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Installer job offer...do I take it?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   drozaieski

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:45 PM

A question to all the installers out there: I was recently offered an installer position with the HSP in my area, which I accepted. I haven't started the training yet. I also just got offered an entry level position with PennDOT. After reading the horror stories all over the internet of installers getting screwed over by the HSP's concerning salaries, OT, chargebacks, and general poor treatment, I'm scared as hell to take the job only to find out that I've made a huge mistake. I love the idea of working with the technology, it seems like a cool job. So, any insight from installers that have been around for a few years? The tech that did my install in Bloomsburg, PA seemed to like his job and in my opinion did an awesome job. Comments? Opinions?

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#2 OFFLINE   ndole

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

The money's not bad. Depending on what income bracket you're coming from. Expect to spend a little bit of money up front for tools. And during the job expect to put up with a lot of BS. That said, I love my job. I see my boss twice a week, I work by myself and I get to meet many interesting (and sometimes scary) people. The actual installation work is not very hard if you're technically inclined. You mostly get paid for having to deal with bs and frustration. Most people can't take the bs or the pressure, and for that reason this is a high turnover industry. If you're like me and you can let that stuff roll off your back, then this may be a great job for you. I certainly don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

Now lets wait for our resident cynic Joe to pipe in and tell you it's all garbage. :lol:



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#3 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:22 PM

PennDOT

Sounds like a government job. Vacation, paid time off, holidays, sick days, maturnity days, insurance, retirement humm. Jump all over that installer job.

#4 OFFLINE   drozaieski

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:52 PM

I guess I should clarify that most entry level PennDOT jobs are hired on a temporary basis which requires you to "bid" for a permanent position after a certain amount of time, so...no guarantees. But yes, the benefits are certainly there IF you become permanent. And again it is stricktly an entry level "laborer", "hope to get your foot in the door" position. Money wise... a bit less than the installer job to start out....so...

#5 OFFLINE   DocBM

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 03:09 PM

From a fellow Pennsylvanian....

go with PENNDOT!!!!

#6 OFFLINE   samrs

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

That HSP is always hiring...for a reason.

#7 OFFLINE   Flukstercds

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 03:59 PM

As a Fellow Pennsylvanian and PAST employee.

Now that Splendell :hurah: is headed out of office, the benefits and the Security of PennDot is a better deal, as long as we dont end up with another loser for Gov.

It also depends on what you would be doing with PENNDOT.

If you are going to be a driver it can SUCK in winter with long shifts when / if it snows.:bad_nono:
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#8 OFFLINE   Manctech

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 04:45 PM

Depends on who the HSP is.

The first 6 months to 1 yr can be brutal. Long hours, lots of headaches, and putting up with BS from everyone. Customers, supervisors, both at the same time.

If you stick with it, and like it, it's not a bad job but I am not planning on making a career out if it. Another year and I've had enough.

It does give you excellent life experience in dealing with houses. You learn a lot about how houses are built and wired. I've also learned what to look for in a house when I buy one. I know what are warning signs of a bad house.

The pay starting out is not very good especially since they start you out light to get on your feet. If you work your way up the food chain the money is actually pretty good and you have the potential to make as much as you want sometimes.

If I have a short day I can usually call my sup and find more work if I want it.

Some days I get off at noon and make 150$. Some times I get off at 6pm and only make 100$.

Just my experience.

TWC Technician (Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson Area)


#9 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:07 AM

.

Some days I get off at noon and make 150$. Some times I get off at 6pm and only make 100$.

Just my experience.


So a 10 hour day at $100 is $10 an hour. If that $150 was an average 8 hour day, you're only at $18.75. I'm sorry, but that's not good pay.

Personally, I'd go PennDOT, there's more long term upside there.

Manctech: I didn't mean this to come off as beating up on you, I'm beating up on DirecTV and the HSP system. Current Federal minimum wage is is $7.25, the 10 hour day figure barely exceeds that, and is still below the "living wage" calculation for my local area.

Edited by JeffBowser, 03 September 2010 - 09:05 AM.
tone down

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#10 OFFLINE   skatingrocker17

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:59 AM

So a 10 hour day at $100 is $10 an hour. If that $150 was an average 8 hour day, you're only at $18.75. I'm sorry, but that's not good pay.

Personally, I'd go PennDOT, there's more long term upside there.


I agree, my dad used to work for ODOT (Ohio Department of transportation) and when he retired he was making over $80,000 a year and now that he's retired he still is. I wouldn't have the patience to install DirecTV.

#11 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:03 AM

So a 10 hour day at $100 is $10 an hour. If that $150 was an average 8 hour day, you're only at $18.75. I'm sorry, but that's not good pay.


My wife is from the Pittsburgh area and we've spent a lot of time there. $18.75 is probably more than most people make an hour in many parts of PA.

Personally, I'd go PennDOT, there's more long term upside there.


Agreed. I always recommend going for a job like that over a repair or installation job. The freedom of the installer's job is something you probably won't get at first in the DOT job, but in the long run you'll probably be better off. And you have to think of the future. You don't want to be in your late 50s and suddenly discover you'll have to work for the rest of your life to make ends meet.

