Kevin Baker, a veteran refrigeration technician shares his tips on Success in the Skilled Trades.

Kevin Baker, a veteran refrigeration technician shares his tips on Success in the Skilled Trades.

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All right, so today I’m talking with Kevin Baker. This is part of our series that I’m calling understanding the skilled trades. And I’m trying to line up real people with real careers in skilled trades. And Kevin has been kind enough to spend a few minutes with me today. So welcome, Kevin. Thanks for joining me on the show today.

Thanks for having me.

Right. Well, let’s get started. Um, give give the audience your bio out there, like, tell us, you know, your your biography a little bit and up into now when you’re working as a technician.

Well, I drove truck for a lot of years trying truck drivers delivered gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, stuff like that. And the company I had working for decided to move and I didn’t want to move with them. So I had to pick something else to do. So. I started doing maintenance at Fillmore, fried and Waco. And I did that for a little while and just found out I didn’t have the personality to get on board with people. So I went into a refrigeration department. And when I started there, they put me on mass. And I started with a guy that had been there a whole month. Neither one of us knew what we were doing. We had absolutely no training or anything. It was, oh my god, well, let’s turn this off and see what happens. Again, we we did that for a few months, and they decided, hey, we’re gonna we’re gonna put somebody that knows something with you for a little bit, you know, give you some training so that we’ve we spent two or three weeks with with a guy that that know a lot and got us started headed in the right direction. And then probably a year later, I went to operator one class there at we had the guys from GE cap come down and do want to pilgrims and we went that operator one class with them, learned a lot learned a lot of things that we were doing wrong. And a lot of things that we shouldn’t been doing. But we got we got pretty lucky that nobody got hurt. And I’ve stayed with pilgrims probably seven years. And then moved over to Sanderson Farms. We started a plant in Palestine. I was I was there when that plant opened. And I was a they call them I am one so that’s basically the the lead tech with Sanderson Farms. We had a we had like a 79,000 pound system, almost 80,000 pound system. And we had blast sales and water chillers. And it was it was a chicken kill plant what it was. Okay, so we got to chickens and killed them, kill them, cut them up, put them in a box and send them out the door. Okay, but I’ve made with Sandersons bleef for years, a little over four years, and moved up to Tyler and went to work for brochures in our grocery warehouse. And coming from a high speed chicken plant to a grocery warehouse is kind of like retiring. Right? Right there’s there’s no rush rush rush to get something done. There’s nobody centers you got time to sit down and learn a system learn from the other guys that are there. You know, you pick up things, you know, the contractors come in, you have time you can go with the contractors and see what they’re doing. And I stayed with brokers a couple of years and then got the job at America old as a lead tech in America old and I’ve been with them for I think go to my third year with them. And just happy. That’s it’s a cold storage place. So we’re not, there’s not a lot of high speed pressure to get everything done and get it which is pretty laid back I got we work with some pretty good people, our management is really great. They’re in our warehouse or they’re good and the view needs up and they’ll try to get it for a year. Or you know, the training and forest training and stuff they’re not bashful about sending you to training and, or anything else and and it’s really a pretty good job pays not bad. I mean, of course it can be better anyplace you go but as far as the actual physical work I do now, based on the pay they’re paying me a lot more than what I’m worth.

That’s good. So, just to point point out something to the audience out there. Kevin, it sounds like works in facilities side of, of refrigeration. So you you basically were poor work to the same facilities. There’s different jobs you’ve had, but you’ve always been on the facility side, as compared to working for a contractor where you do you run service calls anywhere, right? Right.

But we have, we have a lot of service guys come in, because they, they deal with a plethora of problems, right, going to different plants, and everybody has something different, they have different machines than what we have. So, I mean, they’re, they’re, the guys that have been there a while are real, skilled and knowledgeable, you know, a problem that you may add that you’ve never seen before they’ve seen it five or six times already. Right. So a lot of guys we built up a lot of back and forth, and they’ve got a lot of relationship with and if I have a problem, I can call them like, give me a starting point. Right. And if I can figure it out or finish it, then then I have to call them in a lot of things just you know, warranty and things like that, like rebuilding pressure, things like that. You have to have a warranty. So you have to have tractors Come on, send it off to safety things to like we can’t Well our ammonia pipe. So we have to have somebody come in and do it. But really the ammonia I got in I got into ammonia refrigeration because not everybody was doing it. Right? Why seemed like a you know, just a select bunch of crazy people going up messing with something that can be a lot of harm if you do it wrong. Right. But it’s I mean, it’s really it’s been a it’s been a really good field to be in as far as learning things. And the people or the experience I’ve had the people around you’re always willing to help you know, a lot of jobs guys areas as well find what you don’t, you know, I’ve got job security, right. But I’ve always I’ve always had that attitude if you know it, and I know what, that’s less I have to do. It’s good. You go ahead and do it.

So let me ask you this whenever you’ve needed to, let’s say you’re ready to make a change in your career. Kevin has it Have you ever had any challenges once you got some experience of finding a new job if you did want to change?

Honestly, I probably get three or four calls a week from people want me to go to work for him. Right? I know there’s job there has never been a lack of refrigeration jobs. Right. And I’ll my end because I mean I could give up my resume out tomorrow and say hey, I’m looking for a job and go to work within a week.

Right? Yeah, that we’re not all across the states it’s just it’s just crazy right now. So what we have a fascinating success story you can tell me like maybe a problem that you solved that was was really exciting for you like a job success you want to share with maybe some of the technicians that are working in the field that you know they might find it interesting like a shop shop talk type story

really not anything that I’ve done by myself okay, but we have I have a refrigeration take the works under me now. I’m I’m over refrigeration facilities and our mid works in our forklift and all that. And it’s it’s like most refrigeration guys, and I’m not I’m not talking you know, the the service guys but most guys at a plant. That’s that’s their baby. Right? Right. That’s my baby. I don’t want you to come in and tell me my baby’s ugly. And I don’t want you messing with my baby. Right. And a lot of times when you come and come into place, it’s it’s an uphill battle with the guy that’s already been there. You can’t do that you can’t do this.

Hey, guys, quick announcement. If you have not stopped into our website, at skill trade rescue.com. Please do that on the homepage. Here, you will see that we have the Join the movement email list. If you haven’t signed up, please consider doing that we have some amazing guests lined up for the podcast, I’m going to be getting the stories out of successful technicians and business owners in skilled trades. These are not just HVAC people there’s going to people be from across the skilled trade spectrum. And my hope is that I’m going to be able to draw out of these people the things that have worked in their careers amazingly well. And the things that if they had a chance to talk to their younger self, what they would tell them not to do. So I want to share all that stuff with you. And if you sign up you’re going to be the first to know when we drop those new podcast episodes. Also coming soon we have the BDS T workshop. It’s a five day automated email Workshop. However, you’re going to give content to us through that workshop, you’re going to get one on one feedback from our instructors, instructors, and we’re looking to better your career. I’ve been teaching the BST process for many, many years, about two decades one on one. And I’m going to be trying to do that to the masses through this workshop. It’s totally free. All you got to do sign up. As soon as you do that, you’ll get alerts on your email. As soon as these new podcasts come in, as well as the BSD workshop. So be check it out. I will put a link to the website on the show notes for this episode today. So check it out.

