HVAC Career Advice or Suggestions

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Stephen in College Park, Maryland

25 months ago

I am 26 years old and decided to make a career change after spending years in retail and earning an associate degree and was 25 credits from a bachelors in liberal arts. My dad retired from Sears after 30+ years and began his own company in January. I left my job and have been working for my dad for the past 5 months. My dad is a master technician and is now a contractor working with several third part companies in Maryland. I registered and received my Maryland Apprentice license and am taking a course in two weeks at a local college for CFC prep and exam and Air Conditioning Installation. It is tough find courses on weekends since during the week I am busy. I see tons of people complaining about this field, and at the moment I see pro's and cons. I guess I am concerned about working in the field and not having a journeyman license since I think you have to wait four years. Also there seems to be a high emphasis on the CFC almost as if it is a air conditioning license in itself. The CFC is only to use refrigerant and has no basis on the competency of one's skills. How much does a new technician spend on tools etc. I am not too worried since my dad has two and three of every tool he owns which made this transition a little easier. I am worried about having to pay for health insurance and being able to make enough in the summer to get through the winter. I made $100 a day in the summer tax free since I am helper and learning but next year I am getting on the books. I am hoping to make $200-$300 a day next year.. but I still have to get a work truck or run calls in my SUV... I am not sure how many techs can get through the slow time of the year, I am afraid I may have to get another job to get me through nov-feb.. my dad agreed to continue paying me through the slow season ,but I still may need to get another job. This post is really my attempt to gain some insight and see if any techs can offer suggestions or ideas. Perhaps anyone knows of courses being offer in MD.

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Stephen in College Park, Maryland

25 months ago

At this point my skills include replacing condensor and blower motors, contactors, capacitors, experience brazing, adding refrigerant, performing superheat and subcooling, I have been involved in over 20 installations mainly compressors, indoor coils, outdoor units, really have not done a complete furnace though since were a smaller company. I am really stumped though when it comes to the wiring of the furnace. I know how to use my leads and test for power coming in and out of the unit ,but locating shorts seems almost impossible. Alot of times a job would end of being a burned wire on the compressor or capacitor/contactor. Sometimes I would be on a job with my dad and would have no idea what was going on as he would test wires on a furnace using fuses and such...I guess 5 months on the field will still only teach you so much, but I would like to add that I am a quick learner...

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