Does the label “Technician” carry enough weight?

Jorge Manager Fresno, California Posted   Latest  

Within our environment, we understand and appreciate what it takes to be a professional automotive "technician". It is this understanding which defines the strength and weight of the word "technician".

On the other hand, when talking to the outside world, do you think “technician” carries enough weight to imply/describe those who dedicate their life to mastering the science, engineering and diagnostics of the automobile? 

I suspect, if we had stronger labeling to describe those who we know as "professional automotive technicians" it would do our industry good on many levels. 

I have been chatting a bit with Justin Morgan about this topic. I know he has some excellent thoughts. What are yours?

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Justin Technical Support Specialist
Fresno, California
Justin
 

Jorge and I have had several conversations about this topic and both come to a long list of duties and responsibilities but no great job title. The industry tends to gravitate towards the word technician, as the word carries more weight than mechanic when describing a range of challenges we encounter in the industry. We have to be masters of mechanics, hydraulics, electronics, control module

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Josh Service Manager
Greensboro, North Carolina
Josh
   

I'm currently a shop foreman/service manager in a dealership. I spent 14 years teaching and training technicians for GM before going back to industry almost 2 years ago. My thoughts on this topic are that YES - the title of Automotive Technician does a great job explaining what we do every day, even as technology continues to advance greatly. The issues that go along with this are 1) most people

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Josh. Your contributions and participation in the association's business and conferences have been missed for the last couple of years. While Canada does have a more formalized path through apprenticeship to journey person status, there are still no guarantees that honesty, integrity and competency will be displayed through due diligence and best practices. I have Red Seal, TQ, MVI and a

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Josh Service Manager
Greensboro, North Carolina
Josh
 

Martin, good to know I'm missed! I sure do miss being involved with the association and the great folks like yourself that clearly have the passion to teach and mentor the next generation. I agree with you that ethical characteristics such as integrity are a whole different animal, but that would be the case with any profession. I also agree that competency cannot be guaranteed through any

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Josh. Thanks. I'm over in Product Service Training more than ASEP these days, as we bring along a new protégé into the mix. Either way, working with apprentices or journey persons has its rewards and challenges that some of us enjoy. I agree about the stigma attached to the "knuckle dragger" mechanic perception in the consumers' eyes. It will take a concerted effort and a long time to shake

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

I would agree that it's time for the technician label to be upgraded. I have been trying to think of something appropriate but this is all I could come up with right now. "Supreme Exalted Overlord of the Automobile"

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

The problem with "technician" is that its meaning has been dilluted through common use; it now applies equally to a master of our craft as well as someone who paints fingernails. Preventing that sort of thing from happening again will take a new word that is unique to our industry in the same way that "cosmetologist" is unique to the beauty industry. Classically, these sorts of words usually

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Justin Technical Support Specialist
Fresno, California
Justin
 

This Is one of the biggest points in our discussion. Excellent prospective

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Chuck Mechanic
Sylvania, Georgia
Chuck
 

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Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans
 

Way back when in tech school, I was told "mechanics replace, technicians diagnose". And I still feel that's true today, but it definitely has been muddied over the years. I think the public perception will have to be the first thing to change. They may still not know how much technology there is in cars today. Didn't I hear by 2025, half the cost of the vehicle manufacturing will be electronics

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
   

Hi Jorge. That seems to be one of the issues. We on the inside, may appear to understand, or at least acknowledge many of the problems within the trade. I'm not sure that a new "badge" will fix the underlying issues. However, all of the work on the inside to date that attempted to improve professionalism in the ranks, still seems to have fallen short of achieving the level of respect and public

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Justin Technical Support Specialist
Fresno, California
Justin
 

Incredible reply, your mouthwash reference is the thought behind Jorge and I's conversation. Trying to brain storm as to what it will take to start that perception change in the general public's eyes

