Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Is this a Fair Pay for Boiler/Hvac Tech

Options
HvacTech001
HvacTech001 Member Posts: 3
edited May 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
Hey Guys I was just wondering how much should I be getting paid and if it's fair. I make $23 Dollar Hourly. I do boiler pipe repairs,install steam and hot water boilers, install hot water tanks, can troubleshoot furnaces,boilers, hot water tanks and AC. I also got my Nate Certificate for Heating and AC. I also can do small stuff like radiator valves/installing radiators. Basically can troubleshoot anything because of my knowledge in electrical. And I'm probably the only one in the company besides boss and one other installer who can install boilers. I'm located in Lansing, Michigan. 
«1

Comments

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    Pay rates are regional.  The only way to find out what you ARE worth is to do some "shopping."  Talk to some trusted Supply guys, other Guys in your boat 🚢.   Check around with his competitors - if you can do that 😉 discreetly.   Once you do all your intelligence gathering, call for a sit-down with the boss. Be honest & respectful. Realize, often times the Company is just getting by and you're lucky to have a job. Tell him why you DESERVE more $$$  not why you NEED more $$$.  It's all in how you phrase it.  Good luck.  Keep us posted.  Mad Dog 🐕 

    P.S.  My first job in plumbing was as a Union Apprentice in 1986 and was $4.25 per hour!  
    CLambIronman
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,952
    Options
    Dishwashers here on the isl of long are making $30 an hour!
    hot_rod
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
    Options
    Any other benefits?  Sounds like the low end for someone with that skill set
    Any state licenses?
    Are you satisfied with that wage?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Mad Dog_2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
    edited May 2023
    Options
    Here's my test for if you're worth it: When you walk into a failed steam boiler situation in a single-family residence, how do you determine what size boiler to order? Serious question.

    (And hello from a Michigan native!)

    PS: right now no one is lucky to have a job. Unemployment is currently at 3.5% and I imagine it's even lower in the HVAC/plumbing trade. Now is the time to get what you're worth. The way to do that is to interview for open positions. Changing jobs is 100% the best way to maximize your personal income. Just don't pick the wrong one :sweat_smile:

    Whether your company is just getting by is not related to the wage you should be making on the job market.

    Your current rate sounds ridiculously low but I live in NJ now LOL. But I know that in Michigan several years ago, McD was paying $15 for starting help.

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

    Mad Dog_2
  • HvacTech001
    HvacTech001 Member Posts: 3
    Options
    Here's my test for if you're worth it: When you walk into a failed steam boiler situation in a single-family residence, how do you determine what size boiler to order? (And hello from a Michigan native!) PS: right now no one is lucky to have a job. Unemployment is currently at 3.5% and I imagine it's lower in the plumbing trade. Now is the time to get what you're worth. The way to do that is to interview for open positions. Changing jobs is 100% the best way to maximize your personal income. Just don't pick the wrong one :sweat_smile: Your current rate sounds ridiculously low
    I sizes the boiler based on the amount of radiatiors inside home. Then I use a radiator chart to find the BTU of the boiler
    ethicalpaulSuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,952
    edited May 2023
    Options

    Hey Guys I was just wondering how much should I be getting paid and if it's fair. I make $23 Dollar Hourly. I do boiler pipe repairs,install steam and hot water boilers, install hot water tanks, can troubleshoot furnaces,boilers, hot water tanks and AC. I also got my Nate Certificate for Heating and AC. I also can do small stuff like radiator valves/installing radiators. Basically can troubleshoot anything because of my knowledge in electrical. And I'm probably the only one in the company besides boss and one other installer who can install boilers. I'm located in Lansing, Michigan. 



    Here's my test for if you're worth it: When you walk into a failed steam boiler situation in a single-family residence, how do you determine what size boiler to order?

    (And hello from a Michigan native!)

    PS: right now no one is lucky to have a job. Unemployment is currently at 3.5% and I imagine it's lower in the plumbing trade. Now is the time to get what you're worth. The way to do that is to interview for open positions. Changing jobs is 100% the best way to maximize your personal income. Just don't pick the wrong one :sweat_smile:

    Your current rate sounds ridiculously low

    I sizes the boiler based on the amount of radiatiors inside home. Then I use a radiator chart to find the BTU of the boiler

    Get paid to Learn and learn the right way

    https://ua.org/join-the-ua/find-a-local-union/
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
    Options
    This is not a question that can be answered here. The résumés I get make everyone look like Superman on paper but get them in the field and the story of who they are unfolds very quickly.

