After becoming a plumber, it is a dramatic career shift into HVAC. There are some positives to this transition, such as the fact that some of your plumbing experience can transfer over into the HVAC education program and eliminate a few courses for you. However, if you want to be BOTH a plumber and an HVAC technician, there are a few things you need to know first, such as:
A Potentially Profitable Decision
By becoming both a plumber and an HVAC technician, you are able to do all related jobs by yourself. This means that your skills as a plumber do not end where an HVAC's skills pick up. Instead, you do all the work on both the plumbing installation and the heating or cooling installation. You never need to call in an HVAC technician to help complete a job, and you will be in high demand with customers who only want to deal with one contractor at a time. You could double your hourly rate if you are licensed for both professions, too.
You Spent Four Years Becoming a Plumber, and Two More to Become an HVAC Professional
To become a plumber, you probably spent one to two years in a classroom, and two or three years as an apprentice under another plumber. As an HVAC-in-training, you will spend another two years in the classroom and some time in the field. Be prepared to spend the time and money it takes to complete the coursework for your degree in HVAC, as you will have to schedule your plumbing appointments around your school schedule.
A Larger Truck and an Expanded Inventory
Not only will you need a larger truck after you complete the HVAC training and licensing, but you will also need an expanded inventory of parts. Are you ready for that, after spending two years paying for a second degree? If you plan ahead, you can at least have the larger truck, and one of each type of part loaded onto the back. Larger items, such as water heaters, you will have to order or pick up on demand, or store one of each model in your warehouse/on business property out of the weather.
You Can Take on Apprentices in Both Fields
Additionally, you can take on extra unpaid help in the form of apprentices. After you have obtained your HVAC license, you can take on one apprentice in plumbing, and one in HVAC. That will help you cover any extra work orders you receive on high-volume days.