and a good understanding of the refrigeration cycle and know how to interpret pressures, temperatures, subcooling and superheat of refrigerants into what they mean and what is the problem with the system and why it's not working... so it takes a lot of logic and understanding of how things work in order to do an orderly pricess of elimination as to WHAT THE PROBLEM IS with the heating/cooling system....

schooling's definately a good start if you want to be a good service tech.... but i do know a lot of people just don't have the brains to uderstand the mechanical and electrical theory behind the trade and the brawn to work hard in tighte attics and crawl spaces, give it a shot, i think it's a good trade. if you know what ur doing u'll never be out of work and u'lll be able to demand a decent wage since it's really hard to find guys that have both brains and brawn for the trade and know what their doing, i my self make about 50 grand a year and I WERE A GOOD SALES MAN... which i'm not... i would prolly be making twice as much and working half as little..

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HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina

67 months ago

micmike78 in Suffolk, Virginia said: Im thinking of taking hvac classes in the fall.The pay in hampton roads is great.Any suggestions from you heavyweights.

Get into commercial, it's more money and you won't have to put up with morons such as the one above from Kernersville, NC.

Good Luck!

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wes in Smithville, Tennessee

66 months ago

Worked in hvac for 12 years.The thing I have noticed is that things
need to change but honestly I dont think they are.The only way that
it would is if a real set of industry standards are set.Basicaly we
are in a trade where any body with a pulse can be an ac tech.Think about what if all it took to be a doctor was an office and a shingle
what shape would medicine be in?It would be where it started guys selling snake oil out the back of a wagon.I think nate certification
was a half hearted attempt to make some minimum standard.In the old
days trades paid better due to union membership having to go thru a apprenticeship so on.Some of our competitors dont even have a service department just a installer with no idea of what he is doing.However he knows just enough to make a sales pitch.

Until there are real standards not a 1 day test or rubberstamp from some local code requirement for you to be a hvac tech or
installer expect more of the same.

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HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina

66 months ago

1st off, if you're so intent on "doing the right thing" then do it! you're the tech it's up to you...not the salesman...not the company... but you!
If you're as good as you say, than start your own business and put everyone else out of business. Personally, I think you like hearing youself talk.
FYI, systems aren't designed to last nor will they last 30 years, so stop blowing smoke up my butt!
I have over 30 years in this business, what about you?

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igor isamov in Spokane, Washington

66 months ago

i stand by what i said. there's a lot of truth in what i just said. if it happened to bother you it's prolly cos you're one of these people who's all about quick quick quick who gives a damn. ask just about any installer and they will agree with me, VACCUM PUMP?>? WTF?? . i could almost asure you 90% of people don't do their job as they should. i keep reiterating, YOU MUST TRIPPLE EVACUATE.... it doen'st take long and it's the right thing to do, however nobody does it. i'm told to not waste the time doing that, in fact we don't even have a functioning vaccum pump. and yes, AC compressors((compressors)) are made to last 30 years or more if you install them the way the factory would, and maintain them by keeping them clean((good air flow on both ends)) and charge them once they happen to lose some of their charge. they're basically a refrigerator, refrigerators are factory CHARGED and vaccked prior beign charged and their compressors will last well over 20 years if you replace starting relays and switches that break over the years etc etc. an air conditioner operates only thru the summer and a great majority of them tend to have compressor burn outs in about 10 years due to acid build up, dirty air filters that lead to compressor flooding etc etc etc... i say we need a REAL enforcer when it comes to these things. if you dissagree ur definately one of these RIPP OFF DUMMMIES. you're messed up bro.

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mike in Maplewood, New Jersey

66 months ago

Koocoojoe in hooksett, New Hampshire said: I got into this field being told and thinking that HVAC techs made good money. What happened i have been in field for 3 years and always stride to be best of the best and work hard at it but still don't make nearly what i thought i was going to.
REALLY WHAT HAPPENED!!!!! No one can live with out an HVAC guy so we should be making awesome money or atleast more than them guys sitting at a desk(no offense to any of you that do sit at a desk)

I agree fully I was also in the field for 3 years and thought i was in such a great job/career. At the end i was over worked under paid so i decided to get my cdl license and now im making real money with just 1 year of experiance. P.S. im making more then guys with 5 years in the field.

