Tech of the Month — December 2019: Shawn Davis
Name: Shawn Davis
Title: Service Technician
Why He’s Tech of the Month: Kimberly Merritt, service manager at Standard Heating in Birmingham, Alabama, describes Davis as exceptional at troubleshooting and figuring out difficult issues with systems. He stays updated on all current technology and new products in the industry. He is willing to help and share his knowledge with new techs coming into this field.
“We had a customer call in who thought they had an issue with their system,” Merritt said. “Even though Shawn knew that everything was operating properly, he went down every avenue to give the customer peace of mind that their system was good.”
Davis has been with Standard for 13 years and has worked as an HVAC tech for 27 years. Davis married into the business, in a manner of speaking: his wife’s cousins and brother-in-law all work in the field, her father works in sheet metal, and her uncle used to own an HVAC business. One of those cousins helped Davis get his first job.
Davis spent his first few years doing installations. He recommends this as a starting point for people getting into the field, he said, as it helps to see the entire system and learn how to work on each portion. Davis attended four years of trade school through the local building unions.
He worked for a few contractors, doing mostly commercial work, before landing at Standard. The company does both commercial and residential service. Standard is also one of the few firms in Birmingham that still does steam heat. This means Davis sometimes finds himself working on units that are older than he is. Some of them were installed in the 1930s.
“I like working on steam heat,” Davis said. “A lot of the guys are scared of it, but it’s really pretty simple.”
Davis isn’t sure what the future holds for him, but he knows he could never sit in an office or even work at a shop every day like his brother, a diesel truck mechanic. His father, a construction superintendent, told him to expect to stay in the field if you’re good at what you do.
One thing Davis doesn’t worry about is job security in a hot city like Birmingham.
“Around here, you’re never going to be out of a job if you’re any good at it,” Davis said.
See more articles from this issue here!