Joining The HVAC Industry: Interview With David Small
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
David Small is the manager of technical excellence and quality assurance at Crossway mechanical. He has over 30+ years of experience in the HVAC field and is a consultant with SkillCat. In this interview, we talk about:
How the HVAC industry has changed over his 30+ year career
What people looking to enter the field need to know
What types of companies to look at for your first job
Why there are so few 5+ year technicians
How to stay healthy and happy as an HVAC tech
Here is a complete transcript of our conversation. Note: This transcript was automatically generated and 95% accurate.
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Complete transcript of our episode on joining the HVAC industry
Eric: [00:00:00] welcome everyone to the skill cat weekly blog posts with us today. We have David Small. He's the manager of technical excellence and quality assurance at Crossway mechanical. And he also has over 30 years of experience in HVAC field and as a consultant with skill cat. Thanks for being here, David.
David: [00:00:16] Thank you for inviting me, Eric.
Glad to be here.
Eric: [00:00:19] Yeah. Always happy to talk. Well, cool. I thought we kind of just start off by having you just go through your background and kind of what, what your journey has been like your HVAC.
David: [00:00:27] Okay. So, well, I got into HVAC, uh, kind of on accident. I was in the United States army and I found out that.
General electric had a veterans hiring preference, their GE central air conditioning department in Tyler, Texas. So, so, uh, my parents told me about that. I moved over there. Yeah. I started out in the assembly line. Um, actually I started out in the paint department stacking up pallets, so it was like sanding off paint, blemishes and everything.
And from there I graduated to the assembly line. Got the actually, uh, hand materials out to this and the line workers and then move from there to the person to actually put the screws in. And so it worked up through the factory. It's, it's been a really, really rewarding career, you know, from the ground up, that was immeasurably valuable experience because you see everything that goes into.
Turning raw materials into finished products and all the steps in between. And so, um, I've gone from there into, uh, marketing training and technical support for train. Uh, I was a laboratory technician for four and a half years in the research and development lab for train also. And then, uh, graduated as a product support specialist and national trainer for the American standard brand.
Uh, which has trained, uh, they have two brands and, uh, from there I've gone into field support here in the greater Houston area. I've done field support [00:02:00] for the Trane distributor hunting distribution here also for the carrier Bryant distributor carrier enterprise. Um, I started my own company, air analyst, HPAC.
It's still an active license. Um, but I am. Working with a really good friend of mine. His name is Brian Wright. He owns Crossway mechanical. I've known him for years and we've talked about working together for years. So in my, in my golden years, my, my old age, I'm trying to keep up with young guys. Yeah. So it's been a 35 year plus career.
I'm 63 years old. And if you look at some of my posts, I'm still getting a hang in there and monkey around in the addicts and a stress doc work now. And again, not too much anymore. It's been a great career area. That's awesome. It's kind of a upside down parabola because you know, you usually start out hanging duct work.
Then you end up doing training and tech support for a manufacturer or something. And I started out in the lab, did training in tech support for a manufacturer. And now I finally graduated to the guy that actually hangs up for it.
Eric: [00:03:11] You were first the normal path.
Well, cool. I mean, you've been in the HVAC industry for so long. How has it changed over 35 years? I'd imagine it, it doesn't look anything like how it used to. Oh,
David: [00:03:25] shoot. Yeah. Um, when I was going to Tyler junior college, I remember my instructor. He brought a, uh, one of the very first laptop computers I ever saw in my life.
He brought it into the classroom and he said, wave of the future boys wave of the future. He says, I'm going to show you how to use this software and his computer to talk to the air conditioner. It's like, yeah. Right. So now it's standard. Standard efficiency air conditioning system. These days usually has at least two computers driving it.
That's the thermostat [00:04:00] on the wall. Uh, we're not called thermostats anymore. Those are comfort controls. Those are human interface devices, right? And so now you get some of the higher efficiency, variable capacity equipment. You might have seven to nine onboard computers with Bluetooth interface to the, to the air conditioning system.
So, yeah, it's nice. Sometimes you can actually look into the air conditioner before you ever leave the office and get a clue what might be wrong before you get there?
Eric: [00:04:31] Yeah, it's funny. I, I never even thought that, you know, 20 years ago, however long it was, he goes somewhat telling you that the AC was going to have a computer and it must just seem insane.
