I thought that the hard part about being an HVAC technician was going to be taking the HVAC classes and passing the certification test.
I thought wrong.
When I started my apprenticeship at the HVAC company owned by my instructor, I figured I would just be going out on service runs. I didn’t consider that I would go on the service runs and do repairs while having another HVAC technician following behind. The worst part about having an HVAC technician following me around was that it wasn’t just any ordinary HVAC technician, but the owner of the company and the man who was my class instructor. I guess I was grumbling loud enough that he overheard me. He turned around laughing and told me that nobody promised my HVAC training would be easy. I wasn’t expecting easy, but I also wasn’t expecting to have my instructor/boss standing behind me the entire time I was working on HVAC systems for his customers. When I overheard him telling one of the other technicians that I was one of the brightest HVAC techs he had ever taught; I couldn’t wait to talk to him. I asked him, if I was one of the brightest HVAC techs, why did he feel it was necessary to shadow me? He told me because I only learned from books, and now he wanted to teach me the proper way to work on a real HVAC system in its actual setting. Until then, I had HVAC systems that had been set up to look like they were broken, and I was using textbook skills. He wanted me to use my knowledge of HVAC and instincts with real-time HVAC repairs.