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HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina

66 months ago

igor isamov in Spokane, Washington said: i stand by what i said. there's a lot of truth in what i just said. if it happened to bother you it's prolly cos you're one of these people who's all about quick quick quick who gives a damn. ask just about any installer and they will agree with me, VACCUM PUMP?>? WTF?? . i could almost asure you 90% of people don't do their job as they should. i keep reiterating, YOU MUST TRIPPLE EVACUATE.... it doen'st take long and it's the right thing to do, however nobody does it. i'm told to not waste the time doing that, in fact we don't even have a functioning vaccum pump. and yes, AC compressors((compressors)) are made to last 30 years or more if you install them the way the factory would, and maintain them by keeping them clean((good air flow on both ends)) and charge them once they happen to lose some of their charge. they're basically a refrigerator, refrigerators are factory CHARGED and vaccked prior beign charged and their compressors will last well over 20 years if you replace starting relays and switches that break over the years etc etc. an air conditioner operates only thru the summer and a great majority of them tend to have compressor burn outs in about 10 years due to acid build up, dirty air filters that lead to compressor flooding etc etc etc... i say we need a REAL enforcer when it comes to these things. if you dissagree ur definately one of these RIPP OFF DUMMMIES. you're messed up bro.

Your rediculous editorial doesn't bother me at all, my work is done right..Triple evacuate lol.
You never answered my question of how long have you been doing hvac?
When evacuating what micron range should you be at?
When charging what is sub-cooling and when do you use this method?
How do you do sub-cooling and what is the range?
What is superheat and when do you use this method?
How do you do superheat and what is the range?
When brazing how do you prevent the copper from flaking?

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T.I. Roberts in Charleston, West Virginia

66 months ago

I live in Charleston WV. I do commercial work. We would would love to find experienced chiller and control technicians. The money is excellent. Casto Technical Services.

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coleole in Spokane, Washington

64 months ago

have 18 years of hvac install experience 16 as journeyman ,w/about 10% service mixedn in. Been laid off since June. feeling too old to be crawlin around attics &crawls. would like to crosstrain over to communication wiring hvac/alarm/etc. any ideas on job availability preferably on the commercial end. Don't want to start out rock bottom, wages wise. Any advice will be appreciated.

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Maximo3 in Decatur, Texas

64 months ago

wow things are suckin everywhere,wow.i can relate to the gentelman from san antonio.i use to work with Carrier company in south alabama,they have guys that have been there for yrs and only get paid peanuts,its real.i remember making estimates for a reefer unit that the price was very but very large and for simple stuff.
the company makes big bucks and tech. nothing.
sometimes i wish i could have a shop and do work for all of this customers that get robbed by dealers.

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igor isamov in Spokane, Washington

64 months ago

peanuts! no shiste! i think that's true of any trade or industry. workers will be paid worker wages!! skilled workers get paid skilled worker wages, either way it's wages, the boss makes the bucks that's how it works. last job i installed for my boss cost this lady 7,800$ tax included. sure she got a tax credit and some rebates from the local power company,, it was this rheem 2 ton air conditioner w/ a 10 foot lineset, 2 ton coil, and a 60kbtu 90 percent furnace and about 20 feet of 2 inch pvc for the exhaust, plus a little bit of sheetmetal work for a plenum, and no wires to run, the job was in an attic though, it took me 2 days mostly by my self. i did the math it, it might've cost him not even 3000 woth of equipement and materials, (1200$ furnace, 700 ac unit, 200 for coil plus misc)) sure you can bla bla bla about overhead costs etc. it's good to be the boss. i wanna be the boss. i think the only way you can make money is if ur a really good tech and do service work sidejobs.

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crosstrained in Cary, North Carolina

64 months ago

Igor, simply put, your an idiot, and have no idea what it takes to own and operate a business.....employees like yourself only make our jobs as owners more stressfull.