Take the DOT job, work your butt off, say "Yes sir!, No sir!" constantly and you'll be all right. Those outside installer jobs have to be miserable in the winter, especially in NE PA. In the summer, every outside job looks good, but in the winter it's miserable.

If you take that DOT job and do well, the 60 year old man you'll become will be grateful for what you've done. Just a thought from someone who spent almost 30 years in a large corporation and retired at 52 and was damn grateful to that young man who suffered thru some miserable working conditions and finally did quite well. Took me six years of production work, which was nasty, but the rest of the time was cake.

Rich

#12 OFFLINE   drozaieski

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:49 AM

Thanks to everyone for the input. Ya, I'm convinced. I'd be stupid to turn down the chance to get in with a state job even if I'll be low man on the totem pole for a few years. Still I'm going to regret not working with the cool gadgets you techs get to use. Good excuse to go buy some more toys I guess.

#13 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 10:06 AM

A question to all the installers out there: I was recently offered an installer position with the HSP in my area, which I accepted. I haven't started the training yet. I also just got offered an entry level position with PennDOT. After reading the horror stories all over the internet of installers getting screwed over by the HSP's concerning salaries, OT, chargebacks, and general poor treatment, I'm scared as hell to take the job only to find out that I've made a huge mistake. I love the idea of working with the technology, it seems like a cool job. So, any insight from installers that have been around for a few years? The tech that did my install in Bloomsburg, PA seemed to like his job and in my opinion did an awesome job. Comments? Opinions?


Do not do the HSP thing!

There must be some good experiences with HSPs around the country but there is a reason why there is a huge turnover. Do a Google search for the HSP you are considering for (HSP) and lawsuit......see what you get.

These days any job that offers hospitilization and medical benefits for you and your family could be worth many bucks more that just the wages. And a retirement program....this is a no brainer.

Techs leave HSPs to work for McDonalds.

Joe

#14 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 10:13 AM

hoo, boy! That says it all right there.


Techs leave HSPs to work for McDonalds.

Joe


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#15 OFFLINE   Manctech

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:03 AM

So a 10 hour day at $100 is $10 an hour. If that $150 was an average 8 hour day, you're only at $18.75. I'm sorry, but that's not good pay.

Personally, I'd go PennDOT, there's more long term upside there.

Manctech: I didn't mean this to come off as beating up on you, I'm beating up on DirecTV and the HSP system. Current Federal minimum wage is is $7.25, the 10 hour day figure barely exceeds that, and is still below the "living wage" calculation for my local area.


I usually average over 20$ an hour at the top pay rate. New installers average between 10-15/hr. Add in the overtime from working 6 days a week and I'm pushing closer to 30.

I don't think your beating up on me at all.

For example today I had 1 job (3 rescheduled due to no equipment). It was a 3 room HD install. Took approximately 2 hours and I made 80$. It was a very average install.

Had my other jobs gone in I would have made 300$ today in roughly 8 hours. Now to be fair with drive time and hiccups it would have been more like 10 hours, but that is still 30$ an hour.

I never make less than 15$/hour.

TWC Technician (Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson Area)


#16 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:18 PM

Techs leave HSPs to work for McDonalds.


Installers in my area usually leave pest control jobs for installer jobs. Kinda ironic. :)

Rich

#17 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:29 PM

Installers in my area usually leave pest control jobs for installer jobs. Kinda ironic. :)

Rich


Ok,

I should have said that when the misrepresented working conditions are discovered and the financial realities become apparent everyone leaves the HSPs. They leave in search of fair dealing employers. Didn't want to slam burger flippers..or bug killers.

Joe

#18 OFFLINE   kcaudiofx

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:34 PM

Do not do the HSP thing!

There must be some good experiences with HSPs around the country but there is a reason why there is a huge turnover. Do a Google search for the HSP you are considering for (HSP) and lawsuit......see what you get.

These days any job that offers hospitilization and medical benefits for you and your family could be worth many bucks more that just the wages. And a retirement program....this is a no brainer.

Techs leave HSPs to work for McDonalds.

Joe


couldnt of said it any better, been doin this 12 years and finally was forced to "do my own thing" if I wanted to stay in this business.. toooooo many times getting bent over.. too much drama does on visit the cabl bar you will understand

#19 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:48 PM

Ok,

I should have said that when the misrepresented working conditions are discovered and the financial realities become apparent everyone leaves the HSPs. They leave in search of fair dealing employers. Didn't want to slam burger flippers..or bug killers.

Joe


Actually, I think pest control work should be a much higher paying job than it is. I have a friend who tried it for a year and he was amazed at how little training they get. And the chemicals that they work with, wow. But I was serious about pest controllers leaving jobs and taking installers jobs in my area. They only get paid about $11 an hour and the installers pay must look good to them. The first two installers I got when I switched to HD were ex-pest control folks.

We have a really high turnover in installers in my area. Can't live on what they make. Around here $40,000 a year is just subsistence money.

Rich

#20 OFFLINE   goblazers_6

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 04:58 PM

Most installers in my HSP make over $1000 a week.
My Setup: Triple-Sat LNB to a SWM-16 with a 21v power supply - HR24 with a DECA - HR24 with a BSF - H20 with a DECA




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