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Going To School for HVAC - Advice?

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Comments

  • VictoriaDengel
    VictoriaDengel Member Posts: 6
    Such rich resources await you. What a time to be starting on your journey! Read everything you can by Master Teacher Dan Holohan.

    http://astore.amazon.com/heatinghelp-20

    And, of course, frequently visit HeatingHelp.com. As you can see from this thread it's a great place to be.

    The Holohans are such a special family. You'll come to learn about them too. A blessing to all who know them...

    All best wishes to you!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,290
    Thanks, Sister Victoria.

    For those who don't know, Victoria is the Executive Director of The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York. We're celebrating out 231 anniversary this year. The Society just asked me to chair the school committee for Mechanics Institute, so we're following this thread very closely. Thanks for all the great advice!
    Retired and loving it.
    smithfanVictoriaDengel
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,135
    bruce said:

    Take some Art and drawing classes to build up your fundamental visualization skills. You may have to go to another community college if the tech school only focuses on the trade specific stuff. Good Luck to you.

    My art skills at a joke, yet i can see pipes perfectly in thin air (pipes that are not installed yet) I think my plumbing years helped a lot, you just can't drill large holes in lumber without knowing what you're doing.

    You are right though, a strong visual special/mechanical sense is needed if you're going to install. Some install guys simply never had it. never will, their work shows it.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,135
    edited February 2017
    Bullet story then I need to go away--

    This guy had stopped by our business looking for a job. Clean cut-CHECK, EPA and Oil certificate- CHECK. the only issue was we didn't need any new help.

    He came several times, in person.

    Then one of our helpers left. Thankfully my office gal had his number. I called him, he came in the next day. He didn't have hvac skills beyond what he learned at the tech school.

    I was showing him some things in the shop. We has some pipe that needed to be cut up in smaller pieces to fit into the scrap section of the shop. He (very politely and very respectfully) asked to have the band saw so he could do it. I was blown away, this dude wanted to work.

    End of story.

    So, I kid you not, a lot of this business is just knowing how to act and what to say, what not to say.

    edit-----I forgot to mention I hired him, he's still here 4 year later, and he's still a machine


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    Erin Holohan HaskellSteve MinnichVictoriaDengel
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,290
    I love this story.
    Retired and loving it.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,135
    My story?? I'm glad, here he is on the cover of the rolling stone!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    Steve Minnich
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,290
    Nice!
    Retired and loving it.
    GW
  • smithfan
    smithfan Member Posts: 91
    UPDATE --
    Was officially accepted into the program today!
    I took a tour of the classroom/lab and was AMAZED. The program is part of the NC3 program and works directly with Trane/Snapon to get all the latest technology and equipment into the classroom. The classroom/lab is even cooled/heated by it's own separate HVAC system for even more student exposure to commercial applications from the get go.
    Very impressed. Learned that when Target was hacked and had all that customer credit card data stolen it was hacked through the Target's HVAC system, so the lab even has the newest updates to these same systems with super encrypted Bluetooth sensors and receivers we'll be learning to use.

    To sum it up, was much more than I was expecting from a tech school.
    ZmanDZoro
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
    @smithfan - Congrats!

    I have to ask. Is your name based on "How Soon is Now", Morrisey, type Smiths fan?
    Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
  • smithfan
    smithfan Member Posts: 91

    @smithfan - Congrats!

    I have to ask. Is your name based on "How Soon is Now", Morrisey, type Smiths fan?

    I sure am..YUGE Smiths Fan.
    Steve MinnichEzzyT
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Absolutely learn the electrical side of the trade. All the rest of the controls side builds on it. Physics helps, especially with the hydronic side. One thing not mentioned is just as important as tech skills and that is business savvy. If you plan to eventually open your own shop, you will need to understand marketing, accounting, customer service, money management and all the other facets of business. The best technician will go out of business waiting for the phone to ring. This part of the trade is one of the hardest to master. Good luck!
    rick in Alaskasmithfan
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 426
    You have gotten some very good advice from some of the best professionals in this field of HVAC. I started in residential service and installation in 1968 and moved into commercial/industrial heating in 1974. I loved the move. Back then most jobs were with steam systems that were in schools, hospitals, and industrial process systems, with pressures ranging from a few pounds up to 300 PSI. Wow, there was a lot to learn and I learned a lot. It was a very rewarding career. I am so glad that I chose the path I did.

    My advice is; learn as much as you can, take courses on everything, and above all never and I mean never lie to a customer. They may not like what you have to say or what advice you give but they will respect you for the truthful answers you give. One last thing, there is no "time clock" so your work day may be a lot more than 8 hours, every day is a work day including holidays and special days, and your phone has to be answered regardless of the time of the day. I retired at 63 but wish I could have worked in my field until I was 100.
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