David: [00:04:41] Yeah. Yeah. And it's even getting better than that predictive modeling and, and with the lower cost of different kinds of sensors and transmitters. The ability to instrument a system and connect it up to some central repository for information and have air conditioner called a service, man. It's tell service, man.
Hey, something's wrong with me out here? I'm moving a few less BTUs. I'm burning a few more Watts of energy, but beyond that, uh, technology has advanced so much. There's an old joke about how do you charge an air conditioner? Right. You charge it until the vapor line is bare. Can cold. I like to call it the Coors light, the charging method.
So yeah, you take a Coors light can and empty it by whatever method you deem appropriate. And then you cut it open. You wrap it around the vapor line. And when the Mountain's turned blue, then the refrigerants cold enough. Oh, that's
Eric: [00:05:39] great.
David: [00:05:41] Work on NASA is that this procedure may need to be repeated up to six times.
Eric: [00:05:48] That's so good. You get to be
David: [00:05:49] here. Yeah. Y'all got a better six time. It's time to call somebody else.
Eric: [00:05:53] That's awesome. Uh, so I mean, I guess that brings up the question of when someone new is getting into the industry, how [00:06:00] familiar do they need to be with technology? I mean, like, has that really changed?
What attack needs to know or is most of it kind of designed really well? That people can just kind of jump into it.
David: [00:06:10] So as far as the, the physics involved in the air conditioning system, the majority of the physical principles that you need to understand, you should have gotten a pretty good handle on by the eighth grade.
Um, it's, it's physical science, you know, and basic chemistry. There's not super high level chemistry in it. And, uh, it's not rocket science. It's chemical, electro-mechanical thermodynamic engineering, but it's not rocket science. Okay. Sorry. I'm teasing. It really is. When you think about it, you take the most complicated machine, like the space shuttle, you break it down into one individual little system.
How does that system work? So if you understand the basics of, you know, basic electricity, You know, which way does heat flow from hot to cold? A little bit about pressure and gravity. And a lot of the things that I use in my, in my career is things I learned in the Cub Scouts, you know, just basic natural occurring phenomenon that God created, that mankind has learned to bolt together to make machines work.
So just. Yeah, pay attention in class, you know, and, and, and there are wonderful websites out there. And one of my favorite, uh, websites or TV shows is how stuff works. You ever watch that show?
Eric: [00:07:35] I don't think I have. I've definitely heard of it though.
David: [00:07:38] Yeah. Also works. Or, uh, there was another show out there called how it's made.
Eric: [00:07:44] I think I may have seen a couple episodes of that one.
David: [00:07:46] Yeah. Yeah. They actually went to the train plant when I was working there and shot some footage there. And of course I know more about to put in five minutes, what takes years to research and develop and hours and hours and hours to put [00:08:00] together.
But the, a, their conditioning industry is so crucial to our modern life, the heating ventilation and air conditioning and all the principles involved. Um, If we didn't have these principles, we wouldn't be able to keep food in the refrigerator, same principles. Right? Um, during their COVID-19 outbreak, Eric HPAC, people were deemed essential workers because what are you going to do?
If you have a hospital clean room and the air purification system goes down, that's how vital this role is. Um, Just keep people healthy. Some parts of the world heating and air conditioning can be life sustaining. You. Let's say you're up in the Northern climates up in Minnesota, North Dakota. You're in the middle of a blizzard.
If you can't provide heat people die. Yeah. So yeah, I'd say it's a critical industry.
Eric: [00:08:59] Yeah. It's, it's interesting. Before I got, kind of started working in the space. I, you know, obviously I knew about HVAC, but I, I, for whatever reason never realized how important it is. And I think a lot of people are in that boat.
They don't realize how kind of critical it is for our every day that we have, whether it's your classroom, isn't, you know, 110 degrees or whatever it may be, you know? Um, I was kinda curious. Why do you think. You know, I guess they're the industry hasn't gotten the attention that maybe it deserves or that it, it isn't labeled as, as, as critical as it, as it is.
David: [00:09:33] So a lot of that has to do with education and promotion, or even just the individual companies, as they're out, talking with homeowners, explaining to the homeowners, how the machine works. Most homeowners, if you stop and ask him which device in your home uses the most energy, they will automatically jump to either the [00:10:00] refrigerator or the air conditioner.