Well, let’s try it and see if it works. If it doesn’t work, then that’s on me. We’ll just we’ll turn it back. Yeah, so we were having a lot of issues with our dock temperatures, because our they’re not production, they’re called something else. Our mtos Man and shoot operations want to call them. They wanted to use our docks as a cooler instead of using our cooler cooler. So I’m back and forth. And my my take every other day saying, hey, we need to get these dock temperatures down. We can’t do it. We can’t do we can do we can do it. Well, yeah, we can do it. All we got to do is turn our suction down, and we can do it. So we did network. So you know, pat myself on the back, hey, I want that one. And it’s, it’s you, you run into things and you got to go there. And I’ve done it too. When I when I’ve been in flight a long time. I’m the same way. It’s mine, leave it alone. But you run into people like that we’re not we’re not open minded enough. Because, you know, we’re full of ourselves a lot of times, you know, even even a maintenance guy has been overwhelmed and they get full of themselves. You know, the place can’t run without me. Right, you know, sad that’s not true, but but, uh, not just little things. Like, we’re having problems with our old temperature on our compressors. And, you know, he came from HVAC background, so he thinks economizers Well, no, that’s not your economizer so that was a week long battle. And finally, since you know I’m more or less the boss, I won that fight. So yeah, we’re not doing that we’re gonna adjust the pressure on our on our pumps and get over get the oil temperature down. So yeah, but it’s, it’s a strange. It’s a strange group of guys you run into as you can meet, I’ve met several people that know that have forgotten more than what I’ll ever know. Yeah, they’ve got to a point in their careers where, okay, I’ve got to pass this on to somebody else. So they’re real, real quick to, you know, take you by the hand and lead you around and show you things. I’ve, I’ve said, Darrell Casas is really my go to guy. When I have a problem. I called her off. And he’ll he’ll walk me through things. They’re probably I don’t know, he probably five, six years old or nine, but he’s getting ready. You know, he’s, he’s on the downhill. Hey, I’m gonna retire quitting. Yeah, but a lot of, I think a lot of us older guys really need to kind of not necessarily change our attitude, but realize, hey, we’re on our way out. So we need to, we need to bring these other guys up and give them the opportunities and you know, take them by the hand and walk them around and show them things. Yeah, yeah.

So what do you so you have technicians that work for you? Or you supervise them? Right? Right? Um, what what are the top four or five things that that you look for? So let’s say we got a guy out there who’s you know, couple years in the trade? And, you know, he really wants to stand out and he’s not sure how to do it you know, he’s not sure the the habits he needs to develop to to move up. What are the key things that these these new guys that are now in the trades that you specifically look for, as somebody you want to promote and give them more opportunities?

My main thing now, which hasn’t? It hasn’t always been this, it my main thing is safety. You have to be safe, because you know, every ammonia PLAs you take they they’ll tell you, hey this stuff, you know, this stuff is bad, it’ll kill you. And if we have a release, then we’ve shut everything down. Plus, we probably shut down or neighborhood or or something else. So my biggest concern if garlic will work safe, takes his time and get in a big hurry and and have willing to learn things. Okay? You have a willingness to learn, and actually get in there and try things Things You Can you can, you can turn your expansion valve or something, open it a little closer a little See, see how it reacts. And if, if it doesn’t do what you want, put it back where it was, right. But you have to be what you have to be willing to try to do things. You can’t just you can’t walk up to someone say I can fix it and throw your hands up. But really, if a guy, a good attitude you can get along with with other people in the Enter department. If a guy comes in and wants to go to work for us, and I do his interview, and he gives that feeling that, okay, he thinks he knows everything, right? When I have to spend the next six months showing him how you really don’t know everything. And okay, these are, we have certain ways we do things. And this is why you have to do them, you may not have done this way. It’s previous place your work. But you have to be flexible enough to realize, hey, we do this and do this and do this. Right and the poor, I don’t know everything, maybe you know, something I don’t. So if I’m having a problem I always have when I, when we have a problem in our plant, I go to my tank, and we and we try to talk it out. We start from, you know, when you’re working on anything, you’ve got it in your mind what’s already wrong with it. Right? And then you got to go prove Yeah, that’s what’s wrong, you get so focused on that you can’t see anything else. So we sit and talk. Okay, we need X, Y, and Z to do this. And we’re not getting we’re not getting one of them. So let’s figure out why we’re not. Let’s figure out what’s wrong. It could be something as simple as is. Solenoid Valve went out. Yeah, but let’s, let’s start from sort of jumping in the middle of it. Let’s start at the simple stuff and just go all the way through it. And if I can, we hired we hired a guy. Or they didn’t hire him. He came in for an interview. And, you know, I was talking to him and, and asked them questions and everything else. And he said, Well, the biggest problem they’re gonna have at the planning level of replacing him. I mean, well, I don’t meet here.

Yeah, that’s probably not something you want to say in an interview, right?

And I’ve always, I’ve always had the attitude if, you know, there are certain things you have to do and certain things we don’t like doing. But if you ever get to the point where you think you’re too good to take out the trash, I don’t I don’t need you. If you’re not doing it, then I have to do it. And I’m supposed to be your boss. And now I’m taking the trash out because you think you’re too good to do it. Yeah, cleanliness. If a guy will clean up after himself when he’s done work. And that’s that’s a big thing for me because I hate walking around and seeing a mess of stuff that I’m somebody was working on something.

Yeah, I used to tell my technicians back when I was running commercial HVAC company yet. I tried to drill into those guys that you could be a technical genius, you could be the best technician you know a lot and you can go out there and fix that job, fix that machine whatever’s wrong with it, and get some cooling. Get it going again. But hey, guys, I have an exciting announcement, we just recently made some updates to our three most popular online courses at process chiller. academy.com If you’re a technician that’s looking to improve your skills a little bit and maybe get some specialized training to be of more value to your customers and your employer. Or if you are an employer, a contractor that is looking to augment your existing in house training with online training that can be accessible from any device. This is a really great opportunity. Just go to process chiller academy.com Just scroll down on the homepage and you will see the course area. If you go into the course page, you will see that we have currently for limited time. We have a promo code of chiller Pro that will save you 25% on any one of these courses. I hope you check it out. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in class. If you happen to on your way back down off the roof, you step in a dollop of black fiber roof mastic and track it through the building. Whatever magic you did just went away.

Oh yeah, that’s what they’re gonna remember. You’re the guy that track that crap through my billing.

That’s right. Yeah.

