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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Dec 20, 2022

Eric Kaiser and Ty Branaman return to the podcast to talk about why we need to pay technicians and field workers better in the HVAC industry and how small and medium businesses can help current employees.

When the pay for entry-level HVAC positions can't compete with fast-food, retail, or warehousing jobs, we can't expect people to flock to the industry, especially since so much skill is required. Overtime is also almost unavoidable in many places, and it's a problem that requires a more nuanced solution than getting more trucks on the road. The tricky part about paying more for overtime is that it's challenging to implement pricing structures that charge the end user proportionally.

As prices for equipment, fuel, and living essentials go up, the company often has to eat those extra costs if they want to pay their technicians fairly. In some cases, HVAC businesses feel bad for the customer when the cost of everything increases, which could be doing a disservice to the techs who deserve higher wages for their work. HVAC companies can increase their value by setting themselves apart in their markets, such as by performing unique services that benefit customers; effort and skill are required, which can justify higher prices. We have to be realistic about what our competitors are selling and work towards selling comfort, not just parts or systems.

Eric, Ty, and Bryan also discuss:

  • Challenges with reducing overtime
  • HVAC sales and higher pay rates
  • Customers' willingness to pay
  • Base pay and incentives
  • How managers can take care of their employees
  • Understanding employee motivation
  • Using profits for personal luxury items vs. reinvesting in a business
  • Knowing our numbers
  • Understanding employee discussions about pay


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