Most of the time, sometimes they talk the big screen TVs and home theater, but the refrigerator and the air conditioner, those are the biggest energy consuming devices. And so which ones require the most attention. You know, a lot of times we use automotive analogies. So when it comes to education to the general public, it's all about promotion, you know, and all about the leadership in schools.
Whenever we have young people coming into these educational institutions, then they're kind of pushed towards computer programming, um, aerospace medicine. Uh, petroleum technologies energy, but they don't think of heating and ventilation and air conditioning as the energy industry. But that really what it is, it's energy and comfort, uh, harmonize is the word I'm looking for.
Eric: [00:11:03] Yeah, well, it seems to be really the more of the application of a lot of things that people may be learning in school, which is funny. Cause a lot of people come out of school with an engineering degree and they don't. I don't think they could probably work on an HVAC system. You know what I mean? Which is theoretically what they just learned about, you know what I mean?
Which is always interesting to see. Yeah. And so, I mean, I guess, you know, you have a really unique perspective because you spent so much time training. What do you think people need to know when they're looking to get into the field?
David: [00:11:35] Well, of course, there's, um, there's an example. I'm a Bible student too.
And there's an example where, where Jesus was talking about who of you is gonna go to build a tower that doesn't first sit down and count the costs for heaven forbid you should start the project, get halfway done and run out of money. Right? So there's a cost associated with any vocation. And so there's, there's [00:12:00] pros and cons.
You have to weigh it. Hmm, you know, what is this going to cost me? Well, I'm going to have to learn the, the technology or the technology is not really changing so much as the application of the technology expands and grows daily. I started say yearly, but it's more like daily. So keeping up with the ways that the science is multiplied.
And expanded upon is a, is a lifetime, but very fascinating endeavor. So you've gotta be willing to keep learning you. You're not going to know at all. And as soon as you take, you do know it, all, something new is going to be thrown at you, you know, um, inverter drives communicating, you know, binary, communicating system, multiplexing communicating systems.
It sounds really complicated, right? It's not. It's not, it's really pretty easy, you know, electrons only know two ways to go this way or that way. And so you can send information that way in computer science, if you've been trained on computers, uh, understand a little bit more than the human human interfaces, you know, how to sort of, uh, cert social media and use a mouse and everything like that.
There's computers have logic, you know, kind of get a clue about how computers think, you know, it's either on or off. Hot or cold in or out on or off, you know, zeros and ones. That's how computers think. And so the way some of the air conditioning communication systems work, it's that binary. Yeah.
Eric: [00:13:37] Makes sense.
And I mean, let's say someone listening is maybe they're considering getting into HVAC or what do you think the pros and cons would be. Like, if you were kind of looking back and looking at someone, joining your company new, and you had to be honest with them and tell them, Hey, you're the pros, you're the cons, what do you think they would be?
David: [00:13:54] Okay. The pro is everybody needs it. You know, like I said, [00:14:00] when the COVID epidemic hit, a lot of people were told to stay home. A lot of people take pay cuts. We got a letter that we put an adviser of our trucks that said essential workers. This guy can be on the street. You know, and Hey, guess what a lot of the folks that not going on vacation, because either they don't have the money or they just won't travel or can't travel.
Guess what they're doing, they're staying home and they're remodeling. So construction trades, HPAC people. We're actually seeing pretty steady work where other people are hurting. Our paychecks have been pretty consistent. Our technicians are working full time. No there's guys on call working right now.
It's Saturday afternoon or not. It's Friday afternoon. These guys are working. Uh, that's that's the pro the pro is if you, if you apply yourself, you believe in yourself and you invest in yourself, then there's really no limit to where you can go with it. Just almost like in any industry. The con is, of course, you're probably not going to start at the top.
You know, you gotta, you gotta earn your stripes. And which is good, which is good, because like I said, me fending off paint, blemishes, and passing out screws and everything, my insight into how these machines are born and then working as an R and D laboratory technician, which was a step up, I learned pure science.
I was able to be taught by the gentlemen and ladies that create these machines right. Or, or, or improve them. So the science that I learned was pure science. I would say that one of the pros of this industry is you can really get a good understanding into how the universe works. Alright. Alright. Our creator made everything synergistic.
Um, the other pro that comes with that is the people you're going to work with [00:16:00] are generally going to be honest, hardworking people. And the good ones will have the attitude that they're there to serve. Right. We're blessed where I work to have that pretty much as everybody that works there has that mentality.
