Whether you're just starting your HVAC training or are close to finishing, you're undoubtedly excited about the many benefits of this industry. You look forward to earning great money and enjoying an interesting, fulfilling career.
Since your HVAC career path is up to you, you'll also have to make some decisions. Among the early decisions will be whether to pursue work on your own or stay on someone else's payroll. While many people are attracted automatically to the idea of working for themselves, it's not the right choice for everyone.
Learn how you can decide what to do for yourself.
Pros of Being Your Own Business
If you decide to start your own HVAC business, you can actually get started with minimal time and effort. As with many states, California makes the actual process of forming a business easy and accessible. You often need to do nothing more than choose a name and a business entity type, then fill out a few forms with the Secretary of State. In addition, you'll need some licensing specific to the HVAC industry.
Once in business, you can choose how much work you want to take on, what type of jobs to do, and when to do them. Contractors with fewer expenses or a young family can really benefit from this freedom of choice. You also keep all the profits, so you could take home a lot more money than an employee.
Cons of Being Your Own Business
The biggest drawback for most tradespeople who manage their own business is the actual managing of the company's affairs. You'll spend time and energy doing things like keeping the financial books and reporting to licensing boards and tax agencies, and you'll have to follow administrative rules that may not make a lot of sense to you.
You'll also have to invest money in the equipment and vehicles needed to do your jobs. If you're tight on funds, this could be a problem — but you can't work if you don't have the equipment, so you may feel like you have to get in over your head.
Finally, even though you can set your own work schedule, new contractors and business owners tend to end up working a lot more than they'd like. All the responsibility will be on you, and if a job takes more time or work than expected, you can't leave until it's completed. This can affect weekends, holidays, and evenings. And you'll be the one always on call.
Pros of Being an Employee
Don't like all the administrative and customer service tasks of a business owner? Then being an employee might be right for you. As an employee, you can simply focus on doing what you love — and leave all the hassle of reports, finances, budgeting, scheduling, and client complaints to the boss. Since employee income tax filings are almost always simpler than business taxes, you'll also avoid hassle and cost at tax time.
If you are an employee, the boss has to invest in equipment, has to pay you more to do work at odd or extra hours, and likely offers benefits you may not be able to afford on your own. All you have to do is show up.
Cons of Being an Employee
Of course, being an employee isn't without its own downsides. You will have to work on someone else's schedule. You must do the jobs they want you to do, and you usually can't choose with whom you work — either customer or fellow employee. In addition, when things get tight, younger technicians may be sent packing in favor of senior employees who can weather the slower times.
Every career path has upsides and drawbacks. The choice is right for you when the pros outweigh the cons. For more help making this important decision, talk with the instructors and others in your HVAC training program. At DeHart Technical School, we can help you not only learn what you need to be successful on any HVAC career trajectory but also help you find the right one. Call today for more information.