All right. Well, I lost my train of thought. I’m old and it leaves me sometimes.

I’m preaching to the choir man.

My biggest thing is I’ve got, say 1234 Guys, I’ve got four guys, and it’s four different personalities. And this guy didn’t like this one or he doesn’t like the way he does this and he didn’t like the way he does that. Anyone oh my gosh, guys, we’re not children, right? We have to, we have to have the attitude that we have customers could work out storage. So we have customers, everyone in this building is our customer. And we want to come back tomorrow to work. So, you know, you have to, you have to clean up after yourself, you have to treat people, you know, respectfully, right. And, you know, even though they ask you some of the most silliest questions you could ever hear in your life, and want you to do things that are impossible, you still have to hide, okay, you know, I’ll see what I can do, or, and at the end of the day, we all have to get along, we don’t have to like each other. Right? We don’t have to hang out after work. But while we’re at work, we have to get along. Yeah. Yeah. And, and sometimes that’s hard.

So how do we how do we, this is something that I’ve been really struggling with counting. So you know, it seems like skilled trades. The mindset of, you know, the public is, I guess they don’t really, they don’t really understand the value, you know, like you said, you work in a chicken plant, right? At one time, and they don’t make the connection between refrigeration skilled trades, what you do, and stuff that we all need, right. So you know, if the, if the refrigeration system goes down, that that plant doesn’t ship any chicken, which means the price of chicken goes up because there’s there’s not enough supply to meet the demand. And, and the other analogy I like to do is, you know, computers, you know, computers, the design of the chipsets for computers, or an MRI, MRI is all use, you know, refrigeration to keep them cool. And it nobody makes the connection. How do we, how do we get the word out? That, you know, skilled trades are essential to our daily lives. I mean, I don’t think people know that.

Well, I think where we made a mistake, we drill in our kids heads, you have to go to college, you have to go to college, you have to have an education, how many college graduates are working at 711, because they can’t find a job in the field that they went in. Right? You take the guy that could work with his hands, either a diesel mechanic, a plumber or electrician, or do what we do maintenance or whatever. He’ll always have a job. And he’ll have a job in the field that he’s trained for. Right? I mean, how many how many kids went into it? And how many of them are working in there now?

Yeah, yeah.

I’ve got a mechanical engineering degree. My sister worked for a company. And she turns away mechanical engineers every day. We have you know, there’s there’s too many of them. Yeah, I got a four year degree, but you can do with it. Yeah, you work with your hands. Even if you work with your hands, even if you’re not highly skilled, but skilled enough to work, you know, in a field, you can you can gain that skill over time in your pay. If you’ve seen what a plumber makes. And I ever had to call a plumber to your house and pain. That’s a skilled trade. And that’s a lot of money.

Yeah. What just out of curiosity. So let’s say you guys hire apprentices or you only pretty much hire people with a little bit of experience.

It really depends on the person. And gun, the way I learned was, was on the job, right? And if a guy has a basic knowledge, you know, then he’ll get a lot on the job if we’ve hired guys off off the floor or one of our one of our truck loaders. Okay, well, I want to go in mind, I will give you will give you the chance and see what you know. Well, I worked on my car, I worked on my dad’s car and Okay, well, okay, well, you know the difference between a screwdriver and a socket. Right let’s see if you can pick up things so we’re getting three or four months to see if they if they pick up something. But you know, if a guy walks and got a good attitude and everything else and is willing to learn, I don’t have in mind somebody with no experience.

Okay, what do you start guys out at that have no experience but have the right attitude?

Probably around 20 an hour.

Okay. And then let’s say once they turn out are you guys union? No. Okay, so what’s the

union we’re out of? So but we’re not.

Yeah, so what’s a good wage for in, you know, in your life? I don’t work for an experienced journeyman, you know, can pretty much do whatever he’s asked to do. What do they make it? What’s a good wage? In your opinion?

I’ve seen I’ve seen the companies around here hiring anywhere from 29 to 35 an hour. Okay. With experience service notes, go ahead. Sorry. Sorry, mistake. Oh, my mic more than that. But he’s, I’m too lazy to be a service day because I don’t want him to get up at three o’clock in the morning, go fix somebody’s stuff for him. Morning, I have a real real bad attitude. Yeah, can make a lot of money. And they’re service techs. Actually, a lot of them come from working in plants or warehouses. Right. And they get hired on because the contractor the state, they all come down to, hey, this guy’s got a little map to him. And he pretty knowledgeable. Put him on, you’ll put him in service. But I like being at home. Right and, and pet my dog. So services services not not a lot of work that I want to get into. But a service tech a good one can get make pretty good. Pretty good chunk of change. And I wanted I’ve worked with that. I called him directly. I don’t call their company I call them and they set up the appointment. Yeah, through them your company to come out. But I want this specific guy here.

Yeah, and a lot of those guys. Yeah, a lot of those guys that are working for service contractors. They’re, they’re making, you know, a lot of them will pay based on performance. So like if they get a certain number of billable hours in a day, part sales, you know, a lot of these contractors nowadays because they just can’t find good guys and keep them. Yeah, they’re getting pretty creative as far as what they’re paying these guys. I mean, it’s it’s crazy. I don’t know if you’re getting this out there in Texas, but, man, some of these shops out here in the in the northwest. They’re paying four or $5,000 signing bonuses just to steal away from their competitors.

Yep. It’s not a one a friend now that they him and him and a couple other guys just started service business. And they they’ve got so much service they started with four guys by the end of next week. They’re going to have nine. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy. Yeah. And it’s and they’re done ammonia and HVAC but that I mean, it’s it’s amazing how fast they grew. And the good thing about service service with gas man $4 A gallon. They buy your gas like to drive a truck home. Right. And you’re paid from a lot of them are paid from the time they leave to the time they get back. Yeah. But

are pretty much all the shops that you know, have they are they’re all all are they all pretty much hiring right now. Yes. Yeah.

They are. Everybody’s looking. I don’t know if the COVID knocked them out or what the deal is, but everybody is looking for among you guys. Yeah, go on. Indeed, if you have any kind of experience, go on, go on in data and other jobs. I put your resume out there. If you don’t get five or six hits the first three or four days you’re there and you put something wrong in your resume. Right, wrong number down or something and they’re not they’re trying to call you but they they got the wrong number. Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s amazing what they’re what I started out making and what they’re paying now. It’s, it’s pretty good. Pretty good job.

Yeah. Yeah. You know, what do you think Kevin? What can we do? You know, as people working in the in the industry, what what can we do to get the word out to the young people, you know, young men, women, I’m talking, I’m talking people that are maybe the junior senior in high school, you know, how do we get how do we break through the noise about the the opportunities in skilled trades as a real viable career option to go into the college because there’s a there is a community of, of kids, I can call them kids because I’m old too. But you know, there’s young folks out there that just know that college is not their thing. And they may be getting, you know, they may be acting negatively to the school pressuring them and their parents pressuring them. But they just don’t want to go to college. Or maybe there’s parents that they think their kids need to go to college but they’re just not educated enough about skilled trades. What do we do about that?