We're there to serve, but we're also there to, to build each other up. Um, we invest in ourselves for anybody starting any vocation. Personal development is crucial. You know, we are what we eat. We also become what we think about. So if I think I'm an expert in the field that I choose, and if I'm doing something that I really, really want to do, and I'm working progressively toward achieving that goal, if my goal is to be a trainer, my goal is to be a salesman.
My goal is to be a business owner. My goal is to be just the AC service tech in demand. All the customers ask for me if that's what makes me happy and that's my goal. And I believe that. And I think about that every day when I get up, then that's where I'm going to beat and I'm going to be here. We'll be doing it.
And by everybody's measurement, I'll be a success. So I love my job. You know, I was working in the backyard with a technician the other day. It was 104 degrees in the backyard on the West side of the house at five in the afternoon, hotter than blazes we're out there, sweating bullets. And I asked him, I said, Hey, Daniel, you love your job.
He says, I don't know so much about that right now. Just like, man, get a good sweat going. That's whenever I'm like, you know, like a snake, you know, whenever I get hot, I moved faster.
Eric: [00:17:44] Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And you know, I like to these, as you said, one that the HVAC industry has followed really hardworking, good people.
And that's really been my experience as well. It's been, it's been honestly a pleasure to talk to a lot of people I talked to. Um, the other one, I kind of had [00:18:00] a question on was how often are people coming in and expecting that they're going to be great at this in a month or two months, or, you know, how common is that expectation that people are going to kind of walk on and be at the top?
David: [00:18:11] You know, um, when in maybe the sales arena. I would say that maybe fairly common, but in the technical side of it, most people are not that cocky that way, unless they did really, really well in school. And maybe they went through a vocational program in school and they were top of their class and they, man, they're good with their tools, manual dexterity and their, their concept of machinery and everything is ACE.
Then there may be a little bit cocky and you just work with that. But, uh, No, no, that's it. Humility is required. Gotcha.
Eric: [00:18:47] Hey, that's actually, one of the questions I had for you was, you know, people were thinking about going to technical school before they get into the industry, you know, where, what is your kind of view on that?
You know what I mean? Like how do, how do people really experience in the industry? See graduates of technical school is an arm out of that much? Is it something that is very valuable? You know
David: [00:19:05] what I mean? Medical training is an extremely valuable, it's a huge plus. You know, um, I went to Tyler junior college.
My degree is an associate's degree in heating air conditioning and refrigeration. And then I started studying computer science and got busy training for training and, and never finished that. Uh, I've used, it used a lot of it. Um, but the foundation it's like anything. If you don't have that solid foundation, then, then you don't have anything to work with.
So understanding machines, understanding basic electrical circuits, understanding construction in this business is a plus. I know in my classes we have blueprint reading. That was huge. Helped me out a lot. How are you going to understand how to look at a set of plans and determine how much heat is going to go in and out of the [00:20:00] building?
If you can't read a print, so, uh, ask questions. You know, as the instructors don't, don't let the instructors just throw stuff at you because they're getting a paycheck, make them teach and practice.
Eric: [00:20:19] Yeah. That all makes sense. Um, I guess the next question for David, so. One of the things I've been finding a lot is that there seems to be like, people may want go into HVAC, but there's so many different, I guess, variations or branches of HVAC.
I mean, not only do you have residential and commercial, but you have the different sizes. You have maybe like a small family owned residential HVAC company. You may have a regional contractor, you may have a nationwide contractor. Um, and so one of the things I've been seeing is, is when people are looking to enter the field, is there any of those?
They should be avoiding. Is there any of that, like they should really set their sights on or, or, or kind of, I guess, groups that don't hire entry level. Like what's that, like,
David: [00:20:58] there are, sorry, it's gonna be a roundabout answer, but like in, in some areas there's a Texas is a right to work state. Some areas have unions and apprenticeship programs where you're required to go through the apprenticeship program.
And if you, if you. Can I just test out then, Hey, that's a great deal. That's like learning and getting paid while you learn you can't beat that. Hmm. No, I was kind of fortunate. I was, uh, uh, in the army when I was younger, so I got the, uh, the Vietnam era GI bill. So I got paid to go to school. Right. And so that was really nice.
And then I was also working in, uh, in the laboratory for train at the same time. So I was getting paid to go to school because I was working with all these design engineers, you know, so I was learning all day long every day and getting paid for it. So that's not going to work out for everybody. It's not
Eric: [00:21:56] sorry.
