Editors Blog

Murphy's Law: HVAC Gun for Hire

July 30, 2009

I received this letter from a guy who received a letter from a guy who can’t find a job in the HVAC industry. Call me stupid, but I’m betting somebody wants to hire this guy. Let’s find him a job.

Dear NEWS,

I received this letter from a friend today who is in his late 30’s and is looking to get into HVAC.  He currently works in the printing/graphic design industry, and is also a master guitar builder. He is married with kids and is clean, sober, responsible, etc. Here is part of a letter he sent to me:

“I looked for a HVAC guy that I could work part time for but no one wants a rookie close to 40 years old. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”

That's interesting because there is a shortage of good workers in our industry. There is a shortage of skilled people and rookies who are ready to learn.

It's very short sighted of the guys he spoke to, to dismiss him. I would snap him up IMMEDIATELY. I have 31 years in our trade and 10 as owner/operator of my own HVAC company.

Someone his age and situation is perfect. Old enough to have some prior life/work experience, work ethic, responsibility, and social skills, and young enough to be able to do the work and to have many years ahead. 

Now, if an employer just wants bodies to install flex duct in residential, then I agree that the 'younger the better' if they are conscientious and trainable. But for a rookie to learn service/repair work and install assist/start up - I'll take a competent person who is 30 to 50 years old, anytime.

Anyone who is in decent physical condition and height/weight proportionate will easily be able to do the physical work. In fact you will stay younger by doing this work because it is active. 

I have worked at HVAC shops that had older techs who had been truck drivers, warehouse workers, auto mechanics, soda pop salesmen, motorcycle mechanics, machinists, cabinet makers and more. These guys made excellent techs! In fact, at one shop, we had a tech in his 20s. Oftentimes the office would get a call saying, "please send out an older tech." The general population equates "older" to "wiser". And I have found that many customers, especially women, are more comfortable with an older tech.

This friend of mine is eager to work and go to tech school. He’d like to get a job with an HVAC company and go to school at night. He lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Can we please give this willing young man a start in our fine trade?

You can contact him through me: Doug Fergus, All About Air, Ashland, Oregon. E-mail me at Allaboutair2006@msn.com.
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