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Old 05-03-2013, 12:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,107 times
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Hi there everyone! We're a growing family currently of 3 (soon to be 4) looking into relocating to the East Coast from Colorado Springs. My husband is an HVAC technician with 3 years field experience, so entry level, but experienced with installation, repair and service, and some light commercial work. My question specifically is this: Comparing the areas of upstate New York (I am partial to the capital region like Saratoga Springs and outside Albany) with the areas around Raleigh North Carolina, which area would be better for HVAC employment?

I've visited both areas that I mentioned, and I am partial (very partial) to upstate New York. I loved the feeling of history, the numerous outdoor activities available, and the feeling of community that I got from Malta/Saratoga. However, I know that the winters in and around Raleigh would be much milder than upstate NY (though in residential HVAC that isn't necessarily a good thing). I also have a lot of family that lives in the NC/SC region and they love it, though they are in the tech or medical field so their employment is quite different. From my research I know that both Saratoga and Raleigh both have a large tech industry (Raleigh more so as it's in the Research Triangle), which would be smart to be around if my husband decides to branch more into commercial work. We obviously also want an area with low crime, good schools, available rentals, expanding employment in his field, and would also prefer to be within 1 hour of a large-ish city. I would love to relocate to an area that has all 4 seasons and a warm, friendly atmosphere. I found that more prevalent in NY that in NC, surprisingly. The biggest worries that I have about each location are:

1. I've heard that employment for blue collar workers like those in the HVAC industry is in a slump in upstate NY, is that true? And I've also read on some forums that if you aren't in the tech field then good luck finding a job in NC. Thoughts?
2. In Colorado Springs he has long work lulls, particularly in late fall and early winter. Would these be an issue in NY/NC as well? I feel like it might be similar in NC because of the more temperate weather.
3. Would living expenses in/around Saratoga be astronomical compared to Colorado Springs? I felt like NC was comparable, but NYS is obviously at least slightly more expensive. Would wages make up for that?
4. My husband also makes $19 an hour at his current job, does anyone have any experience with what he could expect wage wise in these other areas?
5. Different certifications will be required for each area, and up East is more reliant on boilers unless I'm mistaken. Would the transition be a major shell shock?
6. Which area would be better suited if he does decide eventually to go commercial?

Thank you, I swear I have researched and researched but hearing from real people helps a lot. I know much of this may come down to opinion, but if any facts could be shared that would help greatly!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:39 PM
 
51,390 posts, read 73,723,225 times
Reputation: 11331
Here's what I could find for the Albany area: HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Saratoga Springs, NY | Indeed.com

HVAC Jobs, Employment in Albany, NY | Indeed.com

Here are some other listings from other parts of Upstate NY: HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Syracuse, NY | Indeed.com
HVAC Jobs, Employment in Syracuse, NY | Indeed.com

HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Rochester, NY | Indeed.com
HVAC Jobs, Employment in Rochester, NY | Indeed.com

HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Utica, NY | Indeed.com
HVAC Jobs, Employment in Utica, NY | Indeed.com

HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Buffalo, NY | Indeed.com
HVAC Jobs, Employment in Buffalo, NY | Indeed.com

HVAC Technician Jobs, Employment in Binghamton, NY | Indeed.com
HVAC Jobs, Employment in Binghamton, NY | Indeed.com


As for pay, while this is for average annual salary for the area and is a couple of years old, it may give you an idea as to what could be expected: Northern California enjoys nation's highest salaries - The Business Journals=
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Palm Springs, CA
247 posts, read 401,887 times
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1. I would think with all four seasons (and spring and autumn being short) that an HVAC technician would stay busy throughout most of the year in NYS. It's freezing most winters, and muggy most summers.

2. Don't know Colorado Springs weather at all, but I've lived in Raleigh and the Albany area. Raleigh's winters are nothing, maybe a month of real weather and cold, and their long summers felt less muggy than Albany's, contrary to popular belief. I know because I can't stand humidity mixed with heat.

3. Again, not familiar with Colorado Springs, but I would say both NY and NC state capitol areas are relatively similar, with NY maybe having the edge with heavier property taxes, but better schools.