David: [00:21:58] Unless you can find a way to make [00:22:00] that happen, you know? Hmm. You know, um, if you're working with somebody that you're impressed with, with what they know, then ask them a million questions. Right. They're the ones that really know and love the business, and they'll be happy to spend as much they can and answer your questions.
But I think it's up to the individual to assess the company. You know, it's like on a job interview, it's just as important for the candidate to interview the potential employer, to find out how well they fit and where the opportunities are and what they can learn from them. So maybe if you don't know anything.
Um, starting with the little mom and pop business may not work for you because they may need somebody that can jump in there and start generating revenue. Right then and there selling servicing, um, the larger companies may have a better, more comprehensive training program for you. Uh, I don't know. You may find the mom and pop store has a.
The, the mentality that they like to grow people and teach them their way of doing things. So you can get in with a company that their whole emo is how fast can we do it? Or you may have to get in with a company, their whole, all like Crossway is how well can we do it. We usually put twice as many people and maybe take twice as long as another company.
But you go look at our work and the results in our warranty, and they're satisfied. Customers is well worth it. So fly by night companies. Do you know that that maybe just got started up, that don't have uniforms, don't identify their vehicles. You know, those are few people that are not going to be around.
You want a company that. [00:24:00] Even if they're brand new, if they've gone out presenting themselves to the world as, Hey, we're here to stay, then maybe you could get on the ground floor of something that's going to grow really big.
Eric: [00:24:10] Hmm. Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, it sounds kind of like you're saying, you know, maybe trying to get into an apprenticeship at a larger company might be a good place to start.
I mean, I guess train could kind of be like that, correct?
David: [00:24:23] Yeah, yeah. Or, or, you know, any of the major manufacturers, they all have their service agencies. Right. They have their, their manufacturers, but they also have, especially in the commercial world, they have service companies, train, carrier York, they all do.
Um, and I just threw some out. That's not all of them. There's um, municipalities school systems. Um, some religious organizations have training programs because they have a lot of holdings, you know? And so they have to maintain those holdings. So, yeah, it's just kinda like see what the opportunities are, but the, the, the foundation has to be yourself, invest in yourself.
You are, you are the product. And that's what we teach our guys where I work is the air conditioner is not the primary product. I mean, the brand we choose to sell, we choose because of a lot of different reasons, warranty and dependability. But the company that I worked for is a product. And we teach our technicians that, that truck you drive is your own little business.
Right. And when you're out there, you want the homes. When you leave the home, when they call back, they say, I want that guy back. Right. And so you're developing your customer base and we can, hopefully there'll be a time time whenever you'll leave here, start your own business and take all those customers with you.
Because you will have grown to the point to where you're now an ally. You're not a competitor [00:26:00] and together we're going to be better.
Eric: [00:26:04] That's awesome. That's really cool. Um, Hmm. How often do you, I guess how often is someone going to start their own company? Like how common is that in the industry?
David: [00:26:21] Well, here in Houston, everybody's an air conditioning contractor would say that
it's a high demand business. So there's a, there's a lot of, uh, AC contractors in the greater use scenario next to some, you know, come and go. The, the solid companies stick around a while. So, um, I guess you could answer that by saying how many solid companies are there. And if you look them up on the internet, but of those companies, let's say you found a thousand companies, you're going to find 30,000 employees or maybe 20,000 employees.
So it's going to be one out of 10 is going to start their own company. The other nine people are going to be comfortable working for somebody else.
Eric: [00:27:10] Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. And. Kind of follow up to where we were talking about earlier, obviously season. Yeah. Audi is a big deal in HVAC. Um, you know, there tends to be kind of the summer season where things really ramp up.
How does that impact someone who might be looking to get into the field? Like some of our listeners may be like, maybe you sold a vivid. They want to come work for crossover mechanical. Like I need a job. Let's do it. You know, how does the seasonality of, of the industry really affect, I guess people's chances to get a job, like, should they wait until January to really go after it?
David: [00:27:44] so going back to the individuals interview with the potential hiring company, a good question would be is what systems, processes, or strategies do you have to try to keep [00:28:00] me employed all year long? A level load and that's maintenance contracts, commercial like commercial maintenance contracts, uh, being, if you live in, in, uh, Louisville, Kentucky, or someplace where you've got hot summers and cold winters, Hey, guess what?
