Hi. First of all, I'm NOT looking to start my own business, but
rather work for an established HVAC outfit. I'm in my early 50's and
found myself having to go through a career change and there are a LOT
of people in the same boat.
I do have a pretty strong equipment background, but no long periods
of experience in oil heat. My first exposure to heating systems was
back in the early 70's when I used to maintain an industrial boiler
system for a textile mill. I also took a full time one year course in
HVAC at a school in Boston, also during the 70's. I learned the
ropes on residential oil heat from a real expert (now retired and
moved away) during the 80's and early 90's in my spare time. Most of
my oil furnace experience has been on and off working as a handyman in
a neighboring state, doing mostly annual maintenance and the work was
usually referred by my mentor.
There are a few large HVAC companies in my area and I sure would like
a shot at working for one of them. However, my experience is pretty
spotty as you can tell from what I've written so far. I have a few
simple instruments (draft guage, smoke tester) specifically for heat,
some A/C tools. I'm very strong in electrical/electronics and have
every tool or instrument you can imagine in that area, but I've spent
a fair amount of time in other technologies also.
I've already talked to a couple of smaller outfits about working for
them and they didn't show much interest. My handyman customers were
always very happy with my work and I have the references to prove it.
I work well with people, can troubleshoot pretty fast, make repairs
reasonably fast, and do good quality work. It boils down to someone
just giving me a chance.
If anyone has advice or suggestions on how to approach these larger
companies, I would certainly appreciate it. I realize this is no way
to get rich. Some of the questions I have is:
What test gear am I expected to have, and can you recommend any
suppliers (I would certainly consider used equipment)? How can I best
downplay lack of experience yet show that I have a background, ability
and attitude that will get me up to speed fast?
If you prefer to send email, please feel free: waywarddennis(at
Any advice you can offer will be gratefully appreciated. BTW, are
there any really active discussion forums on HVAC or heating
specifically? I would like to find other non-usenet groups.