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A Veteran-to-Veteran Thank You

We here at hilmor want to wish a happy Veterans Day to all those who served, and we thank you for your service and sacrifice for our nation.

At hilmor, we make high-quality tools for the hard-working HVAC/R technicians, and often that includes veterans who have chosen HVAC/R as their post-service career. We’re going to devote this blog entry to showing you why HVAC/R is a great career choice for veterans.

My name is Ryan Cotton, and I am a Technical Representative for hilmor. This is my first job in the HVAC/R industry, and it has been a great opportunity for me. I was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for four years as an infantryman and, as you can guess, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for infantry-trained individuals in the civilian world. However, I used the excellent programs that are available to veterans, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Vocational Rehabilitation, to ready myself for the civilian job market. These programs can help veterans achieve almost any goal they are interested in, including HVAC/R training. Upon graduation, there are even programs designed to help veterans find employment. I had the help of the VA and a private recruiting firm called Lucas Group, which helped me land interviews with companies I was interested in. Fortunately for me, Newell Rubbermaid, the parent company for hilmor, offered me the opportunity to be a Technical Representative, launching my career in the HVAC/R industry and giving me the stability I needed to positively reintegrate into civilian life. This was just my path, but however you choose to begin your new career in the civilian market, HVAC/R is a great choice; I’ll name just a few reasons.

The first is that it is largely an outdoors job, and it offers unique challenges every day. This is very similar to the military in that the job description of most military persons is large and varying. HVAC/R offers you the ability to work with new people and new problem sets on each new job. It offers the opportunity to critically analyze each new situation and figure out a way to conquer your barriers. Adapt and overcome!

Another reason HVAC/R is a good choice for veterans is that it offers those with an entrepreneurial spirit the opportunity to branch out on their own and establish a very good business. HVAC/R is a complex trade that requires attention to detail, something that veterans are particularly adept to. There is always room for those willing to dedicate their mission statement to quality, and the sky’s the limit. Everyone wants an air conditioner in their home, and vets have the motivation to a “job well done.”

The pay’s not bad either! Let’s be serious; when we’re deciding on what career path to take, we want to know if it can support our desired lifestyle. According to, an HVAC/R technician with 2-5 years of experience can make between $45,000 and $60,000 a year; and that’s if you’re working for someone else. Imagine what you can accomplish with your own business. Take charge.

Whatever the veterans of America choose to do with their post-military career, we at hilmor salute them for their service. If they choose HVAC/R, we are here to support them with the best tools in the industry to do the best job possible.

Oorah! Now, let’s locate, close with and destroy those non-working HVAC/R units. You grunts know what I mean.


Ryan Cotton

USMC 2001-2005

Posted in From HQ.
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