You don't have that problem. You know, you got six weeks in the spring and six weeks in the fall when nobody needs air conditioning, the rest of the year, they need air conditioning, heating or cooling. Right. So that's a pretty stable, they are now here in Houston. Yeah. Um, From an individual perspective, you have to be a good money manager and that's the biggest impact.
Um, you have to be like a squirrel, you know, just because a lot of non nuts on the ground, you don't need them all. You're going to have to put some to the side, so you have to learn to budget and you have to get on that budget. And if you get three times that money, one month, you have to realize that December you might not get that much
Eric: [00:28:56] money.
Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes total sense. And do you see that at, at large companies, you see it at small companies too? Like, is that pretty much universal across the board?
David: [00:29:06] Well, yeah. And depending on the climate, of course, like I said, and depending on the market too, some companies are into commercial refrigeration and they're into commercial, new construction.
And so if, if they're in commercial, new construction and they're in an area that's growing readily, like the Houston area is. And maybe they're into refrigeration and commercial refrigeration. Hey, I'm refrigeration side of it. That's a year round job and it's a high demand job. You get a, well, like the big grocery chains.
They have their own service departments, but everybody that stores food in a refrigerator or freezer restaurants, if those. Freezers and refrigerators go down. There's a lot of money tied up there, but you gotta be willing to work at midnight.
You can make good money because they're [00:30:00] going to pay, you know, to keep that product from spoiling. They're going to pay, whoever can get there fastest first and fix it best is going to get the job. And they're going to get to come back over and over again. But they have to be willing to get up at midnight.
Eric: [00:30:15] Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Service is going to be the number one criteria
David: [00:30:19] service is the key to success in anything you do
Eric: [00:30:21] anyway. Yeah, yeah, no, it's a very good point. So, I mean, is there any strategies for, I guess I'm just trying to think of like people who are looking to get into the industry. Is there any good strategies for him to be sure they're at a company that's going to hold onto them through the winter instead of doing maybe mass lay offs or something like that?
Like. Are the bigger companies safe? Is it, is it really not? Depending on size, it's more dependent on the company. Like what,
David: [00:30:48] from a personal standpoint, the primary strategy is to never be satisfied with where you are as far as your knowledge and your expertise in your abilities. Always seek to improve yourself. Um, Personal development, as I said, and I'm not talking about just technical, I'm talking about from a, from a spiritual standpoint, from a intellectual standpoint, the ability to express yourself, uh, understanding other people.
There's so much that goes into that, but it's all so valuable. This is a people industry, especially in the residential world. It's a highly people facing industry. So you have to be ready to. Develop strategies to handle different situations, you know, but there's no guarantees in life. I'll give you an illustration.
Whenever I was working for Trane, I had been there for 25 years. I had my hands in so many different things, warranty, website development, uh, even consulting with the controller once in a while and was thought I was, you know, Immune. So 2008 came, [00:32:00] no, the great recession of 2008. And in April, I got my gold watch for 25 years in December.
I got my pink slip because economy was that bad. They kept having to cut. Cut, cut, cut, cut. And finally got to the point to where they cut it really thin, which, you know, So I made myself valuable. And so I landed really well, landed on my feet down here in Houston. And that's the other thing. If you invest in yourself and stay humble, don't blow your own horn and let somebody else blow it for you.
Right? Let your, let your actions speak. And then you may get cut someplace, but you'll land someplace else because you'll be that valuable. And the proof will be in your, your experience in how you carry yourself. You know, what you can say about what you do or, you
Eric: [00:33:00] know yeah. The contrast between the gold watch and the pink slip within,
David: [00:33:07] I know
Eric: [00:33:08] along with time, I mean, but I like what you're saying.
I mean, you're not even saying like, Hey, when you go to a company, Make sure that they're going to keep you on through the winter. You're saying, you know, develop yourself enough so that even if they did let you go, you're ready to go. You know what I mean? I like that angle a lot more. It puts a lot more kind of in your control in your court instead of, yeah.
David: [00:33:27] Well, I'd say there's the other thing is you don't put all your eggs in one basket. You know, if you're even investing, you know, you kind of diversify and if you diversify your, your skills and abilities at your Fritz at some level where you can. Then, uh, you can, you can help with others, like helping you guys with skullcap.
