After reading [Angela Harris’ “Labor Shortage: Will HVAC Pass the Test?” Sept. 12] article, I felt the need to reach out with my “two cents.”
I do agree that our industry is/has faced tough times for many years now. I understand that our business is not glamorous by any means, but one that can be one of the most secure in a crumbling economy. I started out as a graduate of the HVAC program from Union County Technical School in Scotch Plains, N.J., in 1993. I was always told that to make big money you had to work on large commercial HVAC and building automation systems.
I do agree that there are not too many incoming or returning college students that would ever consider our business. But the best way to spread the word is also to talk financials. There is the potential to make a six-figure salary. If you talk money with people and let them know that: 1) you won’t have years of school loans to pay off, and 2) job security will almost never be a concern (if your skills are at a minimum of average) it should enlighten some people and help our chances [of recruiting] the next generation of technicians.
I have a lot of friends and family members that all went to college. The irony is that I’ve made more than them for many years now. Our business is not glamorous, but in time and after spending many hot days crawling around in a residential attic and several cold nights on top of a roof fixing a heating system, the industry will always take care of you financially. The skills you acquire over time will always be your security regardless of the financial state of our country.
To grow our business, I’ve presented at career days to educate school children. I’ve also spread the word at business meetings/events and also at barbecues. What should matter [to a student is] that after paying your bills and taking care of our families in the world we are dealing with these days, you will be some of the people with the financial security to ride it out. All that with only a two-year education and no six-figure loan to pay back for the next several years. I’m extremely grateful to the HVAC industry and feel lucky to have joined it almost 20 years ago.
Owner Direct Account Manager
Trane of New Jersey
Parsippany, New Jersey
Publication date: 11/07/2011