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Tim in Indianapolis, Indiana

61 months ago

Wow, alot of whining and "who's smarter" going on in here.. lol
Bottom line is that times are a little tough right now. You're not going to become "rich" being in the HVACR field. BUT... it's better than working at Taco Bell isnt it? If you have some common sense, work hard, take pride in your work and treat people right, there's no reason (under a normal economy) why you can't make between 40,000 and 60,000 a year for residential, and anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 in commercial. These are very broad ranges, but you have to remember there is no "standard" wage for this field. It all depends on location (what state and area you're in) and who the employer is. Also remember guys, if you become a good heating and air guy, that opens ALOT of other potential jobs in the industrial maintenance field. TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!

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sualways@yahoo.com in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

61 months ago

hvac tec

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julian fonbot in Duluth, Georgia

59 months ago

i will start taking classes in dekalb tech,associate degree in technology.thank u guys for your advice

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Sam in Denver, Colorado

58 months ago

It is such a shame to see a valuable industry such as the HVAC/R field so unregulated. In my situation, I was laid off (permanently) from the automotive industry. As a consequence, I returned to college in order to fatten my resume and in hopes of a better career. I went to East Central College in Missouri and, utilizing my prerequisites obtained in getting my B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Missouri Rolla, was able to push the envelope and obtained my HVAC/R one year certification as well as my Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC/R in 1.5 years. I also tested and passed my EPA 608 Universal, HVAC Excellence Electrical, HVAC Excellence Electrical Heating, HVAC Excellence Air Conditioning, HVAC Excellence Heat Pump, and HVAC Excellence Gas Heat certifications. (These are a little tougher than the NATE certifications). I also received the R410A Safety certification that is "required" by most manufacturers for warranty work by technicians. Now bear in mind that I have an engineering degree, I worked as a chemical analyst for a subsidary of Monsanto, and was an electronics technician in the Unitied States Coast Guard. For all this hard work, I was only offered one position in the HVAC/R field for $12/hr and on call status as needed. What the F&*%$? As a result, I have made the decision to form my own LLC business here in south Denver and do my own thing. There is nothing difficult about this field if one understands the theory of operation of these systems. As stated earlier, "superheat, subcooling, sequence of operation, FLA, LRA, etc. I was absouletly amazed that during the one interview I did have, The lead technician had no idea what I was talking about when discussing the importance of the superheat measurement. I cut the interview short. I could not imagine working under a so-called lead tech like that. I have seen the newer Panasonic systems out there at 23 SEER. This systems will never be worked on by uneducated beer-in-hand tech

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MRGPX117 in Saint Louis, Missouri

56 months ago

I feel ya! I have been in the field for almost twenty years, and I just bearly make over $22 an hour, when I can find work hear in saint louis. It's been a cruel fantasy. But the real villians are the company owners, they rake in millions while they pay little to nothing to the service techs. Then they only hold onto a precious few, while firing 30 to 40 people every year. Then start the process over again the next year. If I could go back in time I sure would not have chosen the heating and air conditioning fantasy, about how the baby boomers were retiring and how I would be in high demand and make over $100,000.00 annually!!!

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blue65/ac in Lumberton, New Jersey

55 months ago

MRGPX117 in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I feel ya! I have been in the field for almost twenty years, and I just bearly make over $22 an hour, when I can find work hear in saint louis. It's been a cruel fantasy. But the real villians are the company owners, they rake in millions while they pay little to nothing to the service techs. Then they only hold onto a precious few, while firing 30 to 40 people every year. Then start the process over again the next year. If I could go back in time I sure would not have chosen the heating and air conditioning fantasy, about how the baby boomers were retiring and how I would be in high demand and make over $100,000.00 annually!!!

I know the feeling been in the field for 13 years same thing happened to me,making good money then they let you go to make their portfolio look good to another company.Then when you try and look for a new job,the new companies want entry level over experience to cover their bottom line.Half way through my career thought about finding something else to do.This trade is not worth it sometime.

