Without a diploma, there were not a lot of job opportunities available for me.
- I took a custodian job.
It was a pretty great job, all things considered. I was provided a pay rate above minimum wage, with benefits, and after 6 months, I started earning paid sick days. This was better than the fast food jobs I had for a while. I worked hard as a custodian, did well at the job, and always volunteered for overtime. After a few years, I was promoted to head custodian and got a pay raise. After a few years, I got interested in Heating & A/C systems. I was asked to take care of a lot of minor repairs around the building. Whenever there was a complex heating or cooling malfunction, they called in an outside HVAC supplier. The HVAC technicians seemed to have a good thing going. They definitely seemed to be knowledgeable in HVAC equipment. Air conditioners and furnaces are complicated machines. The installation and repair of them is complicated. I started paying attention anytime the HVAC technicians worked on the Heating & A/C equipment. One guy saw me watching and suggested that I should consider getting into the HVAC industry as a technician. I found out that I could attend night school and earn an HVAC certification despite my lack of education. Learning a trade such as HVAC is more valuable to me than achieving a diploma or degree. I decided to buckle down, study and learn whatever was necessary to get my certification. I’ve now been working in the HVAC industry for the last five years. I’m totally happy with my choice of career.