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  #1  
Old 11-20-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default A step closer to my "future job", but...

I've been wanting to become a Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Contactor for Residential and Light Commercial equipment for some time now. But now I found out something that would bring me closer.

I've been going to a HVAC contractor in my hometown. First of all, I heard that you don't need to go to college for the HVAC-tech part of it. You just need to be an apprentice to be liscensed. (I don't much, I just found that part out today and didn't really ask questions as it was closing time.)

If it's true, this means I can skip the HVAC technical school part of it and go straight to Business school. This means I can skip a couple years of college and go straight to the business part that will take 4 years, instead of spending almost 8 years in college.

I don't know. I'll have to ask him when I revisit him. But if it is true, this is good news for me. If it's true, I just have to put up with school for about 8 or 9 more years instead of 14.

Other than that, the tech is nice. There is problem though.

My house burned to the ground in October 2010 due to a LP (aka propane) leak near the water heater, which was pretty much outside. Ever since then (and even before then) I've been scared of gas appliances with the strange exception of gas stoves. I don't know how to get over this fear. I need to get over the fear, but I don't know how. Everyone says time will fight the fear off. Which brings me to the next part.

About 2 weeks ago I went there. The tech showed me his old 1983 Comfortmaker Gas Furnace in the storage part of the building. He accidently clicked it on. As soon as I could hear the spark ignitor trying to ignite the pilot I ran for my life. Now I feel like a complete jackass for running. But I won't take even the front off the furnace. I realize it will not hurt me and there is no harm, but I am still scared.

[hr]
I know you all are not psychiatrists or counselors, but I seriously need help getting over this fear. I do know that some of you are mechanics and a both furnaces and cars run off gas (however, a furnace runs off Natural and L.P. Gases; where a car runs off Diesel and Gasoline.)

Photos attached are photos of the furnace.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1983 comfortmaker 001.jpg (102.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 1983 comfortmaker 002.jpg (123.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 1983 comfortmaker 003.jpg (123.2 KB, 8 views)
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:36 AM
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I am not sure about 8 years of school to be a HVAC contractor. Here in Canada you have to serve your apprenticeship which is 4 years but most of that is time on the tools and I think 8 weeks of school each year maybe even less. Once you are a Ticketed or journeyman you could then have your own business if you like.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:10 AM
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Hello, to answer your question about school, you do need college to get evrything you need . You have to get your EPA card to buy refrigerants (CFC ) and you have to have a master contractor class A to go in business for yourself. No matter if you apprentice for the 10 years or not you still have to take the Contractor exam. Then your ranking depends on your insurance ratings and limits, so yes there is a lot more to it than just learning a few things and going at it. To answer about the Gas, it is part of the job and with anything else safety and knowing what you are doing is what your skills depend on. I personally do not like gas beacuse of all the "what if's", but it is what it is. There has been a whole bunch of guys hurt and burned over gasoline working on cars so you just have to be careful. I don't mean to sound grumpy or straight forward but I don't want you to think there is not that much to it. My brother learned his in the Army and that was a great thing for him, he got paid for it, served his country and learned a trade at the same time.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:37 AM
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Yes you should go to school for this(and I would think you would have to). You could probably be a worker without schooling, but if you ever want your own company or anything like that you will almost certainly need schooling.

As for your fear, the more you understand something the less you'll fear it. If there is no fuel to ignite, a furnace can't hurt you. If it's all in your head and you know it, then make yourself at ease by lighting a match before opening up the furnace. You will have proven that nothing bad can happen, and then work on the furnace.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:01 AM
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I have to agree, there's more to it than just working alongside a licensed tech to get the knowledge you need, especially if you're looking to have your own business someday. You definitely have a lot of ambition at your age and that's a great thing, you will do well at whatever you decide to do! I just don't think "skipping" past the education part of it will serve you as well. A friend of mine went into plumbing, went to school and still worked his apprenticeship while in school and now is licensed and doing very well.

As for the fear, I can't say that's an irrational fear and after a tragedy like the one you experienced, I can only imagine. I have gas heat, hot water and dryer and I hate gas, too, but it is what it is, at least until I move lol but when the house next door that's not even 25 feet away from my house burned (the fire being on the same side of my house as my gas line), I liked gas even less. No damage to me but it definitely made me even more aware of the dangers and necessary safety precautions than I already was. That's where I agree with the comments above, being knowledgeable in your skill and safety conscious as well, you should be fine. One thing to remember about fear, you can either let your fear motivate you or let it debilitate you. Good luck man!

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:40 AM
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As a gasfitter that has been in the industry for over 23 years that "fear" will turn into a deep respect for Propane and Natural Gas. To this day there are certain appliances (Liquid Vaporizers for one) that still scare the hell out of me when you light them. It never really goes away but with knowledge you learn what is safe and what isn't. The fear is a good thing in that it will force you to keep your guard up, the last thing you want to do is get lazy or not pay attention to the details. When you don't pay attention is when you get hurt, but this can be said of any trade! How many carpenters and mechanics do you see with missing digits!

In Canada you can be an HVAC Tech, or 1st Class Gas fitter, or a Plumber/Gas Fitter with a 4 year apprenticeship. In each of those 4 years you will do 8 weeks of technical training. Once you have completed the apprenticeship and have passed the required exams you can pretty much open your own business.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:01 PM
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I DO know that you at least have to be a apprentice then you become a journeyman to work on the equipment. Then you can become a contractor, which is when you are able to open your own HVAC contracting business.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:44 PM
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Guess it didn't post earlier...

I do know that you have to be an apprentice, then a journeyman before you become a contractor.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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I found this guide for becoming a HVAC Contractor

http://education-portal.com/articles...eer_Guide.html


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
General Contractors
Missouri does not have a general contractors license. General contractors are licensed and regulated at the local level, Contact your local (county, city, township) government offices for specifics regarding local licensing and regulations.

http://www.missouribusiness.net/sbtd...ontractors.asp
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