Which Trade Should I Choose?
There has been a lot of buzz and discussion lately about a resurgence of the trades and getting workers of all ages back into our line of work.
In this post, East Coast HVAC President & CEO, Peter Robitaille talks about how HVAC actually consists of multiple trades, which can create exciting and endless job development and training opportunities for technicians!
With so much interest in people joining the trades, we thought it would be a good time to address the topic of: What trade should I get into? Should I be a plumber? Should I be an electrician? Should I look at HVAC? I recently had a conversation with a potential East Coast HVAC recruit who told me he was leaning towards HVAC because he realized, and had been told, that HVAC encompasses multiple trades. And he’s absolutely right. There’s a fair amount of electrical work, there’s a fair amount of plumbing involved with HVAC, and there is a broad range of things an HVAC tradesmen can specialize in and develop their abilities in.
For example, in HVAC, a large amount of troubleshooting HVAC units for our service departments involves electrical work, understanding how relays work, understanding how power flows through units, how much power is required, and amperages required to turn units on and off, and then following that flow of power. So having an electrical understanding is critical to being a service technician in HVAC. Similar in installations, there’s always some amount of control wiring that’s low voltage and also line voltage wiring that goes along with our HVAC installations.
As far as plumbing goes, the cross over is mostly on the hydronic side. Generally done with heating systems. So that’s moving hot water around piping, whether it’s a commercial system or a residential ductless system to provide heat to a building or to a home. So developing skills as an adequate pipe fitter, soldering as well as spun pipe, and gas piping, is all really important to be well rounded in the HVAC industry.
I wanted to touch on this subject to make sure people understand how much of these other trades is involved in HVAC and the width of development that’s available if you join the HVAC trade.