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HVAC/R in Aurora, Colorado

55 months ago

You can make 100K annually if you make the correct moves. As an EPA/ICE certified HVAC tech sure you will only see 12$ an hour to start because most HVAC Companies owners want to drive supercars and maybe give you a pat on the back for all the hard work you did while they sip champagne in thier 10 bed home. With only 2 years of HVAC/R training (Preferably Trade School)you can learn the mechanics if you push your mind to do so. Once you have that knowledge you can ask no less than 25$ an hour first off secondly you can make your own LLC or talk to the people who need the help while you work for some other company. It might be a backstab to the company you are working for, but in this business there are no real friends. If you think you can make a better deal happen for the customer in need; It can't hurt to put yourself out there because in the end the only one who is hurting is the one getting the short end of the stick, but doing all the work. Getting commercial is not about what you know, but rather who you know mostly. You have to make a statement by going door to door in your neighborhood if you have to and taking business from those reaping the most benefit from it. Once you become a well known name in your area companies will find you. Happened with me through experience and just helping where I saw the need. Learning how to fix it is great, but sometimes when it comes to supporting you and your family you have to go above and beyond yourself and make it happen. I plan to try and attempt the sales aspect while helping hvac trainees once I put things together. I was once like many of you. Needed a career and did not know what to do. HVAC came up in a discussion and I decided to go to school for it. I want to help those like us. I understand where 20$ an hour might make sense for upcoming HVAC companies, but in the end I would rather pay a few lead HVAC Techs 40$+ an hour for superior work while paying interns as we all were around 25$+ an hour.

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HVAC/R in Aurora, Colorado

55 months ago

Let me be clear however. Techs need to do superior work. I sometimes took my time to make sure the problems with Fridges or AC units were properly resolved. How would I look having the same customer call about me the next day saying I failed at trying to fix something I went 2 years to school to learn about. You also have to be able to problem solve and not just find the easiest route possible.

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InvernessAir in Inverness, Florida

54 months ago

As a business owner of a Mom & Pop HVAC company I have to say we are not all bad. My company has added 1 more office person and 2 additional field techs since the recession started. We have paid holidays, vacation, matching 401(k) and on average pay $3 more per hour then the going rate in our area for techs.
Anyone who has been in this field for less than 5 years (with or without tech school) is an apprentice. In my opinion the biggest lie about the industry is tech school. My Father-in-Law is a retired HVAC teacher and even he believes the lies that he tells his students about being "highly skilled" and "senior personnel" upon graduation. Do you know how long he spends teaching duct work in his one year class? One day! I asked him about it once and he got all blustery and stated that it was a different field, not related to HVAC...what does that "V" stand for again?
The recession hurt a lot of businesses, especially the ones who focused on new construction, but what it also did was weed out a lot of bad technicians! Knowledge of fixing the system is good, but to be a great technician you have to be able to communicate well, be well groomed and build a relationship with the cusotmer. I have customers who will wait (in the Florida heat) for "their tech" because they have a trusting relationship with that individual. I don't agree with companies who want to change out a system because of a bad cap or contactor, instead we build relatioships with them which means that over the course of 5 years they spend a few thousand in repairs and maintenances and then they drop $6 - $12K on a new system on top of all the repairs, a win win situation!
In defense of the business owner, most of us aren't raking it in as you would like to believe. I charge $75 for a service call, but it costs me $68 per hour to have a service truck on the road!

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InvernessAir in Inverness, Florida

54 months ago

For those who are complaining about losing sales. My husband was an installer for 20 years, got his license started a business and had to become a salesperson.

Funny thing about sales, he is an installer who closes 75% of his calls, want to know the secret??? He reads books on sales. He buys a new one every 6 months or so and reviews the old ones all the time to stay fresh!

I run his business. I barely graduated high school and dropped out of college. Last year in 2009 in the middle of the biggest recession I hope to ever live through our sales exceeded 2008's by 70%; this year we are 40% over last years sales...total sales, not profit total sales. Want to know the secret? I buy business books. I get a couple every year and read the old ones all the time, even have markers in them so I know where to look when I need an answer to a question!

He graduated high school never went to college or even tech school; I graduated high school and dropped out of college...but we both learned to read! Want to suceed in this business or any other business, there is probably a book written on the topic, a good book is never a bad investment and if you have no money go to the library!

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psandker in Biddeford, Maine

49 months ago

Overton210 in Fentress, Texas said: well, i live here in San Antonio, TX and i graduated school with universal EPA and certified HVAC tech and i can't even get a job. i heard the same stuff but they don't want to pay hardly anything or they want all this experience. how can i get experience if no one will hire me? uh duh. and if your honest like myself, pfft then forget it. everyone is corrupt to make money around here. well, good luck on your decisions but it sux down here too.