Well, they had a they had a thing When I was in high school way back when they called it Bo tech, right? You could, yeah, you did in an afternoon and you went in and you could learn welding. You could learn basic electricity. You could you could learn things there. I don’t know if they still have them or not.

They a lot of schools don’t, they trashed all that stuff back in the 90s.

And got while everybody wanted their kids to go to college. Right. Or, and still live in their basement? But it would have to, you’d have start visiting schools. Yeah. And letting these guys know, hey, you know, you don’t have to go to college, you can make as much money and live a good life, not going to college learn as skilled trade. As you will with a four year degree.

Yeah, yeah.

That’s, you know, it’s, yeah, you get you get a little dirty, get a little dirt on your fingernails. And you actually have to work like that. I mean, you can’t really the sky’s the limit. If you go and learn to trade, you can, you can have your own business, right? How many people can go to four years college and come out? And five years, be able to start your own business or a team or be able to start your own business and have the knowledge and everything to do it? Right?

Yeah, that’s good. So let me ask you this, Kevin, if there was an opportunity for you to to participate in, you know, maybe a informational workshop for parents to talk about skilled trades, in your experience? Would you be interested in doing that?

Yeah, I would do that. Okay.

Yeah, you know, what’s interesting is every guy have asked that question that every, you know, the, the generation that’s, that’s advanced, you know, I don’t know where you are in your, you know, in your retirement journey, what you want to do, but every every guy have asked that they everybody realizes there’s a problem, because when there’s no Martin’s around, and there’s no Kevin’s around anymore, there’s going to be a real problem. Because if we don’t start replacing these guys that are getting out. They’re not going to be shipping a lot of chickens. You know what I’m saying?

Well, I had the same problem with welders a few years ago, that couldn’t get anybody to, you know, go to welding school. So, the average age of welders, you know, in our 40s, you know, yeah. Where’s that in the 20s?

Yeah. Well, what are you seeing out there? Like, like the average age of a tick of an HVAC refrigeration tech out there? How old are those guys now, roughly, you know, just if you take a

poll, there are anywhere from 3540 years old, up to 60.

Yeah, that’s a that’s a problem, you know. And the other thing that I’m really, I don’t know if you’ve watched any of my stuff, but one of the things that I’m just aggravated about, and I’m starting to sound like broken wheel about it, but all the media, the news outlets, and everybody, the schools, especially colleges, and even high schools, now, they all quote, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And I always feel like I’m picking on them. But you look at their, their numbers. And the numbers that they say that the skilled trades make, and I don’t care if it’s a plumber, sheetmetal worker welder I don’t care who it is, it’s usually about half of reality. Right? And I don’t get it, I actually I do get it the way the way they collect their data, I believe is flawed. And, you know, that’s why I’m doing these interviews. And then I’m also pretty soon I’m going to be launching a national poll that is going to provide real data and it’s going to be very interesting to see how that compares to what the what the government’s telling us.

Well, you figure a guy can can get a job with a plumber. And I don’t I think if three or four years he becomes a journeyman plumber, and then his next step is a master plumber. And he’s making if he gets out our works Hey, Mike as much as the doctor does. And he doesn’t have $300,000 and school debt to pay back right?

Yeah. Does does your do you get specialized like continuing training like, like let’s say one of you know, you’re where you’re working right now. They buy a new piece of equipment or whatever some new technology and stuff do they pay you to you know, go to specialized training for that equipment? Or how do they deal with that?

They will, they will find, if it’s a manufacturer that will either go to school with that manufacturer, or the installer, whoever’s gonna do it will go to their shop or, or if they have a class for it will go to class, we have our we have several ammonia classes we go to either way to class or will go to GkF. Or for the ammonia, you get PSM, and everything else, all the paperwork, everything that goes with it. But there really, I don’t know about everybody else, but America was really good about warning you. The more you know, the less they have to call somebody into boot.

And they’ll they’ll pay for all that time

in class. Oh, yeah, you’re paying for it. You’d like it. If you’re at work. Yeah, you don’t know what you’re doing anything off the clock. Because if they’re not paying you, they you know, you can do whatever you want to show up or not. Right, right, right. They’re really good about sending us places to get more education, on things, learn, learn. I keep saying GE Capital, I went to GE Capital. They’re really cool, man. Now we’re at our facility, where we’re going to start paying the rate of courses, we’re going to be ready to one rate have to go through all the courses on that. So that’ll help everybody with a little better understanding. But nothing, you can go to school, learn everything in the whole world. Anything that book teaches you. But nothing is going to educate you. More than just hands on. Yeah, yeah. But when a guy writes a book, usually he’s an engineer, and he lives in a perfect world. And everything he writes in that book, okay. Yeah, that’s all fine and good. Until you get out there and say, hey, it’s not working the way it wasn’t the book. You know, something’s wrong.

Yeah, I’m laughing. That’s the tail is oldest time, my friend. Oh, yeah.

It’s it’s kind of like the guys that designed cars. They will stuff all they’re genuine in there, but you can’t work on it.

Yeah, do they have very many trade schools out there? That crank out any HVAC techs?

I believe there’s a couple up here. I’m not for sure. I’ve never I’ve never got into the HVAC part of it. But all refrigeration. I think we have a lot of trade schools, the only refrigerant the actual ammonia refrigeration school that I’ve ever heard of was in Garden City, Kansas. And they actually had college courses there that you took.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s the interesting thing is there’s so many paths to go in the in America, right? You have, you know, you get somebody in high school that decides their parents are behind them, they decided they’re going to go into a trade school and learn a skilled trade refrigeration, wherever that is, I don’t think there’s too many schools for ammonia refrigeration, which is really unfortunate. But anyway, you know, a lot of these schools, they’re charging 10 grand, I think, to you know, to turn out after a year, year and a half. And what I’d like to really get my head around is the percentage of these individuals that actually get hired, I think it’s very high. You know, once they go through a trade school, especially the man, you know, skilled trade, they’re going to work right away. I would even argue if they if they’re, let’s say it’s a two year program, they’re a year in I would be willing to argue that employers are willing to hire him while they’re still going to school and pluck them up, you know?

Yeah. But the bad thing about it is the kids going to the kids get out of trade school. You know, okay, I went to school for this now I gotta make all this money. One rain gang, let’s go for it. You got the knowledge, you have no experience, right? Well, back to, you know, everything in that book, but until you put your hands on something, right. You know, it’s a guy with a year or two ammonia experience, especially can just about going places he wants.

Yeah. You mentioned work ethic, you know, like, willing to learn I want to I want to look at that a little bit deeper. So what other work ethic type things but besides the willingness to learn, which you mentioned already, what other work ethic things are you looking for in and guys that you want to hire and move up?

