8 Tips for New Techs (So You Don’t Get Fired)

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If you are new to the trade… welcome

If you are young and new to the trade, we need you, but if you aren’t thoughtful you might get fired.

No offense, millennials often just have a different way of looking at work than their GenX bosses and trainers.

Here are my 8 top tips to help you make it a great a career.

#8 – Act interested (even when you aren’t)

I know sometimes your trainer can be boring, but when he is talking, look alive. Literally… I’ve seen apprentices who I wondered if they were actually dead… smelly… unresponsive… you get it.

When someone is attempting to invest in you it’s important that you listen up and pay them the respect they deserve.

#7 – Learn the names of basic tools

I know it can be confusing if you are new but read up enough so that when your trainer asks for “channel locks” you don’t say “what’s that”. This isn’t difficult to do and if you want to get familiarized with some tools you can look through the HVAC School tool list

#6 – Keep the music off and the earbuds out

Work isn’t the time to be distracted for any reason. That is unless you are listening to the HVAC School podcast… then it’s OK

#5 – Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers

Listen more than you talk. Give eye contact when your manager or trainer is speaking. If you don’t understand something be specific about the part you aren’t grasping.

#4 – Repeat back what you heard

Say “I want to make sure I understood you correctly” and repeat back what you understood rather than saying OK if you didn’t fully understand

#3 – Look professional

I don’t care if your boss or trainer looks like a slob, YOU dress according to the company policy and come to work looking well kept. Obviously, you need to dress job appropriate but people naturally respect someone who has a professional appearance.

#2 – Show up on time

Show up 15 mins early. Show up 30 minutes early! This isn’t complicated and bad traffic isn’t a valid excuse.


Your friends, Facebook, Snapchat… they can all wait. Give your work your full attention while at work

Oh… and while you’re at it… get good at working on and installing HVAC/R systems. That helps as well.

— Bryan


  1. Avatar Scott @ RCMS says:

    Damn good advice for the younger generation. I have had newbies say that they see me on the phone and I tell them, I receive calls for work, order parts, and schedule on mine. No games or chatting with friends on the job.

  2. Avatar Todd Liles says:

    That’s a solid post Bryan! Well written.

  3. Avatar Allan curtis says:

    Alot of good advice here. Take initiative as well and try to be one step ahead once your abilities are there. Know what tools and materials will be asked for next.

  4. Avatar Bobby says:

    #8,#5 and #4. I’ve washed my hands of new guys on the spot! Nothing more frustrating that teaching someone and spending the extra time to explain it and you turn around and they are in their own little world looking off into space.

  5. Avatar Donnie says:

    Dang good advice especially the get good at working on systems. Nothing frustrates me more than a “salesman” who has no business touching a unit in the first place. It is morally wrong to shut a homeowner off in the middle of the season and make them suffer to make an extra buck. There are other ways to upsale equipment. But forcing people into something in this manner is wrong. You good technicians are much appreciated and keep up the good work. But these idiots who don’t know what there doing please quit or do like I did and learn it.

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