    Also, I don't expect any of my guys to size replacement steam boilers. I let them gather the measurements and I do the EDR calculation and boiler selection.

    @HvacTech001 how much time do you have in the field? Do you work alone or with a mechanic or helper? Do you have any points on your driver's license?

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    ethicalpaulMad Dog_2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
    Options
    Way too many variables to even begin to think about answering that question. Starting with location. What is fair pay? What someone in your location will pay you to do your job. End of story.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Mad Dog_2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
    Options

    Way too many variables to even begin to think about answering that question. Starting with location. What is fair pay? What someone in your location will pay you to do your job. End of story.

    We see people from michigan here all the time begging for someone that understands steam or even hot water so if they really do know what they're doing and are willing to take jobs an hour or 2 away the answer is a lot.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
    Options
    I would also say work on being able to pass the exams to get licensed and make sure you're tracking your hours toward licensing.
    ethicalpaul
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 863
    Options
    I'm a MI native. I had a helluva time finding a wethead to service two Viessmann mod con boilers on the East side of the State. Found one. Worth his weight in gold. Viessmanns are nice machines but...they need tending, and guys who are not afraid of opening them up and doing maintenance. $23/hr. is small change in this business if you are a self-starter. Small change too, if you can do all of the things you purport to be able to do. Go out on your own and raise your prices. Move "east" young man. Somewhere outside of Detroit.
  • HvacTech001
    HvacTech001 Member Posts: 3
    Options
    JohnNY said:
    This is not a question that can be answered here. The résumés I get make everyone look like Superman on paper but get them in the field and the story of who they are unfolds very quickly. Also, I don't expect any of my guys to size replacement steam boilers. I let them gather the measurements and I do the EDR calculation and boiler selection. @HvacTech001 how much time do you have in the field? Do you work alone or with a mechanic or helper? Do you have any points on your driver's license?
    No points on driver license. 5 years in the Field. I work for a company but I have helper for installation.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
    edited May 2023
    Options


    JohnNY said:

    This is not a question that can be answered here. The résumés I get make everyone look like Superman on paper but get them in the field and the story of who they are unfolds very quickly.

    Also, I don't expect any of my guys to size replacement steam boilers. I let them gather the measurements and I do the EDR calculation and boiler selection.

    @HvacTech001 how much time do you have in the field? Do you work alone or with a mechanic or helper? Do you have any points on your driver's license?



    No points on driver license. 5 years in the Field. I work for a company but I have helper for installation.
    I don't know if you're underpaid but my guys with your experience and a good background check start around $40/hr. Just saying.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    Mad Dog_2ethicalpaulChrisJCLamb
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    I couldn't agree more with what Johnny-NY said about the Resume-Uber mensch. Too many companies rely too heavily on resumes when hiring.  It Can be very deceiving.  I have found a much higher percentage of quality tradesman with mediocre resumes, than Mediocre workers with impressive resumes.  Mad Dog 
    CLamb
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    edited May 2023
    Options
    Ethical Paul...once again...you're out of touch: Most plumbers, Heating guys at the parts counter, as well as Contractors and managers of large corporations are SLOW right now in NYC, Long Island and Upstate.  There ARE guys on the bench.  So, all is not rosy and ripe for the pickin. 
     Pockets of
    companies who are on long term projects are working, but I wouldn't call it a Great time for job shopping..USA Today's (pick your paper, not singling them out in particularl) latest article and White House Jobs reports can often be used as bird cage lining...Ivory Tower views...

    Furthermore, You are wrongly  assuming that all situations are equal with companies. The company he is with
    May OTHERWISE treat him very well and he may be very comfortable there.  Each situation must be weighed very carefully.
    He may want and need more money 💰 but maybe he rolls out of bed and is at work in 10 minutes.  Maybe he has great freedom and autonomy at this company. Perhaps he does a variety of things there and is stimulated intellectually.  The guys in the shop may all get along well.  Say he gets to go home for lunch some days and can be fishing or bowhunting by 330pm every afternoon because he works in town. Or he can be on a side job. Priceless!    Ok, So The Current Company's Cash Flow and investments might not be that healthy at the moment and they simply CAN'T pay a great kid more at this moment.  Every business owner has been there.  