I want somebody that is going to be on time will actually show up for work and not not get there and in the first hour he’s there. He’s gonna drink three cups of coffee and get good and woke up. Do that before you get there? Yeah, to me, and I always been like 10 minutes early is on time. Right? If you’re if you show up if you gotta be there six and you’re showing up at 559 to me, You’re already late. Yeah. So I mean you you need to be there and be ready to go. But someone’s attitude is a lot. By the time I get home, sometimes my wife tells me I have a bad attitude. I have to deal with a lot of people. There have been days.

You get the truth when you get home no chair.

Yeah, yeah. Everybody else’s nice. And when I get home, yeah, there have been days. Sometimes you definitely walk back out the door to erotica, Maggie and jaded attitude.

Yeah, no. More. Yeah, I get it. I get it. Well, that’s good. That’s some good info. Anything else you can think of?

If really, you know, the willingness to learn being being safe, willing to work safe. There are there are a good God volumes of safety rules. Right? You can you can safety yourself so much that you can’t do anything. Right. Yeah. I mean, you got to, you got to, you know, use a little common sense. And common sense is a big thing. Okay. You know, common sense is not common anymore. Right. And, um, you know, I’ve had, I’ve had guys that worked under me before you don’t sit there, well, I need a raise. I need this. I need more money. I need that. So that way, you know, you can come in on Saturday and work some overtime. Oh, no, I don’t I’m not doing that. I’m not doing that. You want to make some more money? Yeah. Yeah. You know, and if you can get along with people, which sometimes I have a hard time. But I mean, really, it’s a lot of it is your attitude, and just a willingness to listen to somebody else. Even if they don’t know even if they don’t know what they’re talking about. still listen to him. But you might pick up something, you know, they they might pull something out there. Even if you think they’re an idiot, you still listen to him for a minute. Yeah. And it’s just never think that your ears you’re not replaceable can be replaced. That we’re half of running before I got here. It’ll be running after I’m gone.

Yeah, yeah. What do you think about the other thing I wanted to ask you about before we wrap it up is this is something that I hear I hear about more and more these days, because we talked a little while ago about these young folks, you know, the vocational Voc Ed. It’s not really offered in the public system anymore. The other thing that they’ve cut out, is managing money, just the basics, you know. And one of the things that I, I hear that turns into be a challenge for, for skilled trade peoples they go out, they, you know, they pay their dues, they’re doing their maintenance tech for a while. And then assuming they have a good attitude, they’ve got a good work ethic, they’re doing their thing. They start making real money, but they’ve never really had training on how to you know what to do about that. So quickly, what ends up happening is their spending gets ahead of their earning, and it leads to problems. Are you seeing any of that stuff? And these young folks now?

I’ve seen I see that a lot. Okay. A lot. I got a guy making, you know, 25 or $30 an hour living from paycheck to paycheck.

Yeah. Yeah, I hear that a lot.

How is that possible? But that’s all that falls back on us as parents. Yeah. You know, first of all on Rotten not let them know the value of $1. And, and then when they get out and go, Oh, man, I got money in my pocket. I go spend it. Yeah. No, that’s my kids aren’t like, my kid. No, don’t do that. Don’t call me to pay your bills. Because you needed a new iPhone. Don’t call me things like that, you know? Yeah. You have to have some kind of, of, of not necessarily financial training, but, you know, financial knowledge, I guess.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, call it financial intelligence. Well, you know, it’s just a matter of just like, any other thing you know, it’s it. And what ends up happening with that is the finances if if those get out of whack, it throws your balance. Let’s have your wife out of whack. And that leads to problems at home. And then even if you did have a good attitude, and you’re showing up to work on time if you get out of balance because you’re you’re, you’re over committed on your spending, it can really have a downward spiral on people. You know,

where we’re running these kids, but you know, kids now are staying home to their 2530 years old. Yeah, living off mom and dad and I have no grasp of the real world. But I got a I got a little part time job. I’m doing great. Yeah, but you don’t realize mom, Daddy’s paying all your bills. Yeah, yeah, Mama, Daddy gets tired and say, hey, you need to you know, get you a job get out on your own. They’re completely lost.

Yeah. Well, we have to do we have to better job teaching them and then they have to be willing to want to learn it. Right.

That’s, that’s willing willing to do it is? Yeah. Because nowadays, we owe them everything. Yeah, yeah. You know, you owe me because I didn’t ask to be born. You know, I didn’t ask for a kid like you. I was expecting a better one.

Well, good. Kevin. Well, listen, thanks for your time. Is there any closing wisdom that you’d like to maybe share with the new Tech’s out there and or people that are maybe at that crossroads thinking that whatever reason, you know, they’ve they’ve held down some part time jobs? And you know, they heard that skilled trades? Or could be okay, what words of wisdom can you share with, with the audience out there about, you know, that might be thinking about skilled trades?

My, my best advice is, is find somebody that is doing what you want to do. And absorb all the information you can from them, if you can go to work for them, great. If you can go to work where they’re working, because maybe they’ll they’ll hire you with no experience and want to train you up. Do that. Don’t don’t expect to come out and make $40 an hour doing something because John’s making it Yeah, but John has been here 20 years, he knows what he’s doing. Right? Right. You know, be realistic with your expectations. But get all the training, you can get all of the education in that field that you could possibly get. And still be, you know, willing to learn from somebody, even if you don’t like them. You know, no, you need you need to find out what they know. So you’ll know it. Right. Right. And, you know, I’ve run into a lot of people I don’t like, but I told my wife today that I’m a big John Wayne fan, as in my favorite John Wayne. Saying is Life is tough. But it’s even tougher when you’re stupid. So there’s no reason to go through life being stupid.

That’s a John Wayne quote.

That’s a John lengua.

That’s I hadn’t heard that one before. That’s a good one.

Well, it was it was he got the credit for it. Whether it came out of his mouth or not, he got the credit for it. But there is no there is no reason that you can’t go out and learn something. Yeah. That’s the only thing stopping you from doing it as you Yeah, for sure. If you if you start out as a plumber helper and find out you don’t want to be a helper. Go find electrician. Yeah, occasionally we’ll pay you to pull the wire and then you can learn that. As far as you know the age. I’ve seen a lot of young electricians. Yeah, I have to. I’ve seen a lot of good electricians make pretty good, pretty good late, but I’ve seen a lot of young electricians is I have not seen a lot of young guys picking up wrenches.

Right. Yeah.

And that’s really that’s the I’m still rambling, but that’s the problem because you know, you’re not you’re not out there on Saturday with dad, you know, working on the car, right? Or, you know, you’re not you’re not trying to you know, going out there and trying to fix a lawn mower while you’re still that lAmore away and get another one. Yeah, it’s work. And I’m bad about a day because I get frustrated with them but you’re not showing not showing your kids something right. You know, as they go back when you were when you were young man. No to flatline for your dad. Right? I had never worked out good. You never could pull that flashlight where it needed to be. Like, go out and try things. Ya know, don’t be scared to get dirty.

