In the “HVACR Realities Part One” segment, my discussion was directed toward the student/graduate/entry-level-technician and was focused on the idea of wages and earnings. In this segment, I’ll pick up where I left off with some more realities for the person who is considering HVACR as a profession.
Reality: If you are somebody who thrives on the idea/feeling that you’re not absolutely sure of what’s coming up next and what you’ll have to do to solve that situation/succeed, then the HVACR profession, from the perspective of troubleshooting and repairing equipment, is a fit for you. If the ‘fear’ of this perspective is crippling for you rather than being the juice that motivates you to keep on doing your job, then you may be better off in another craft altogether, or you should look closely at the industry and find an element (maybe even a niche) that is more structured and doesn’t require in-the-field problem solving.
Reality: If you’re not a people person who understands the necessity for effective personal interaction with the people (customers) you are providing a service for, the HVACR field, at least from the perspective of being a service technician, isn’t for you.
Reality: On any given day, as an HVACR technician, you will meet people who will be absolutely amazed at your level of understanding and skills because they are clueless about what you do, and they won’t hesitate to tell you how much they appreciate you….sometimes to the point where you will feel uneasy about the praise you’re receiving from them until you remember just how good you are at what you do, how much effort and dedication it took to get there, and are again reminded about the “it ain’t bragging if it’s true” philosophy of life, and that you have earned that appreciation. You will also meet people who, because they are really not happy with who they are (or aren’t), will look down their nose at you and treat you like a Noble in ancient Rome treated serfs and slaves. When you meet someone of the latter, do your job, leave them behind both physically and psychologically, and think about all the people you have met that are of the former.
Reality: Unless and until you wind up in one of the areas of the HVACR industry that is related to design or something similar, you’ll get dirty doing this job.
Reality: Being an HVACR service technician can be dangerous if you’re not adhering to safety procedures and using common sense.
Reality: If you’re not willing to, when necessary, invest your own time (and yes, sometimes even your own money), in your never-ending quest to learn more about the ever-changing and evovling craft you’ve chosen, then I suggest you move on to a different job. The fact of the matter is, if you’re not constantly pursuing excellence and knowledge in the HVACR craft, you’re not going to be happy in it, and that will show in your work.
Reality: There will be times when you have to lift heavy things.
Reality: There will also be times when you will be hot, tired, thirsty, stiff and sore, frightened, second-guessing your decision to get into this business in the first place, and exasperated, as well as excited, grateful, and happy about the kind of work you do. If there comes a time in your career that the excitement, gratitude and happiness isn’t there anymore, then do yourself and everyone else in your personal and professional life a favor and find something else to do.
Learn from yesterday…Live for today…Look forward to tomorrow.