    Can he make a better hourly wage?  $10 bucks an hour more!  Sure, but maybe he has to commute an hour each way and he's not getting paid for that.  Gas and wear and tear on his person vehicle.  Now he's doing Commercial Installations on a high rise.  Every floor is the same and you're pigeon-holed as a "copper guy" or an "Iron Guy"  gas Riser guy.  When the job is over, you could be getting laid off for a few months. You ride around all day in Crazy NYC traffic or you have to ride the dangerous and stinky NYC Subway system.

    Maybe the local guy where  you get $23 bucks an hour,  keeps you on.  You reorganize the shop, do work at his house, he's paying you between projects. If there is an emergency at home, its really nice to be able to be back home to your young wife and child who needs stitches or your elderly mom who needs help. . in 5 minutes, not 2.5 hrs from your city..   These are the intangibles that must be weighed. I've been in JUST the exact same scenarios in my career.   Look hard before you leap! 
    You may not OWE your boss anything, and this is America, where you are free to move about freely to better yourself and your lot in life.  That being said, don't forget your boss has laid all he's got on the line  to create and run this  business that provides jobs for people in the community   A Poor man never gave me a job.  You might be shocked to learn he is not making what you think he is...sometimes not MUCH  more than you.  So, to directly address what Ethical Paul said:  Your bosses' company's fiscal health and solvency, cash flow, et cetera may not be your concern, but it WILL affect you and it is part of your "Problem," that is, it is a controlling factor in your life and your decision making of whether to stay or go.  It IS a big factor. The converse is ALSO TRUE: Your financial situation  and need for more $ is NOT  the bosses concern, but it is part of his "problem" if he wants to retain good people..  Mad Dog 
    CTOilHeatrealliveplumber
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    For a Cross Reference. A non-union guy with your skills can get $25-35$ per hour out here in the outskirts of the Big City.  Non Union shop in NYC will pay between $35-48 per hour.  Union "B" (M.E.S. division..service & repair) is $43.25 p/h plus $17 ph hr in Bennie's & medical & dental.  UNION "A" (Building trades journeyman) rate is around $55 p/H plus bennies et cetera.  Jimmy The Gent Burke, semi-retired in Florida reports that Plumbers in Florida are lucky if they can make $22 bucks and hour.  Vince "The Great One" NYC LMP relocated to North Carolina, works for a 15 man shop and is a top guy there. $ 25 bucks an hour.  Mad Dog 
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
    Options
    Of course the place and the vibe matters, not just the dollars, but he asked about the dollars, not how good the snacks are at the boss's house or how good the on-site masseuse is. He's making peanuts, and we all know it. If you'd be happy with $23/hour for those skills and role I'd be pretty shocked.

    But as I said and I'll say it again, the only way to know for sure is to interview and see what offers you get. I don't think I'm out of touch with that advice.

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,105
    Options
    Move a couple hours north, tons of outfits up here, most are on board to pay a bit more than that. We are in the middle of a major labor crisis in northern michigan for HVAC, more work than there are people to do it, and you get to live in the most beautiful place in the world (imo anyway)
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
    Options
    I hire a variety of craftsmen for various jobs. Northwestern Connecticut, for geographic location. I'd happily pay a really competent person four times what our OP quoted. On the other hand, an ordinary person -- perhaps what he mentioned, provided he or she doesn't actively make mistakes. A couple of mistakes, and either the person doesn't work for me any more -- or accepts a much lower payment.

    Years ago we also hired a considerable amount of help for agricultural work of one kind or another (my first just was as farmhand). Some of our neighbours did, too. Not any more. Our minimum wage is around $15 per hour now, and for the amount of work a man or woman can do it doesn't pay the operation. Everything that can be mechanized is. I don't know what those people are going to do for work -- serve lattes to each other, I suppose -- but it won't be that. My son runs a company in Virginia which makes boxes, of all things, and has found the same -- everything which can be mechanized is, and the factory floor is a pretty quest place these days. Bluntly, if the person can't add his or her wage's value to the product's value, plus a margin, he or she won't have a job.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,956
    Options
    The industry is starving for knowledgeable wet heads in/around Lansing, and really the whole state of MI. I get several calls per week from people in MI who can't find a boiler guy to save their life, and I'm in MN. I don't have fulltime guys but when I take part time help, I pay $30 for even the greenest of apprentices. My skilled helpers are getting $50+. If you have the skills that you say you have, you're worth a lot more than $23/hr.
    ethicalpaulGGrossChrisJ
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
    Options
    GGross said:

    Move a couple hours north, tons of outfits up here, most are on board to pay a bit more than that. We are in the middle of a major labor crisis in northern michigan for HVAC, more work than there are people to do it, and you get to live in the most beautiful place in the world (imo anyway)

    In summer....
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,105
    Options
    Picture perfect year round anyway @mattmia2 !