Yeah I graduated last summer from hvac school in Wisconsin and have been practically begging for a start in the business but like you said, they all want so much experience. I even offered to work part time for free just to get some hours under my belt but no one even calls me back. I moved out here to maine and its the same story. By the time the economy comes around I could finish school in some other field.

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John in Milpitas, California

49 months ago

Koocoojoe in hooksett, New Hampshire said: I hear all of you and appreciate the reply's . Seeing how some of you are unemployed i guess i can't wine too much. I will work 50 to 70 hrs a week no matter what time of the year it is and for doing this for only 3 years and making over 20hr i guess isn't bad just thought we would be making lots more.Am trying to get to commercial just taking a while so ya i guess just keep pressing on

WOW!! I was recently laid off working in the auto industry at an auto manufacturing plant here in California, Toyota/GM. I had been there for 15 years and was making 32.00 an hour, bringing home 1,100.00 to 1,200.00 a week in my pocket after taxes. I was going to retire from the plant having invested so much into the company. I am now going through TAA and will be starting school for HVAC soon on a fully paid ride through TAA thanks to our government. I have been researching the different pay scales throughout the country for HVAC techs, and I have to say I am very disapointed. Like one of the previous repliers said, "what happened"?? why are HVAC techs not making the money they should be making? Reminds me of how school teachers are getting the short end of the stick. Really Sad.

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Jason in Olympia, Washington

49 months ago

I left the army after 12 years, went to school for HVAC at a local tech college. It was a 5 quarter program and I graduated with a 3.95GPA. I went to work 7 days after graduation with the largest HVAC Company in my area. I worked there for 3 years, started out making 15/hr and ended making 16/hr. It wasn't bad to start, although Washington State/puget sound area has a high cost of living.
There were incentives to sell equipment and service that was generous at first, then they cut all that back. The only way I supported my family was working overtime every week and being on call every few days. Can't really say I recommend this field. I quit there early this year when we were slow. Now I'm seeking a new career path.

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enertechnv in Netherlands Antilles

48 months ago

serice@ enertechnv.com
www.enertechnv.com
Growing company has an immediate job offer for a graduate and/or intern from college with air conditioning and refrigeration training for marine and commercial service.
Tasks:
-Refrigeration and air conditioning service and repair under supervision
-Overhaul water pumps of different types
-Silver soldering and welding
-Flaring and bending copper tubing
-Chemical treatment of water condensors and chill water systems
-Evacuation and recharging different refrigerants
-servicing and fabricating of marine chill water systems
-Electrical wiring connections to control, compressors and related components

Profile:
-Third or Fourth year student, able to work independently, takes initiatives, good customer relationship and communication skills in multiple languages. Preference is English. Also, essential knowledge in:
1. Sub cooling and super heat of refrigerant gases
2. Understanding basic wiring schematics
3. Handling of hand tools

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Iceman413 in Selden, New York

46 months ago

HW Eastmond in Wilmington, North Carolina said: 1st off, if you're so intent on "doing the right thing" then do it! you're the tech it's up to you...not the salesman...not the company... but you!
If you're as good as you say, than start your own business and put everyone else out of business. Personally, I think you like hearing youself talk.
FYI, systems aren't designed to last nor will they last 30 years, so stop blowing smoke up my butt!
I have over 30 years in this business, what about you?

Right on my brotha...lol.... As far as getting paid what your worth, you have to not only prove yourself to be a useful employee and tech but you have to make it known that you are a company guy who's best interest is growing the company. An employer will see this and consider you an asset. A good asset to the company is someone the boss wants to keep around and is usually well taken care of. Im new to the field went to a trade school but left before graduating when I realized they were not teaching me anything by makeing me read books and write papers I needed the hands on to learn so I got my epa on my own and a job that started me with $15 an hr for the first 90 days and then moved me to $20hr when they realized I was cleancut trustworthy good with the customer and a damn good service tech. im comeing up on six months and will be asking for a $10 raise, my service manager knows im worth it but its likely I will only see 3-5 dollars more but the thought that im gonna ask to be @ $30 an hr will be in there heads for the next eval. Hang in there guys keep working hard you can get where you wanna be.

