If you’re planning your post-military career, it’s smart to seek out jobs like the military. After all, a new job that has similarities to your MOS will ease the transition. And your experience will make you a sought-after candidate. Here’s a great option you may not have considered: become an HVAC or Refrigeration Service Technician.
Like military service, HVACR service (which stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) is an opportunity for young men and women that doesn’t require a college degree or even prior industry experience. Our industry needs people who have the right skills and qualities to become successful technicians.
HVACR employers highly value the skills and experience you gained in your military service. Here’s how HVACR careers align with your military experience, and how you can find lucrative and rewarding jobs like the military in our industry.
5 ways HVACR service jobs are like the military
These are similarities that make HVACR service an excellent career choice for veterans.
You have learned a great deal in your military career. When you create a resume and go on interviews for new jobs like the military, remember to play up the skills you gained. That includes not only how to do the specific tasks required for your MOS, but broader skills that will help you succeed in your new career.
In the HVACR industry, these are the top skills that will help you get hired:
- Discipline. In our industry, we need people we can depend on to follow processes and procedures. That helps technicians solve problems and stay safe.
- Work ethic and reliability. HVACR service is no desk job. It sometimes requires hard physical labor in challenging conditions. We need people who are up for that and can be counted on to show up and do what’s necessary to get the job done.
- Communication. Sharing and gathering information, with customers, coworkers, and supervisors, is an essential part of a service technician’s job. If you are skilled in clear oral and written communication, that’s a huge benefit.
- Teamwork. As a technician, you’re part of a team working together to serve customer needs. People who understand that and support each other do well in this industry.
- Quick thinking and problem solving. In this business, time is money. We need technicians who can quickly assess a situation and take action to solve problems.
- Attitude: Our industry needs people with a positive attitude who we can trust to behave with honesty and integrity. These qualities help technicians build relationships with customers and coworkers.
- Mission-oriented. In HVACR work, we have clear responsibilities and goals, just like you have in military service. Ours revolve around meeting our customers’ needs and expectations with efficiency and safety in mind.
- Learning mindset. As a technician, you never stop learning. You need to stay up to date on the latest tools, equipment technology, and practices to keep your skills current. That’s another reason we value veterans: they are generally accustomed to vigorous, ongoing training and open to learning.
HVACR service teams tend to share the same values as military veterans, including being of service to others, supporting your team members, and working hard to accomplish goals. So you’ll feel right at home.
3. Career development
You may be wondering how you can get a job in HVACR service with no experience in the industry. It’s because we train you and support your career development from day one… just like the military.
An entry-level technician starts as a junior tech, apprentice or “helper.” You get excellent training both in a classroom and by working alongside more experienced technicians. Depending on the company you work for, you will have mentorship experiences where you get in-depth knowledge from experts in specific aspects of the occupation.
Especially when you join the union, there’s a clear 5-year path to becoming a fully qualified technician (and making great money). And, like the military, the union has your back and supports you on your way.
4. Job security
One comforting aspect of military service is job security. You might be worried that security is impossible to find in the private sector. Not so: HVACR service is one of the most secure jobs out there. Here’s why:
- There’s a shortage of technicians due to older professionals retiring and fewer young people entering the trades (because everyone is encouraged to go to college).
- Heating, cooling, and refrigeration is always needed, no matter what the economy is like.
- New technology is increasing demand for techs with computer skills.
Last but certainly not least… you’ll be pleased with the money you can earn and the benefits you’ll get as an HVACR technician.
For union members, there’s a clear progression in pay with guaranteed raises. By the end of your 5-year training period, you can easily make over $100,000. Even after a year, you’ll make over $25 per hour.
Plus you get excellent medical benefits and a pension, FULLY PAID FOR by your employer. But you thought that would be impossible to get outside the military!
Wondering if it’s hard to get into the union for HVACR service? Not here in NYC. All you have to do is get hired by a union contractor.
HVAC & Refrigeration service: could it be the career for you?
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HVACR Career Connect NY was created to promote the exceptional quality-of-life benefits of a career in HVAC and Refrigeration service, and also to provide a clear path for getting started in the profession. In doing so, we serve as a resource for employers in the New York City metro area to find and hire smart and capable new technicians. We also serve as an educational resource to support business growth and to help service technicians succeed in their chosen profession.