    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
    Options
    And really what better place to find HVAC work than a place that's hotter than blazes and bitterly cold every year!

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
    Options

    And really what better place to find HVAC work than a place that's hotter than blazes and bitterly cold every year!

    and you'll have to drive in the blizzard to get to it.
    ethicalpaulGGross
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    I drove my 1990  Gold Jeep through 2 feet of snow all the way to Da Bronx 25 yrs ago so I didn't miss my first day as a Foreman in a new shop. Did a 360 on the Seaford Oyster bay expressway!  Ha ha.  The Shop super couldn't believe I would come in from Long Island.   He hired me from the pile because My Resume had all my Dan Holohan seminars listed.  He,  too,  was a big fan and it got me the nod.  We had coffee ☕, he paid me for the day and I went home.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    CLamb
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,244
    Options
    @Mad Dog_2 I have a good snow story, too. Years ago it was unavoidable if you worked in Staten Island you were going to have to work for some organized crime people. I got to one guy’s house to fix a dripping tub faucet and while I was there a call came over the Nextel that the supply houses were closing for the day. I explained to the guy that I couldn’t get any parts and I’d have to come back which he absolutely was not accepting as an answer. I was probably around 22 years old. I called my father and he calmly explained to me that there was nothing we could do and I had to chill this guy out. There was over a foot of snow on the ground and I was driving a 1980’s utility box truck. I told the guy, since I can’t get parts an anyway, my father said I have to bring the truck in for safety’s sake and come back another day. He calmly explained to me that he doesn’t want the parts from the store anymore. He wants my father’s faucet from his house brought here and installed in the bathroom I was standing in right now. Keep in mind this guy was in the papers at the time being named as a key figure in a major capo assassination, the pictures from which we’ve all seen. His wife looked beat to a pulp. And guys kept coming over the house and handing him envelopes without saying a word. 
    I had to agree to whatever he said, then leave and call a guy who called the client on my behalf and tell him there was nothing that could be done and I was going to come back the next day all the repairs would be done for free. Which I did. As if I was ever going to get paid anyway. 
    So that was a bad snow day for me. 

    Please excuse the thread drift. 
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    CLambMad Dog_2
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,331
    Options
    Urban legend concerns plumber with pipe wrench braining a wise guy. Everyone said that it served him right. Maybe the wife missed her beatings?
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    That's a great story Johnny. I LOVE it!  I think I know exactly who you're referring to!  Growing up in South Ozone Park and How'beach, I worked for quite a few too.  Most were great to work for, but dont tell them no!  Or else!  You could wind up in Jamaica Bay....Ha ha.  Storytelling makes life interesting and keeps us laughing.  Thank you for sharing.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    JohnNY
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 110
    Options
    New Hampshire plumbing companies pay way more than that. Less cold, more pay.
    Mad Dog_2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
    Options
    I reiterate: if you think you are missing out, you might be. This is the best job market (for workers) in generations. Take some interviews and see. Keep up with inflation 


    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
    Options
    The company I work for is dying to hire people, near as I can tell we've hired everyone we can and still looking for double digit number of new people. We've been in business since 1976 and in the entire history of the company we have never been as swamped as we are now. We have spectacular pay and benefits. If you retire from here with at least 15-25 years (depending on pay level), you will be a millionaire and the retirement is an extra, meaning there is no employee contribution. We also have profit sharing that can be quite lucrative for everyone. Anybody need a job?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Mad Dog_2
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,331
    Options
    If money is your game union pipe fitters in some cities (eg Louisville) earn big $$$ when they get work.
    GGrossMad Dog_2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
    Options
    I don’t know your situation John but that sounds like a great pre-retirement gig to me. 

    Sell your business with what must be a huge list of happy customers (that’s the most valuable asset) to a bigger outfit and tell them you’ll happily stay on as a senior tech/troubleshooter/estimator/whatever makes you happy but you want out of management to be able to enjoy your family/whatever.