That is a tremendous boost for me because I get to contribute to helping other people discover a way of life, you know, [00:34:00] or a vocation. I should say that is, is very rewarding. Right? And you can go to bed at night with a good clean conscience because you've earned every nickel you got. Right. Whether you're in sales and you're a high dollar salesman making a million dollars a year because you, you can't do that unless you're good, you know, unless you know what you're doing and trustworthy, so you've are never know who you got.
Eric: [00:34:25] Yeah. No, that makes sense. So I can tell from personal experience, we appreciate your help tremendously. Um, one of the other things I wanted to ask you, David was. Yeah. And a lot of companies I talked to there seems to be kind of like a shortage of experienced texts, maybe like two years, two to five years experience.
Um, do you know why that is? And I mean, for someone new entering the field, do you think that that might translate into really great job prospects for them that far down the line?
David: [00:34:55] Oh yeah. It could be the, it could be the seasonality, you know, security is a big deal, especially if you've got family. You know, having a steady paycheck is, is really important.
Uh, it could be the, the strain on the body. You know, this is not an industry as for the, for the week. And, and, and, and for folks that are out of shape, uh, you have to take care of yourself, right? You gotta eat, right. You need to wear your protective equipment. You need to be careful how you lift. You need to.
So safety and safety training is a big key. To longevity. The other thing could be the, um, the grass is greener scenario, right? Um, if you, if you, if you're good in this skilled trade technical trade, maybe you feel like you could be, I dunno, automotive service tech, you know, when, and if cars are used every day, there is no seasonality in that, but that's a pretty [00:36:00] full, that's a pretty full industry as well.
Interesting then that just wear out, you know, the body, the body can only take so much unless you can take care of it. Like I said, I'm 63 years old and I'm up in the attics, I'm in the rafters and everything, but I'm very strict about how I eat. Right. I don't abuse alcohol. I try to make sure I sleep.
Right. Right. I don't eat junk food. And I try to get enough sleep at night and I tried to take care of my spirit and my
Eric: [00:36:36] mind. Yeah. Yeah, no, I mean, that makes, makes a ton of sense. I mean, so you have you experienced that where like there's a gap in the three to five year experience range, or I guess maybe even three years and above somewhere around there.
I'm used to have you found that as well?
David: [00:36:57] Okay. I've seen that in turnover and it only in this area, because there is such a high turnover and, uh, the, uh, demographics of the workforce and a greater Houston area. Other areas you go to where there's trade organization, patients unions, apprenticeship programs, and, um, good year round work. Like Northeast, you know, in the Midwest, you don't see that as much.
You see people coming in. If they'd last, the first two years, they pretty much stick with it in the first two years, you're going to figure out if this is for you or not. Right. And then if, if, if, if after two years you decided this is what you want to do, those people get good at it. They end up becoming a business owner service managers, or they're just really happy.
Being the vest solutions provider for [00:38:00] their territory that they can be, and to live a long happy life doing that. And they get to share that with other people.
Eric: [00:38:08] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It seems to be a very rewarding job from the people I've talked to. Um, well, cool. David, anything else you kind of wanted to talk about
David: [00:38:19] only that, you know, I think anybody that's watching this.
It's even considering this don't get hung up on the climate, the conditions, the hard work, anything like that because there's, there's, you're not going to kill yourself doing this, doing an alert. Uh, if you're, if you're working out hard and that fast, you're taking too many shortcuts, you're going to get hurt.
So working at a pace that helps you think right, is how things get done faster. The other thing is that the. I've been doing it 36 years. Have I missed a paycheck in 36 years?
Eric: [00:39:02] Good. No, I believe it. Especially with how much it's grown and it seems like it's only up from here to, um, local David. Um, how can people get in touch with you if they want to kind of connect with you after this?
And maybe ask a few more questions or even if they're interested in and mechanical.
David: [00:39:20] Oh, so, well, I've got a LinkedIn, uh, account David Small, uh, err analyst is my, my LinkedIn account. That's also my Facebook and Instagram. So I'm posting on those too. And yeah, we started a YouTube channel before, too long.
Don't have it yet, got a lot ideas and booth got a lot of footage laid down, but I just haven't gotten over that hurdle of getting postings out there. But yeah, LinkedIn is a good way.
Eric: [00:39:47] Yeah. Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you, David. I appreciate you, uh, coming onto the show and we'll see you guys next. Sweet.
David: [00:39:53] All right.
Thank you, Eric. Have a good one. You too. Bye. Bye. Bye.