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Old 03-09-2018, 08:22 AM   #1
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Default Option for career path

So I'm taking a basic electricity class right now, I have the option to go the electrician route or the HVAC route. I keep going back and fourth with them. Both are in-demand skilled trades.

Anyone got experience with both sides?
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:43 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard @16tons!

Yes I have experience with both.

Learned both fields as a youth growing up and ended up an electrician working in control systems as an adult that dealt with more HVAC/R systems than anything else.

It's far easier for a good electrician to pick up and understand HVAC/R systems that are 90% electrical/electronic than it is for an HVAC/R tech to jump into being a good electrician.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard @16tons!

Yes I have experience with both.

Learned both fields as a youth growing up and ended up an electrician working in control systems as an adult that dealt with more HVAC/R systems than anything else.

It's far easier for a good electrician to pick up and understand HVAC/R systems that are 90% electrical/electronic than it is for an HVAC/R tech to jump into being a good electrician.
Good point! I planned on applying to IBEW after my class and take the other classes (commercial/industrial/residential) while on the list. I figured more certs the better.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:44 PM   #4
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Yeah, strongly agree with @MechanicalDVR. It's hard to find HVAC tech's that understand electrical and they say about 80% of HVAC calls are electrical related.

I have always done both. I would go electrical work toward the control side of things. Picking up HVAC late on if you want to will be easy if you understand the electrical
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #5
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Yeah, strongly agree with @MechanicalDVR. It's hard to find HVAC tech's that understand electrical and they say about 80% of HVAC calls are electrical related.

I have always done both. I would go electrical work toward the control side of things. Picking up HVAC late on if you want to will be easy if you understand the electrical
Working in controls companies we would be the first ones to see an area of a building was outside set points from our office and if it was a place under maintenance contract we would respond.

Outside of an electrical problem locking a system out I'd say low on charge from a leak was the next most common problem.

Often if it was something I could fix easily/quickly I'd do it myself without calling for an HVAC tech to respond.

The only thing often holding me back from a repair was my hourly rate being higher than the HVAC guys in our company that the bosses would rather send out if it was going to be a reclaim/repair/recharge job.

HVAC/R has never scared me off but many of the HVAC techs in companies I have worked for were often slower than a turtle with a handicap when diagnosing an electrical/electronic issue.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:58 PM   #6
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I have both certificates in electrical and HVAC. Never wanted to work on the Freon side of HVAC. I like MECH wanted to do HVAC Controls.
If I would have stayed in Texas I probably ended up working for Houston Trane or a similar company. When I was assigned to Building Administration I worked a lot with the guys from Houston Trane.
When I came home I could not find any jobs in commercial HVAC and the residental companies did not want to pay anything.
If I would have stayed with Gulf States I would probably ended up as a electrical superindentant . I was at the point where Gulf States would tell me what classes they wanted me to take in college.
But that is all water over the dam.

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Old 03-10-2018, 01:43 PM   #7
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I have both certificates in electrical and HVAC. Never wanted to work on the Freon side of HVAC. I like MECH wanted to do HVAC Controls.
If I would have stayed in Texas I probably ended up working for Houston Trane or a similar company. When I was assigned to Building Administration I worked a lot with the guys from Houston Trane.
When I came home I could not find any jobs in commercial HVAC and the residental companies did not want to pay anything.
If I would have stayed with Gulf States I would probably ended up as a electrical superindentant . I was at the point where Gulf States would tell me what classes they wanted me to take in college.
But that is all water over the dam.

LC

I got the certification for freon use when they first came out and then did the same in NJ when they wanted an HVAC license.

Never used them for a proper business but was covered for side work and employers liked that I had them both.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:59 PM   #8
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I have universal CFC Certification . I have had my gages on 1 unit since I left school.
The reclain ,recover,recycle was just in the planning stages when I got my HVAC Certification. Now you have all of the different types of refrigerants it is trukey more than my brane can handle.

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Old 03-11-2018, 02:24 PM   #9
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So Im going to school to become an electrician. Is there anything i need to know while im school that i need to know in the field so that i can study more on when i do go out into the field.
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:43 PM   #10
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I have universal CFC Certification . I have had my gages on 1 unit since I left school.
The reclain ,recover,recycle was just in the planning stages when I got my HVAC Certification. Now you have all of the different types of refrigerants it is trukey more than my brane can handle.

LC
As side work I have done a lot of HVAC/R service work, I have also done many unit replacements, I find it very easy and profitable.

I have had accounts at United Refrigeration and Johnstone Supply for sometime now.

I've engaged in their educational classes to keep up with refrigerants and equipment changes.
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:51 PM   #11
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So Im going to school to become an electrician. Is there anything i need to know while im school that i need to know in the field so that i can study more on when i do go out into the field.
Welcome aboard @Vinman21!

EVERYTHING you learn in school you need to know in the field and more that will come with time on the job.

Where are you going to school for this training?


What part of NJ are you in, I used to live there.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:09 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard @Vinman21!

EVERYTHING you learn in school you need to know in the field and more that will come with time on the job.

Where are you going to school for this training?


What part of NJ are you in, I used to live there.
I might as well chime in with a question instead of making a new thread. I'm applying to my Local next Wednesday. They are taking applications every Wednesday. I thought that was weird, in my experience with other Unions they only recruit on the 'first Wednesday of every month' for example. Could that mean they really need people? Or will it just mean the waiting list will be extraordinarily long?
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:46 PM   #13
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I might as well chime in with a question instead of making a new thread. I'm applying to my Local next Wednesday. They are taking applications every Wednesday. I thought that was weird, in my experience with other Unions they only recruit on the 'first Wednesday of every month' for example. Could that mean they really need people? Or will it just mean the waiting list will be extraordinarily long?
You would have to ask someone in that local for a specific answer as we can all speculate and not be accurate.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:42 AM   #14
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You would have to ask someone in that local for a specific answer as we can all speculate and not be accurate.
Yeah, I'll try seeing if I can find someone. Its local 237. Unionfacts says they have around 250 members, so it'll be like finding a needle in a haystack! If I can't find someone, should I just call the hall?
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:11 AM   #15
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Yeah, I'll try seeing if I can find someone. Its local 237. Unionfacts says they have around 250 members, so it'll be like finding a needle in a haystack! If I can't find someone, should I just call the hall?
I didn't mean to try and find a member there.

Just call the hall and ask to speak with the BA and he should give you the run down without any problem.
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