    You just have to find one that is worthy/wouldn’t trash your legacy (unless the price was right lol)

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this but I’m just chiming in because…it’s a forum 😅

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,952
    Options
    jumper said:
    If money is your game union pipe fitters in some cities (eg Louisville) earn big $$$ when they get work.
    In the NYC area $150k a year + Bennie’s is common for fitters. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
    Options
    I don’t know your situation John but that sounds like a great pre-retirement gig to me. 

    Sell your business with what must be a huge list of happy customers (that’s the most valuable asset) to a bigger outfit and tell them you’ll happily stay on as a senior tech/troubleshooter/estimator/whatever makes you happy but you want out of management to be able to enjoy your family/whatever.

    You just have to find one that is worthy/wouldn’t trash your legacy (unless the price was right lol)

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this but I’m just chiming in because…it’s a forum 😅
    Time was a selling price was based on your Yellow Pages placement. Not anymore😗

    Same goes for customers and employees, those are not something a buyer looks at. You can’t sell people.

    5-10 years of profitable financials is what the companies value is based on.

    A common mistake is owners show little profit and income  to lessen tax burden. Makes  it look like the company is not profitable enough to purchase. The signed financials that went to the IRS is what a buyer looks for not the under the counter ones🤓

    or if the hourly rate was too low the buyer needs to raise prices. Then the customers go shopping. 

    Best thing to do us prepare your company for the sale years ago.

    my wife has been helping both buyers and sellers for years, there are a handful of key numbers in financials that tell the true story or what a fair market value is.

    A common option is selling to employees that see the past and future
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Mad Dog_2JohnNY
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    edited May 2023
    Options
    Everyone has very good  and true points.  Hot Rod's Wife Ellen is the best and sharpest in the business on running a profitable business and selling one. Al Levi as well..operating manuals.  Her books and guidance helped me tremendously.  I feel Johnny NYs pain.  I had the same problem as he's having. We started out businesses about the same time and met at a Jim Davis Carbon Monoxide Seminar. We clicked right away and have been good friends since.  We've worked on some nice projects together and
    Have conferred on all kinds of issues and problems of our businesses.  I have always tried to send what seem to be really good people his way, but they often balk at the last minute or disappoint or don't last. I'm talking about excellent installers and Troubleshooters that I've personally worked side by side with...some for many years.  The reasons: "I don't like working in The City...its too stressful...The commute is killing me...I thought I wanted more $$ and a Union Job, but I guess I'm really comfortable where I am!...My wife REALLY wants me home for dinner by 6pm!! (Ha ha..wrong business, Pal). I don't like to work weekends...I had to plunge a stopped up toilet, I don't do that!"  I could go on and on.
    Just last week, I thought I had a really good find for him:  A really excellent, hardworking, honest guy who would have a chance to get a Coveted Union card and benefits.  The guy was all motivated and excited and then....he balked..I know everyone's different, but it blows my mind how terrified alot of guys are to make a move...they get stuck on "I'm comfortable here."  Yes, my bed is comfy at 3am when I gotta get up too!!!!   You just told me, you are grossly underpaid, mistreated and Have no real benefits!!!!
    Fear is a terrible, crippling thing to be hamstrung by.  I ran Triple Crown FULL TIME 100 M.P.H. B---s to the Wall for about 12 years just like John is doing for double that length of time.  I had several long term employees that I treated like GOLD.  I was an Open Shop but they got all their Union Holidays, Health Benefits, interesting work, seminars, picnics.  One stole customers and the other one stole $$.  These are guys I had at Family Parties.  There is tremendous jealousy and resentment of "the business owner."  They all think you're loaded and laying back in the warm office with your feet up drinking Starbucks.  With rare exceptions, and maybe a guy who actually HAD HIS OWN BUSINESS at one time, I found most employees this way.
    As Hot Rod noted, the sale of a business must be well  planned out.  Relying on the current  business owner's WORD that he brings in X amount of cash 💸 is a HUGE leap of faith AND in most cases artificially inflated.  It's also an absolute MUST to work 2-4 years to help them transition.  Contractors often wait till they are fed up and can't take it anymore and want out NOW! The smaller the business, the more critical this is...I was in serious talks at one time to take over "Tony's" very profitable two man shop.  Tony worked predominantly in a heavily Italian suburb and had a killer business for 40 years.  Cash cash cash.  Tony had 4 rental homes, And estate in the Catskills and a very loyal customer base.  I free-lanced doing boilers with him paying my way though Stony Brook several days a week.  I covered his weekend calls when he often went upstate for the weekends.  I did this for several years while I was Running Triple Crown too.  The following conversation is real and I often had similar ones:  "Hello! Tony's Plumbing & Heating, How can I help you, today?" Caller : WHO DISS? Where Tony????? (I cheerfully explain).  YOU PLUMB???? (Yes Ma'am heating too!) You 'TALIAN???? AHHH I WAITA FOR TONY COME BACK!!!
    Although, I grew up in Howard Beach, and could talk South East Queens-ease, I was still SWEENEY....NOT Tony.  Tony and I discussed Phasing it in over several years so they got to know The Irishman better,.but my business was exploding and I didn't really need his work.  Tony was also heavy in to cash.  I loved Tony and absolutely trusted him about what his yearly take was, but His clientele was too Hand-fed The Cannolis By Tony..kabeesch?  I  am good friends with another Company that has a great business for more than 100 years.  A customer base of more than 13,000 Steady, long term  customers.  The Income is there. Not one of their kids are taking over.  If I had 3 or 4 Million lying around, I'd buy it in a second. This would be a winner...no doubt.  I don't know what will become of it, if they will sell? I hope they make a nice nest egg for themselves, but someone's got to have the capital and jump in.  I have another freind.  Great 2 man business.  Problem for me???
    He had NO CUSTOMER DATABASE OR LIST EVEN ON A PAD!!! How do I reach out to the people?  Where do I mail the flyers??  Who's going to take THAT leap???   Being a first generation plumber, and young businessman, I was often cheered by people I grew up with as I moved toward getting my license and going out on my own: " Yeah...you go Matt...Why should you let the boss make all the $$$. ..you should be your own boss!!" Rah...rah..It was the well meaning but Classic..YOU GO FIGHT THE MAN...WERE BEHIND YOU, BRO! 
    When I did make the transition and now had to charge them more to cover all my business expenses (which I thoroughly and honestly explained), their tune changed...Now I WAS the greedy, boss!  Some of these people I knew since I was a baby 👶...close fambly friends.  We never spoke again.  That hurt!   Unless, someone has run a Full Time 24/7 Plumbing & Heating business for a minimum of 5 years, you can only imagine what its like.  The pipe and boilers and grueling work and long hours...thats the fun and easy part...its everything else.  I feel your pain Johnny NY...A better situation is on the way...worry not...You're experience is a VERY valuable commodity.....Mad Dog 🐕 