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Chicago0101 in Lake In The Hills, Illinois

44 months ago

ok.. so i read most of the posts and I was thinking of going to this field I am at a young age and I just really do not think I can sit at a desk all day, I have the urge of always being outside.. I am in the process of going to school for computer information systems and majoring in computer application engineer... by going through school i really think i want to change the field of study and go into HVAC can anyone help me out? stay in computers or go with HVAC??? I am a very hard worker and can sell someones shirt off their own back to them for double the price.

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Licenedhvacman in Tampa, Florida

44 months ago

Chicago0101 in Lake In The Hills, Illinois said: ok.. so i read most of the posts and I was thinking of going to this field I am at a young age and I just really do not think I can sit at a desk all day, I have the urge of always being outside.. I am in the process of going to school for computer information systems and majoring in computer application engineer... by going through school i really think i want to change the field of study and go into HVAC can anyone help me out? stay in computers or go with HVAC??? I am a very hard worker and can sell someones shirt off their own back to them for double the price.

I’m a licensed HVAC contractor in Florida. I’ve been in the field since 1983 in commercial air, refrigeration, ice machines, residential air. My advice to you is get into sales with your skills. My son is 19 and he is good at sales, I don’t want him to go into the technical/ repair side of HVAC “even though he wants to” because he will wind up 50 years old and still crawling in 120 degree attics!
In HVAC thing only get harder when you get older, you will start making LESS money and it gets harder to find an employer that will take a chance on an older guy. You physically can’t do what a 30 year old can do. The HVAC field is not a career you”JUST GET OUT OF” you will spend your blood, sweat, and tears to learn the technical side of the field. Most techs have a hard time giving up their career because you have put EVERYTHING into learning and buying tools. After 5 or 10 years you find yourself on a site like this writing the same comments I’ve heard for 20 years. Things like: Owners make all the money, techs don’t get paid much, I’m on -call all the time, I have no benefits, other techs are stupid, people that flat lie to customers make all the money and so on. As I said, go into sales that is a transferrable skill all business’ need. If you are good, you will be paid well and can work to a ripe old age and still use your skill

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Chicago0101

44 months ago

Thank you very much for your input. Now adding to that would I be able to go straight into sales not having any experience in the HVAC field? And what kind of pay can I be expecting?

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zergie molotkovskiy in Spokane, Washington

44 months ago

i agreee, i never thought to get into sales my self since my english isn't as good as it could be, and also, i am not a sales person kind. i have been a technician since i was 19, now i'm 30 and even though i love my job i know i won't be loving it when i'm 50 years of old. i work on commercial refrigeration, restaurant equipment, ice macs hvac etc, and the knowledge and problem solving has to be vast for you to be an efective repairs man. i make 25$ and i'm always on call, i work lots of time, and last i only made 45,000 and i think i won't ever make more than that. the plus side of the trade is that if you have the people skills you can start your own company. but i am very screwed because i am not good with people interaction. i can fix anything, maybe not if it's very very old machine. but i can not fix people,

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Marie in Longwood, Florida

44 months ago

People certainly have gone straight into sales without the benefit of being technicians first, this is seen often at "Big Box Stores" (Lowes, Sears, etc.) that then sub out the work to a licensed A/C company, the problem is that many of these sales people have no idea what they are really selling; they do not understand the dynamics of airflow and therefore the high efficiency system that the customer has purchased does not operate right, breaks down more frequently and does give the H/O the energy savings that they could have had.

That said a true and honest sales person who actaully studied the dynamics of air-flow, the different types of systems available today (high efficiency A/H vs Variable Speed A/H) could very well succeed in the market.

The HVAC industry is changing very quickly and the mail problem with the industry is that there are not enough knowledgeable techs and salespeople out there. Techs come in thinking that they will be making great money, when the truth is that is takes about 5 years of working as an apprentice (or that dreaded title "helper") before they can go out on their own. For those with less than 5 years exeperience consider that you are learning a trade (like college) but unlike college you are getting paid to learn.