Yeah, that’s good. That’s good advice. Well, that’s awesome. Well, we’ve gone 45 minutes Kevin. Pretty good. Hmm, well I don’t get I don’t get to give my opinion at home. So listen to my opinion. So that is it. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I very much look forward to continuing to connect with you. Please don’t hesitate to send me messages on LinkedIn, I’m on there all the time. Or you can reach out to me on my email. I’m at M King at process Tiller academy.com And until next week, when I give you the next installment I wish you a great week, and I will connect up with you again soon. Take care.

Episode That Support This Topic.

Episode Transcript

So hey guys, this is Martin King with another installment of the skilled trade rescue Podcast. Today I have a unique opportunity, I think, to sit down with a guy who I believe has a pretty amazing story. The series is all about being able to experience other people’s journeys within skilled trades. And this particular gentleman, Brian McIntyre is a just an amazing person, I got a chance to look at his profile. And I think that he has a lot to share. So just a real framework here, Brian is a decorated veteran. And he decided to go into skilled trades, particularly HVAC, which is my favorite right out of the military. And he has taken different skill paths or different paths within the HVAC skill trade. So I want to really share that with the audience. So anyway, with that being said, before we get going, I’m sure you hear this quite a bit. Brian, I want to thank you sincerely for your service. It is not if it weren’t for folks like you, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have. And I mean that and I really appreciate what you’ve done for this country, man, I really do. So,

welcome. Welcome, Brian. Thank you for having me.

So let’s, let’s get started here, I want to find out and tell your story. Maybe a little bit from the military, what you’re, you know, what you’re okay with sharing, comfortable sharing with us up to what you’re doing now, kind of give us a, you know, the patchwork of how you ended up where you’re where you’re at right now.

So I graduated high school in 2003, which was, you know, I witnessed 911. And funny, I was actually talking to a recruiter during that whole process. So that day, I was leaving high school, going to tech school, and my recruiter met me in the parking lot and said, Are you ready to go? And I said, Absolutely. Well, I’d wait till I graduated. But I did leave that timer, I left early, join the Marine Corps, became a machine gunner went through, did my ideal got injured, decided, you know, I was getting out. And I didn’t know what I was gonna do. But I had a friend that worked for my mom, as a contractor, and he’s like, Hey, man, you get into the Union put you through school. And we’ll get you a job. And you can start out here. So that’s how I got started in the trade. Went through the trade school. And that was a five year long program. We didn’t really think I was going to continue on with education after that. But I found that the Marine Corps had given me some instilled from Pioneer where I just charge through and get things done, no matter how hard they are. I ended up continuing education after that. So I started my career working for a small company, and then got moved on to a larger company a manufacturer but on the on the service side, and it was kind of interesting because the school was more pushing me towards being a plumber than they were want me to be a in the HVAC build. So it was the original company I worked for, and I was like, I don’t want to do that. I like the technical stuff. So I continued on and got licensed and completed and moved on and went to another company and actually ended up having an accident with that company that hurt. Got out of it thought I was gonna completely get out of it. But this still makes you a lot of money, there’s a lot of different opportunities. So I went and got back into school that that I was kind of looking at getting out of it, but got into the business side of it. And from there I’ve taken off and still work in the field every once a while but now more on the money side and helping customers out. So it’s it’s been unique because I’m I do well with talking to customers and explaining everything to them. And when they especially don’t understand and really today, they definitely don’t understand what’s going on with all the technology and new new systems that are coming out. So they can they can get overwhelmed quick and I help them understand what we’re dealing with and how to fix the problems.

So you’re working mainly on the sales side now from what it looks like, like customer lessons, that type of thing.

I am more. I do both. I do the sales and I am the service manager for my service department. Oh wow. Okay.

So you’re overseeing work that’s going on in the field in addition to helping out the customers, and you’re sort of the technical translator for your customers, right? Yep. Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. So what have you seen since 2007? As far as changes in the industry? Like, you know, are the are the opportunities for, you know, HVAC? People in the HVAC skilled trade set? Is it expanding? Is there more opportunities now than there was in 2007? Or, what are you seeing?

Absolutely. There’s, obviously the big push for women to join the field. But it’s not just that it’s a, there’s the control side, the heavy lifting mechanical side, there’s called, there’s pipelaying, VRP, Vav, I mean, you can almost pick what you want to do. Or when I started, it was more or hey, you got to just go and join in your, you don’t really know the Service Calls you’re about to get into or what you’re about to work on. Now, it’s more, you can definitely pick on, I want to stay residential, I want to do commercial only, or industrial, we do at all. You can definitely pick what you want to do. The problem that we have is there is finding people that want to do the work, the schools were heavily involved. But just finding those guys that want to come in, guys and gals that want to come in and actually do the work. That’s yeah.

Yeah, what I what I teased in the opener for this recording was the fact that, you know, you as a, as a military vet, you know, a lot of guys go into en women to they go into the military. And when you get out, you have a pretty good support structure, like, in other words, you have money that you can use to go to college, if you wanted to. And a lot of people do that. And what I find really interesting is that, you know, you you had that channel, you could definitely go that way. And it sounds like you did some of that. But you’ve you’ve gravitated towards more in the field more, you know, work with your hands work with customers, that kind of thing. And I think that’s that’s kind of unique, that that, you know, there’s a there’s an awakening happening in the in the country now that a lot of people are starting to recognize the fact that, you know, they may college may not be for them. So we’re trying to what I’m trying to do with the show, is to put it out there and say, you know, skilled trades is not just the if everything else doesn’t work out, you know, you can go ahead and be a plumber or HVAC tech. It’s a real thing. I mean, you can do real well, in skilled trades, we think about that.

Absolutely. The only thing is, especially now that it’s getting more, the HVAC side is getting more and more technical. So you, um, you really got to know what you’re doing with a computer. It wasn’t that way. When I started, you didn’t have to have a laptop. But I mean, almost everything we go to laptops required. Sometimes it makes it easier, but there are definitely times it can be extremely difficult. But these kids, these younger kids, they’re especially my son who’s 14 knows how to work her computer better. And it was great. It was just great. But yeah, just make getting them to understand and that’s been a lot of my pitch when I go to schools was talking to these kids that yeah, you can go and do your college or whatever. But the skilled trades, you can just get out there. You don’t have to spend that money, go into college, go to trade school, get get your degree and take off this field will be making money a lot quicker than you can with trying to go get a job.