    random12345
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,658
    Options
    Mad Dog and HR raise the very common stories of being a tradesman and a business owner. In order to pay higher salaries, the company must be profitable and charge enough. That remains one of the biggest issues in being the owner. It's been said 1000x that to know your true overhead costs will determine your selling prices. Very few have done this, hence the perenial complaint. A union journeyman plumber makes $85/hr in Seattle. If the shop owner isn't on top of his costs, he will be consumed by payroll expenses quickly. Open shops have lower wages, of course, but that's expected. I always thought that the business classes offered by industry experts would make it easy for those looking to be profitable and ultimately sell their companies at a profit. As it turned out, only a fraction of PHCCR business owners took the time to do so. It's been said before..."We have met the enemy and he is us"
    Mad Dog_2PC7060
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
    Options
    Start your own company! What capital items (tools, equipment) do you need to do that? Do not listen to all of those who tell you that you need a lengthy business plan, fancy web site, and all kinds of other stuff. You need to treat customers/clients well, do excellent work, be efficient, and keep good records. If you are very good or excellent, do not be afraid to charge accordingly. The big companies have high overhead, so much of what they charge goes to that, not to the actual work. You can charge less than them and make more if you keep your overhead low (but do not be cheap / penny wise - pound foolish). Word of mouth works far better than any other advertising, both positive and negative. Think about which customers you want, and which you do not want (for example, you could spend less time and have less risk of litigation helping a high-rise owner/manager with a large project than you would helping a homeowner with a small project). Take plenty of photos to document what is present and your work. Clients / customers like them, and much prefer well-written reports with plenty of nice photos. Have a good contract which protects your business (for example, have a clause which prevents suits/claims if you mention some deficiency or unsafe condition you see which is not part of your work, as people have been sued for doing that). Do not send trainees or "field staff" to work by themselves, only side by side with senior experienced people.
    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators
    Mad Dog_2STEAM DOCTOR