8. HVAC Tech

Want People to Love to See You Arrive?

Have you ever had your furnace or central air go out on you?  If you have then you know the feeling.  If not then wait until the hottest or coldest day of the year, then turn it off.  Then leave it off all day.  Trust me, it is not a good feeling.  First, you hope it will “just kick back on.”  Maybe wait overnight.  By day 2 you realize you have problems.  You wonder who to call, because last thing you want to have happen is someone say you gotta replace s furnace when just a $50 part is needed.  I live in an area where we have an outfit on TV all the time.  That is their M.O.  Any problem, EVERYTHING needs replaced.  Because of these kinds of abuse, a good HVAC man highly prized.  I know I prized the one who fixed the A/C in Phoenix, the house was so hot as to be uninhabitable.

What is the Life Like?

HVAC work is similar to plumbing to name one.  You could end up in installs or repairs.  Expect installs to be more predictable hours but more choppy as the work will depend on how much new construction is happening in the area at the time.  Repairs will vary more.  You will have more late hours as calls come in.  Some guys cannot handle this, but a BPB should be able to.  You do not have a wife or kids getting on you about working late.   Thus scoop up the OT!

In repair, life is much more on your own, without a boss to ask how to do this or that.  The better you get the more value you have.  A service manager does not give the best work to someone who calls with question after question.

In the end, it is an outside and offsite service job.  Enjoy the peace of being outside the office on your own.

Pay and Training

Just under 300,000 people are employed in the field, with a median salary of around $46,000.  90% of professionals in the field are directly employed, and this is really not  the best field to go your own way as a BPB.  Investment vs. ROI just is not there, and you can easily end up worrying about making your weekly nut, starting to cut corners.  Training will be 6 months to 2 years, as with anything in this kind of work expect to get the more simple jobs at first, with complexity and pay increasing with your skill level.

This is a physical job, nothing wrong with that, just know it is not going to be like working in a nice, cool office.  For crying out loud, YOU ARE THERE TO FIX THE A/C!  Some needed skills:


  1.  A good mechanical aptitude.  Remember, you are working with machines.
  2. Customer service skills.  Upset people need their A/C fixed–NOW!  Gotta get and keep them calm.
  3. Time management.  Even  if you are paid hourly, there may be 4-5 calls that day.  Can’t lollygag.
  4. Licenses and certifications.  Both EPA and state, don’t make them a joke because it is blue collar work, the materials you deal with can be deadly.
  5. Troubleshooting.  Some calls will be of the “go here, do this” nature.  Others you will be told there is a problem and get it fixed.

Pay is in the low $20s per hour.  Expect to be paid overtime when you work it.  The beauty though is this is the kind of job that once you get licensed, you can travel.  An office job may give similar pay, but will have everyone with any college degree applying.  Niche industries like HVAC when you are licensed, they have no choice when they need someone N-O-W!