Hey, guys, quick announcement, if you have not stopped into our website, at skill, trade rescue calm, please do that. On the homepage. Here, you will see that we have the Join the movement email list. If you haven’t signed up, please consider doing that we have some amazing guests lined up for the podcast, I’m going to be getting the stories out of successful technicians and business owners in skilled trades. These are not just HVAC people there’s going to people be from across the skilled trade spectrum. And my hope is that I’m going to be able to draw out of these people the things that have worked in their careers amazingly well. And the things that if they had a chance to talk to their younger self, what they would tell them not to do. So I want to share all that stuff with you. And if you sign up, you’re going to be the first to know when we drop those new podcast episodes. Also coming soon. We have the BST workshop. It’s a five day automated email Workshop. However, you’re going to give content to us through that workshop, you’re going to get one on one feedback from our structures, instructors, and we’re looking to better your career. I’ve been teaching the BST process for many, many years, about two decades one on one, and I’m going to be trying to do that to the masses through this workshop. It’s totally free. All you got to do sign up. As soon as you do that, you’ll get alerts on your email. As soon as these new podcasts come in, as well as the BST workshops. Okay, check it out, I will put a link to the website on the show notes for this episode today. So check it out. Just so you’re working as a service manager. So you kind of you’re you’re, you’re right in the middle of it. So you’ve got older, older techs, younger techs, what are some of the what are some of the mindset challenges that you have with with technicians that that work with you? I mean, what are some of the things that you’re working with them to improve in order to, to speed up their trajectory? What are some key things that maybe a working technician now that seems like man, I’m just not moving up quick enough? Like, what are some of the the things that use a service manager are looking for in technicians in general, new ones or older ones.

So I have it for I have it all over the place, I’ve got older guys, a couple of them probably should go ahead and retire, they, they just don’t want to. I’ve got new guys, and they’re real bright. And on the same side of the money, guys, I’ve got a couple that are you know, they’re gonna take off and just go with it. And they love learning. And then I’ve got guys that bright, but they don’t, they don’t really show the initiative of doing it, you’re like you have to push them. So I’ve got both ends. And I think what really motivates him is honestly the finger tacks being willing to teach, and not willing to teach, but also willing to look at the way that those younger guys look at things and learn from it as well. Right? I spend a lot of my day, my guys get in trouble, hey, I take off out there we go help them. I get in trouble, too. I call him a senior guys are like, Hey, can we look at this or talk about it. And we work it out as a team. But that’s the main thing is to know that we’re not going to leave you stranded by yourself. You’ve got support here everywhere. And that someone’s always going to be available to either answer the phone or show up on your job with you and help you out. And we’re going to teach you so that next time, you’re more prepared, or you’ve already seen this and you can it’s easy for people, you know, sometimes we show up on jobs, and they’re like, how did you figure that out so fast? Well, we just have a lot of experience, we’ve seen it.

Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, it’s, I guess, the mindset that I used to look for, is, you know, I used to say this all the time, you give me somebody who doesn’t know a lot that has the drive to learn, and you know, really the right attitude, I can make him into a great tack. But on the flip side of it, on the flip side of it, if you got somebody that’s just smart as a whip, I mean, they’re just, you know, intellectually just sharp. But they just don’t have that, that drive to learn and strive and, you know, they may make it up to a certain level of a technician, but they’ll plateau out, you know, because they’re there say, Oh, that’s good enough for me, and they don’t know, keep rolling up, you know?

Right? Yeah, that’s been the difficult part. I’ve got a few guys right now. They’re real smart, but they just don’t, they seem comfortable where they are. And I’m trying to, maybe that might be a little bit of fear is you got to step outside of that. You’re going to learn and grow from it. That’s been, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Try to tell the guys look, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s gonna happen. And you’re going to learn.

So when you first started in the trades, working in HVAC back in 2007, Brian, what are some of the things that you struggled with? I want to I want to hear about those things, if there was anything that you struggled with professionally, and maybe you know how you applied your military background or what you did to deal with those things that you challenged with what were some of those things?

Now my main struggle was being confident and reading, not being confident and understanding what I was seeing was my multimeter troubleshooting. So I would second guess myself all the time. And I had to learn quickly. You what I what I knew my knowledge, I had plenty of knowledge. I also had plenty of support that I just had had to trust my gut and go with what I was seeing and be willing to say, Yep, this is it and go ahead and make the repair. Well, it took me a while to be, you know, especially with the amount of money, we’re talking on components. And I didn’t want to make those calls, I don’t want to be like, I’m sorry, this is gonna cost you this much, and felt bad. Well, now I’ve understood that, hey, you’re actually there, they called you for a reason you’re there for a reason. They want you to fix it. So that was what I struggled with was I struggled so bad that I would go home and make my own trainers in the garage Lahoma on time, so I look for that. For people that want to not only understand that, hey, this isn’t just a job, it’s a career and something you’re going to invest in, is go home and do the same thing and continue your education. Figure out what weakness push through. And that’s what the Marine Corps taught me was your only as good as your weakest link. So mine was troubleshooting at first and

yeah, so you get somebody? Where are you finding all your technicians? Now? What the newbies that you’re bringing in? Where are they coming from?

Like specific schools are doing what you’re asking?

Yeah, yeah. Like, where do you like if you need to hire a new technician to bring them up? Were you finding those new technicians, the apprentices if you will?

Well, so we we are currently in heavily involved with people all the tech and post show up Mogi highly recommend getting kids from their best thing about OSHA, not sorry, stop tech, and they just started a plumbing division. So they’re, they’re working on building out plumbers. And so are we, we have our construction site that has plenty of owners. But we need service partners, right? That’s why it’s so difficult to find, but they are. So it’s been my interest is that we’re just going to get a young pup and an older guy, and we’re going to take off from there. So that’s, that’s why we do what we do. We go to the school, and we tell them what we needed. And they’ve been really good about, hey, we’re gonna build a whole new plumbing lab and go with it.

Yeah. Yeah. And then once they once you bring him in, is that is that what you do? I think I’m hearing you say you, you shadow them with a more senior tech for for a while. How long is your apprenticeship program? Typically,

I, I like to give them around two years to I mean, I think especially if I can, if I can get them on where they’re not just doing, you know, at first, their first six months or a year, they’re just they’re basically carrying the tool bag and visually learning them. I mean, they do work, but it’s their manual labor. The second year is where I want to see them take over, I want to see them actually run the job. And in the senior Tech’s, basically, they’re just stopping anything from going wrong. And same with me, I want to see them come to me and say, Hey, this is you know, I’ve watched how you do it. Now I want to just take over and do it the same way or here, I’ve got some actually better ideas, and I’ll sit down and listen to it. That’s, that’s what we look for.

