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Advice on Starting an HVAC/R Career – Short #98

In this short podcast, Bryan shares some of his advice for people looking to get into the trades by starting an HVAC/R career.

When you step into the HVAC/R trade, you must remember that you'll acquire a mix of skills and talents that all work together. You must reflect on yourself and see if you'll be a good fit for the trade. Do you enjoy working with your mind and your hands? Do you enjoy working to some degree? If you don't like pressure or dislike working with your mind or hands, then the HVAC/R trade isn't for you.

When starting an HVAC/R career, you don't want to rely on a system or process to provide you with everything you need. Trade schools won't provide the full scope of field education, so you can't rely on them for everything. Instead, join social media groups where professionals discuss equipment and answer questions. Watching reliable YouTube channels helps a lot, too.

Self-motivation is the key to success in this career. Don't go into an HVAC/R career if you aren't motivated to jump into new tasks or subjects. The best way you'll learn in the trade is by practicing with your own hands. Brazing and soldering are more advanced skills that your senior techs probably won't let you do on customers' equipment. However, you can read plenty of guides and practice on your own once you feel confident. You can also study for and take EPA tests on your own.

There are several points of entry to the trade: apprenticeships, trade schools, and entry-level positions with companies. The one you choose will largely depend on the availability and quality of each in your area. You want to spend a lot of time working with your hands, no matter which path you choose.

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