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Licenedhvacman in Tampa, Florida

44 months ago

OK for everyone talking about sales vs. being a technician, I would suggest companies that want professional SALES people other than people trained in HVAC sales. With that said, let me tell you why. In my opinion (30Years) most HVAC owners are not good sales people. Most look down on sales people and don’t treat a top sales person like an asset. I’m going out on a limb here to suggest finding a company such as One Hour Air or an AirTime 500 company to work for as a salesman. I would go as far as saying if you are a new tech (with a good attitude) to look into these companies. These companies are part of a group that hires people with other skills that can SELL. They will train you on how to sell HVAC systems and close a call. You don’t have to know superheat or load calculations to be a top person. They will teach you what you need to know for their business. I was an AirTime 500 contractor for a while and I know their techs and sales people make well above the industry standard wage.
I don’t fully agree with their tactics, but in business RESULTS are what matters!
As for service techs, if you go in to them with jam-up confidence and willingness to learn and SELL they will send you to school!
Good luck

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Licenedhvacman in Tampa, Florida

44 months ago

Chicago0101 said: Thank you very much for your input. Now adding to that would I be able to go straight into sales not having any experience in the HVAC field? And what kind of pay can I be expecting?

Sales are a write your own pay check type of job. See my post farther down on One hour air and Airtime 500 companies. Don’t try for a HVAC sales job where the company pays you an hourly wage with a small bonus. As a sales person you want to make what your worth, not be stuck in the system. Don’t work for a company that hands you their files and expects you to go get the business, until you know what you’re doing. The aforementioned companies (one hour/ air-Airtime 500) will train raw recruits in the sales of residential HVAC. You will have only one chance to empress them to get the job, so make your interview good. The range of pay is 50 to 100k, plus good perks! The best thing is… they love it when they have to pay sales people over 100k a year! That means you are making them money!

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technical1 in Lawrenceville, Georgia

43 months ago

I just went on a no cooling call yesterday, the furnace had been changed but the coil & condenser, line set were the original from 1974, it was a Lennox unit, had dirty filter, dirty condenser coil, low on refrigerant after i cleaned the coil and the low voltage wire was cut when the homeowner decided to clean the yard, there are some out there still running, but how efficient are they? some rather pay high utlity bills than spend the money.

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technical1 in Lawrenceville, Georgia

43 months ago

igor Isamov in Spokane, Washington said: i hate scab small mom and pops hvac companies. i work for one and teh guy's a rip off. we never tripple evacuate our AC lines, even if it's raining and humidity's up the roof!! and now with refrigerant 410a which is prone to acidity due to humidity!! god i hate my boss!! we're so small i'm the only employee, i work about 30 hours a week, 4 days a week if lucky, no benefits, no paid vacation or holydays or anything, yet he charges as much as the honest bigger hvac companies....
he knows nothing abuot refrigeration, i had to explain to him what superheat is. lol i'm not kidding!!! he's the kind of guy that charges a system by feeling both lines and once one's cold as a frosty beer and the other as warm as oven fresh pizza slice then he closes the valve!! half @ssed work!!! we have maintenance contracts, and i'm instructed to not waste time doing teh actual maintenace!!! the guy's a sales man!! we've replaced systems that are just 10 years old for no reason!!! instead of replacing that capacitor we change both the motor, and the blower((sales sales sales)) and also replace that inducer motor, even though it had nothing to do with the ibm capacitor !! anyhow, even as small a company as we are, the guy makes tons of money, i can tell by where he lives, what he drives etc...

i need a job so i'm screwed.

I have a small hvac business, I am licensed & insured, but I am nothing like your boss, I take pride in my work, he's making alot of money but will probably pay out as much in lawsuits or get alot of complaints on the BBB or even get complaints at the State licensing board level. Business is very bad, alot of handymen and maintenance techs are driving down prices., I am looking into going overseas to do hvac for a year and see how that goes.

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lamco system Inc in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

42 months ago

Koocoojoe in hooksett, New Hampshire said: I hear all of you and appreciate the reply's . Seeing how some of you are unemployed i guess i can't wine too much. I will work 50 to 70 hrs a week no matter what time of the year it is and for doing this for only 3 years and making over 20hr with commision on top i guess isn't bad just thought we would be making lots more.Am trying to get to commercial just taking a while so ya i guess just keep pressing on

Maybe your not working for the right company call me Rick

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technical1 in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

I have some friends that were working on average 3 days a week and they were working for some of the large companies, alot of people have lost jobs and the decision is to replace/repair unit or have roof over there heads and food for there kids.

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