Hey, guys, I have an exciting announcement, we just recently made some updates to our three most popular online courses at process Tiller Academy comm if you’re a technician, that’s looking to improve your skills a little bit and maybe get some specialized training to be of more value to your customers and your employer. Or if you are an employer, a contractor that is looking to augment your existing in house training with online training that can be accessible from any device, this is a really great opportunity. Just go to process chiller, academy.com just scroll down on the homepage, and you will see the course area. If you go into the course page, you will see that we have currently for limited time, we have a promo code of chiller Pro that will save you 25% on any one of these courses. So I hope you check it out. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in class. In private, yeah. So from a new hire that doesn’t know anything, you your goal is to turn them out where they’re actually generating some revenue within about two years. Yep. Okay. Okay. That’s, that’s fantastic. Um, and how often so let’s say you get somebody that is really improving quickly. Are you in are you increasing their their pay package, you know, used to be in the old days, when you know that there wasn’t as big of a supply and demand problem with the skilled trade labor. You know, we would tell them, Okay, you know, you get a review on this, this timeline. And then you know, Even if you’re improving, really well, we this is our schedule, this is how we do it. It seems the trend now is as a, as a technician is improving. They’ll they’ll ratchet up the compensation and the opportunities, the type of things they get to work on as quickly as they possibly can, because there’s so much of a demand now is that, are you seeing that same thing?

Yeah. We don’t really go off of a schedule, you’re off more performance. And we, it’s used as an incentive that you can take jumps, especially here and with me is that if you know, I give you courses to take, and you go and complete them on your own time, or whether we’re actually paying for you to go attend the course. Once that’s done, and then I see that you’ve actually applied yourself or continued learning on your own, you can jump quick into some decent money. And we’re not the problem is dealing with young kids and make having them understand that you’re going to start out lower than what you know, I guess Walmart or Target are currently trying to hire. But you’re gonna pass that real fast. And we’re, you’re getting a career? Not, you know, we’re not just doing the same thing every day. You’re not I mean, there’s a lot of opportunity. But it’s again, it’s all really left out fast, they want to do it.

So what’s your plans? Brian? So you’ve been at this company now for a while you’re yours, the service manager, you’re the the sales person, you know, you’re you’re translating between the technical stuff that’s going on in the field and trying to explain it as best you can to the customers on why they gotta spend money to get this thing running again, what what’s your plan? I mean, where do you see going in the next, you know, five or 10 years and in HVAC trade?

Well, I’m hoping that in the next five years, I’ve completely rebuilt this service department. And there’s more than just me and the other guy that does the residential side doing it, we’re we’re trying to build a whole crew to wear this. I mean, it almost works on itself. I know that’s impossible that, you know, technically we’re in three hats right now, I’d like to only do one. Eventually, I would like to get there. And then I’m kind of thinking that once that happens, if I get the opportunity, I’d like to go work on the construction side for a while. I’m the project manager.

Very cool. Very cool. So what what advice would you give just if you had a chance to talk to one of these newbies? And you were their their personal coach? What? What advice would you give to somebody, let’s say we got a individual that is, you know, has been told to go to college, almost from birth. And they realize, wow, you know, college really isn’t for me. And they’ve done some research and they decide they want to be an HVAC tech or any other still trade doesn’t really matter. What advice would you give that person or, you know, another way to ask would be, you know, what would you say to your younger self, about, you know, about the the career track and skilled trades,

would just say that the skilled trades is going to offer a lot of skills for trade track is going to offer up a lot more opportunities than just whether you want to be an HVAC tech plumber pipe fitter. There’s more there. I mean, it looks, it looks like oh, you got to pick one field? Well, yeah, you need to pick one and get good at it. But it’s going to open doors that you didn’t think were possible. Just focus on getting good at investing in yourself, and getting good in taking care of ordering all your tools getting, you know, once you once you understand that, the sky’s the limit if you want to go into work for yourself or go to work for a company, whatever you want to do, and you can make as much money as you want to make.

Yeah, for sure. Very good. Well, gosh, any any things you’d like to maybe share with veterans that are just getting out? You know, like, career paths for them any anything you’d like to share to my audience? I know I have a lot of military people both still in and and just getting out what what advice would you give them as far as a career path when when they get out?

I just always keep your ears open to your eyes. I mean, just look at the skill train. For sure. Then you can use your GI Bill. But you can also the best part about this. This is Opportunity is you can work and go to school and use your GI Bill. So you’re gonna, you know, just take a leap over just go into college. It’s been, you know, I mean, I’m not saying that that’s that’s for some people and I didn’t say you guys go you do 20 hours a semester and get a degree but the skilled trades is in high demand, I can’t tell you how work on our we do not take our or hiring sign down basically. Right? I mean, we were all in a lot of fun as mice side is a lot of people approached me to be a plumber and I didn’t listen. Well. Yes, I really enjoy the HVAC side. But to be honest, the plumbing field even though it sounds dirty, you make a lot more money. But jobs are pretty sweet.

Yeah. Interesting. Very, very interesting. Yeah, one of the challenges nowadays, what a lot of people, of course, the media doesn’t talk about it, is that you know, you get a individual that’s getting out of out of high school now. And, you know, let’s say the parents are middle class are not wealthy, and they, they want to put their, their child through college. And what they’re finding out is the college experience is much different now than it than it was before when they went through and not that I’m, you know, negative on college, I’m just trying to be, you know, realistic about it. And these, these, these kids, they go in there. And they’re, they are working, maybe some of them while they’re in college, but they’re not. They’re not making much. And they’re, you know, they’re constantly balancing work with their their school life. But at the end of the of their courses, whether it be for five, six years to get their degree, either they or their parents have racked up a huge debt, you know, and that’s the challenge that they’re faced, because the cost of college is increased weigh more than the cost of living, right. So the, the, these individuals are really struggling with that. And I think which you touched on a real important thing that if you go into skilled trades, and you get good at it, you can always go back to college, unfortunately, very few people do. I did, but it was just difficult. It’s difficult. But you know, if you go into an apprenticeship program or something like that, you’re you’re making great money you’re getting, you’re already starting your trajectory to move up. And you’re not racking up a lot of debt. Because a lot of times the employers are so hard up for good labor, they’ll pay for a lot of it, you know, it’s just, it’s just kind of a no brainer. If if you’re not going to be a doctor or a lawyer, you know, something like that, that absolutely 100% requires a college degree.

Yeah, absolutely. They I would, I would definitely encourage, especially the, if you really sat down and looked at what you’re going to pay for getting a four year degree compared to what you’re going to spend going through whether it’s to the five year apprenticeship, you’re going to rack up debt, a lot of debt that you’re going to be paying for for quite a long time. Or you can go into the skilled trades, get paid to do it and you’re you’re you’re low come out of there with me might have some debt, but you’re gonna it’s more income, and then your incomes going to just continue to grow. You’re going to take off further than that kid that went to college and partied or whatever, may have not got a degree. It was me. I before I took off to the Marine Corps, I did make that mistake. And luckily I quickly realized what I was doing.

So that is it. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I very much look forward to continuing to connect with you. Please don’t hesitate to send me messages on LinkedIn. I’m on there all the time. Or you can reach out to me on my email. I’m at M King at process tour academy.com And until next week, when I give you the next installment I wish you a great week, and I will connect up with you again soon. Take care.