2018 HVAC/R Graduate
Bronze Wrench Award & Highest Academic Average
Refrigeration Apprentice at SS Service Corp.
I served for four years in the United States Marine Corps.
During the years after I was honorably discharged, I went from job to job.
I never found anything I enjoyed much or felt proud to be doing.
I worked as a limousine driver and as a custodian for a school department.
I had no experience related to HVAC or Refrigeration.
None of the work I did in the past involved electrical, A/C, heat or refrigeration.
I was excited to enroll in MTTI’s HVAC/R Program and learn something new.
I especially looked forward to learning how to service, troubleshoot and fix units. I knew from my research that HVAC and Refrigeration has a lot of employment opportunities.
I was the oldest person in my class.
Some of my classmates were 18 or 19 years old. Still, it was very comfortable in the classroom. We all got along well, and helped each other.
I was relieved that we started with the basics.
The course is tailored to build up your knowledge and skills.
Key to a good school experience is having a great instructor.
My instructor, Mike Siravo, took the time to make sure we understood the information, before going onto something else.
I had an “aha” moment during the electrical portion of the program.
Learning about wiring diagrams /schematics was tough. Mike got us colored pencils, so that we could color-code the schematics—the low and high voltage sides. Once I understood that, everything fell into place.
The Career Services Specialist, Erin Gamelin, was a huge help.
She assisted us in putting our resumes together and gave us internship packets to bring to employers. Erin also scheduled visits by employers from different companies. The interview practice process we went through was amazing.
I was expecting to intern with a company that did residential heating and cooling.
I had multiple interviews with them; they told me they wanted to hire me.
At 6 pm on the day before the scheduled start of internship, I received an email.
They were holding off on hiring until April.
I looked up companies in Taunton and delivered internship packets to them.
I dropped off a packet at SS Service Corp.; they called me just as I was returning to my car. I went back in to talk with them. As I started to leave a second time, they called and asked me to start work the following Monday.
Not being hired by the first company turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
SS Service does all commercial work, which I really like.
I was nervous, but excited to get out there and apply what I had learned.
I began by providing Preventive Maintenance, changing filters and belts, and changing out electrical parts of units.
Being hired on the first day of internship took a little of the pressure off of me.
I didn’t have to worry about whether there would be a job opening.
I felt like the company was investing in me.
I still have to demonstrate that I can do a good job. I’m always on time and dependable. I arrive at work by 7:00 am, and get the inventory I will need into the truck for a 7:30 am start.
I was trained by a younger tech, who has been working in the industry for five years.
He was impressed about what I knew, just coming out of school.
He would test me, for example, asking me what individual components do.
My ability to answer correctly speaks well of the school—especially because I had no previous HVAC experience.
I had my own van by the time we graduated from the program.
Typically it takes time before that happens, but it happened quickly for me.
I have been doing service calls regularly.
I am able to go out on calls by myself. Soon I expect to be put on-call for emergency jobs, troubleshooting and repairing units for commercial customers.
I’m fortunate to be a Refrigeration Apprentice—working in the area that most interested me during school.
I enjoyed learning about electrical, gas, oil and hydronics, but the technical complexity of refrigeration, compared with A/C and heat, heightened my interest.
MTTI's HVAC/R program counts as one year toward the Journeyman’s License.
The Journeyman’s License requires 6,000 of on-the-job experience. After two years on-the-job, I will have the additional 4,000 hours to be eligible for the license.
There are so many paths you can take in this field—and the work is plentiful.
It’s easy to get 50-60 hours a week at some times of the year, which cuts down on the time to get the Journeyman’s license. You can go into installation, service, controls—even sales.
The support of the company's owner is great.
If I am out in the middle of the night on an emergency call, I can call the owner—even at 3 am.
Technology helps me quickly communicate to get the job done.
Mike, my Instructor, taught us to google the model number of a unit. I can download the manual and other resources, or use apps for Pressure-Temperature Charts to help resolve problems in the field.
I can FaceTime using the phone to show the system to someone from the company.
They can see how certain things are wired. Once, when I was talking to my boss on the phone, he could hear the compressor on a unit making a certain noise. He said to me, “It is single-phasing”. I was able to correct the wiring, where wires had been reversed and connected to the wrong terminal.
The work is rewarding; everyone is so happy when I fix their equipment.
People appreciate what I do—and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.
I am going to different places, and doing different things, every day.
When I worked as a limousine driver or as a custodian, the work was always the same.
I wanted to find a sense of purpose; now I take pride in the work that I do.
Not only am I doing interesting work that has a good future, but I am helping people.
I only wish I had gone to school a long time ago.
I will enjoy working for another twenty years in HVAC /Refrigeration.
When someone asks me whether they should go to MTTI, I tell them, 'Do it'.
'It will be worth it. You will gain a lot of knowledge and get a great head start on your career. If you have gone to MTTI, you’ll be ahead of the game.'