4. No, but there are plenty of local, family owned firms that seem to stay busy.

5. Don't know.

6. Don't know.

One thing to keep in mind is culture shock. NC is in the bible belt. For this Yankee it was kind of weird being in prayer circles all the time, for things like lunches at work. On the other hand, people are less cynical and more friendly in the south, at least on the surface. But I missed the northeast cynicism and dark humor enough to leave NC.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:04 PM
 
2,470 posts, read 2,438,925 times
Reputation: 2679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantweed View Post
1. I would think with all four seasons (and spring and autumn being short) that an HVAC technician would stay busy throughout most of the year in NYS. It's freezing most winters, and muggy most summers.

2. Don't know Colorado Springs weather at all, but I've lived in Raleigh and the Albany area. Raleigh's winters are nothing, maybe a month of real weather and cold, and their long summers felt less muggy than Albany's, contrary to popular belief. I know because I can't stand humidity mixed with heat.

3. Again, not familiar with Colorado Springs, but I would say both NY and NC state capitol areas are relatively similar, with NY maybe having the edge with heavier property taxes, but better schools.

4. No, but there are plenty of local, family owned firms that seem to stay busy.

5. Don't know.

6. Don't know.

One thing to keep in mind is culture shock. NC is in the bible belt. For this Yankee it was kind of weird being in prayer circles all the time, for things like lunches at work. On the other hand, people are less cynical and more friendly in the south, at least on the surface. But I missed the northeast cynicism and dark humor enough to leave NC.
This is funny. Now I know you have never lived in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prayer circles at work... Did you work at a Baptist church?
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
335 posts, read 681,855 times
Reputation: 685
I don't know anything about the HVAC industry, but do know that the grads from the program at the local community college seem to find jobs. The building trades in general have been trying to recruit workers - there is a real worry that the trades have been graying as more and more people are pushed towards 4 year college and away from trades. The unions have even had recruitment fairs for young people in our area, which is saying something since wages will increase if there is a shortage of workers. Again, I don't know about HVAC specifically, though, so definitely try to find people in that specific trade to talk to before making a final decision.

There is a lot more regulation of building trades in NY than in NC. There are also stronger unions here. The positive side of this is that having certifications and continuing education in the trades is more valued here and wages tend to be higher, although some cities in NC may have higher pay than in parts of NY due to demand. The negative side is that the state can be a stickler about who they allow to practice in the state. I know that in some trades it is difficult to become certified in NYS even if you have certification elsewhere and lots of experience. Maybe HVAC has more national standards, and it is not as much of a problem in this field, but you should definitely ask one of the unions or a school that trains in HVAC, such as Hudson Valley Community College about this. NYS is notorious for red tape, so even if you think there is no question about this, ASK.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Palm Springs, CA
247 posts, read 401,887 times
Reputation: 338
VintageSunlight, you can say I didn't, but that doesn't change the fact that I did. Lived in Holly Springs and Cary (Consolidated Area of Relocated Yankees). Or am I just making this all up?
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:30 AM
 
2,470 posts, read 2,438,925 times
Reputation: 2679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantweed View Post
VintageSunlight, you can say I didn't, but that doesn't change the fact that I did. Lived in Holly Springs and Cary (Consolidated Area of Relocated Yankees). Or am I just making this all up?
Everyone knows what Cary stands for, rare to hear it down here, but ok. I have no beef with you or reason to doubt other than I've never heard of prayer circles at work in the Triangle.

Maybe you worked in a very small workplace with like 10 people, all Christians, so it was acceptable to do. I could see that anywhere and that wouldn't be a culture shock to me. Or worked for a religious entity, like a church or religious private school. But otherwise, I have never, ever heard of that happening here in a typical secular workplace environment.

I could see it possibly in the very rural counties of NC or SC, but even that, the ACLU would be all over it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Palm Springs, CA
247 posts, read 401,887 times
Reputation: 338
I worked in two small print shops. At one of them, THREE people were Baptist preachers! For a guy who listened to Slayer growing up, it was a bit much.
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