Help me choose a new career.

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Maybe doing restaurant/commercial HVAC? There’s a guy I follow on YouTube, HVACR Videos, who is also in California looking for techs. Relatively small thing he’s got going on, but the work looks interesting.
 
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I think its reasonable to consider opening your own AC shop. But see what the competition is? How much to they charge per hour or service. How much is your rent for a small shop? Maybe start out renting a bay.

But you need to draw up an honest business plan that covers all the money coming in and going out. It needs to be honest and not wishful.

And get liability insurance so if you damage a car or someone gets hurt in your shop that you are covered.

You might need to work a second job at same time while you are starting up.
 

Chris142

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Why not set yourself up as a mobile A/C mechanic? You just get a van and load it up with tools and drive to your customers so they don't have to come visit you. I used to use a mechanic like that and then later on he just opened up his own shop. I think he started at $50/hour, then went to $60 and then when he had his own shop, he was at $80, then he moved away. Of course this was years ago. Found him on Craigslist but of course these days, probably Facebook Marketplace is the place to advertise.
Many of the newer cars and trucks can't be worked on without a lift. Subframes must be dropped to get a compressor out. Would be a real job to do one with no lift.
 

Chris142

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Here is a sample of what I have collecting dust in my garage.
 

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If I was going to head in a new direction it would be as a CNC Machinist.

Stay away from anything to do with restaurants.
 

Chris142

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This cylinder is used to pressure test systems with nitrogen as to not introduce moisture into the system . Very few shops do any sort of pressure test and the ones that do use contaminated shop air.
 

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Given that you are in California, I'd go into HVAC instead of other auto jobs like radiator repair. Seeing how much money an average HVAC job cost I'm sure in the future the sky is the limit especially if you can end up in commercial HVAC.

Whatever you choose, don't let your past tie you down. I once thought of a field I was passionate about and wanted to go back into, and then that industry collapsed, I hang on to one equipment in my garage for nostalgia and then finally see the light, tossing it into the e-waste recycle. I've moved on now and am way happier.
 
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Many of the newer cars and trucks can't be worked on without a lift. Subframes must be dropped to get a compressor out. Would be a real job to do one with no lift.

Lifts are cheap...I bought a used 10,000# Rotary 2 post off Facebook for $1,800 installed. Do you have concrete you can put a lift on? You can also pour Piers yourself if needed.
 

manicrodder

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Given that you are in California, I'd go into HVAC instead of other auto jobs like radiator repair. Seeing how much money an average HVAC job cost I'm sure in the future the sky is the limit especially if you can end up in commercial HVAC.

Whatever you choose, don't let your past tie you down. I once thought of a field I was passionate about and wanted to go back into, and then that industry collapsed, I hang on to one equipment in my garage for nostalgia and then finally see the light, tossing it into the e-waste recycle. I've moved on now and am way happier.
I was in HVAC installer for 16 years. Since you're good with your hands I would expand training with sheet-metal work and installations. You could work any where you want.
 
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I worked from 1971-76 on over the road ThermoKing semi refrigeration, then switched over to working ThermoKing and Carrier refrigerated shipping containers until 1994. I enjoyed the work and the pay wasn’t bad either. Picked up a lot of tools over the years too. Steady work, never missed a day.
 
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If you are going to invest in a business where you wear all the hats then go with what you know or as far as your comfort level allows. If I was starting over I would go into the water well service industry. Not drilling, install/repair. If you ever need one of these services they are booked usually weeks out. The markup on their parts is legalized robbery. A good living to be had for someone that has good electrical/plumbing/mechanical skills, a truck with utility bed and an A frame and a young strong assistant. California is great for this because anyone is qualified unlike other states where there would be multiple licensing requirements in addition to a contractors license/bond.
 
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If I was going to head in a new direction it would be as a CNC Machinist.

Stay away from anything to do with restaurants.
While there is a shortage, there is still the problem of shops demanding crazy hours and/or ridiculous quotas for mediocre pay in most of the country. It is fun though, and clearance is clearance!
007811A5-2862-46A1-816A-B636F46585AB.jpeg
 
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Wouldn't hurt to put in an application, clean up your resume nice. We have refrigerated trailers too, might be worth talking to someone.


Can you do an employee referral ?
 
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Nobody can really answer your question for you. Do what you enjoy and you will never work a day in your life.
 
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I can’t give much advice.

I start my new career Monday. I was in my last “field” almost 10 years. Too repetitive with no future in what I was doing. Going to work for an electrician company with hopes to become an apprentice and go up from there.
 
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I'm going to be real.

I'm thinking Chris doesn't want to do HVAC residential or commercial that members keep bring up.

Having been in LA, I can't imagine Chris wanting to be a truck driver in that nightmare.

I don't think he wants to deal with running a business.

I think the real thing here is that Chris misses his old job.

However, he complained on here about customers at his last job and some other stuff on his last job.

Chris, I think you have a mindset and want to be too picky about your work.

Don't take your job home with you.

Have pride that your job is a vital part to grow and expand the U.S. economy.

Don't work at some small shop that offers no benefits, even if you like it unless you still wanna be there when your 73 years old repairing AC on old Teslas.
 
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^^^ This, the OP made clear he is not interested in Home/Commercial refrigeration and A/C systems. To me, that is where the money is and ENDLESS job/business opportunities. The demand so high and the industry is extremely profitable, anyone interested can make a nice living.
Here is the South, a A/C tech can walk in any company and get hired on the spot, many over time work up to their own business and many have turned their businesses into monster regional businesses with very high paid techs... its a job that can be very rewarding and endless opportunities to advance to whichever way you may want to.
 
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