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
   

I agree Justin. The real changes must come from within. Through the public's eyes the stereotypical mechanic has dirty fingernails, unkempt hair and poor hygiene and doesn't look like he/she has taken a bath in a while. It is an unfortunate image, because it is quite common to see "mechs/techs" or whatever we like to be called, fitting that image no matter what the occasion. Now, away from work

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Adrean Diagnostician
Bakersfield, California
Adrean
 

i think as a whole we just need to inform the consumer (outside world ) more of what really Is going on within this industry(inside world ) . Like Justin said , it is no longer the industry it was 25 years ago or even 5 years ago . We as a whole doesn’t matter what we label ourselves we know what we are , we even have labels like diagnostician already ,but As long as the consumer has the

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven
 

I stopped referring to myself as an "Automotive Technician" a few years ago. It's for the reason other members have brought up, which is that the word technician is diluted to mean just about anything. Almost any job out there adds the word technician to the title, so it means just about nothing now. I now say that I am a Mechanic if anyone asks me. Not sure about inventing a new title. Maybe

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Todd Technical Support Specialist
Roseville, Minnesota
Todd
 

Mechanician. A mechanician is an engineer or a scientist working in the field of mechanics, or in a related or sub-field: engineering or computational mechanics, applied mechanics, geomechanics, biomechanics, and mechanics of materials. Names other than mechanician have been used occasionally, such as mechaniker and mechanicist. Wikipedia.

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Jim Mobile Technician
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Jim
   

Jorge, I think this discussion is probably one of the oldest ones in our industry, I don't think the word Technician has any weight in the industry, but I also feel that, in part, it is our fault. I really think that we need a structure of levels in the industry ( I actually wrote an article on this subject way back for Sue Hannibel in our Emission Repair Monthly magazine). As for me personally…

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Jim Mobile Technician
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Jim
 

Jorge, One of the Training events that I presented at about 25 years ago had a HUGE poster hanging up in the main Courtyard. I stopped and read it. I liked it so much that a had a copy of the poster hanging in my businesses for my employees and my customers to read. Later we I started teaching Post Secondary, it was a hand out for the first day of my Advanced Engine Performance class. I handed

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph
 

I say we steal the term " Automotive Field Engineer" and make them get a new name.

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Jim Mobile Technician
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Jim
 

Joe, One of my former post secondary students came back to the school to talk to my current students. About 15 years before that, I was able to help him out by getting into a Porsche dealership. He did very well there and moved up the ladder, then the owner of the dealership acquired a Maserati dealership and moved him and a few others to that location, so he became a Porsche and a Maserati

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Tanner Instructor
Wellford, South Carolina
Tanner
 

This is a great topic and one I often think a lot about. Those of you that know me know that networking is a big part of my life. I thoroughly enjoy talking to everyone I encounter about our industry. One thing I have put a lot of time and thought into is how do I explain to someone outside our industry what I do? I sometimes struggle to get those in the automotive field to understand so

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Adrean Diagnostician
Bakersfield, California
Adrean
 

Exactly customer education .. but the real people with the marketing money and leverage usually outweigh the good guys . And inform the customer in a way to simplify to them and make a sale .. but yeah we just need more customer education . I know we as techs some of our customers learn as much as we educate them but a few that just dont get it ..

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Martin Instructor
Burnaby, British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Tanner. I've often thought of the video clip approach. Heck, I do it for my students sometimes, to demonstrate a procedure that will be performed in the shop. However, I also well know that the attention span of most adults falls very short, except when searching out and viewing stupid movies on YouTube. There is a very short time frame to deliver the message effectively. I often video a

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Walter Technician
Sarasota, Florida
Walter
 

I think making videos to educate the customer is a great ideal. Not only post on youtube but share video to the guys on here so they can share it to facebook (family and friends) ask everyone of those to share with their friends so on an so on. The more people that see it the better.

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David Mobile Technician
Rimforest, California
David
 

I think focusing on finding the new magic label is futile. The process of the public comprehending the paradigm shift in auto repair is an evolutionary and painful one. But , for the purpose of our discussion here, I personally would prefer the term “Rocket Scientist” 😎🚀

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Jorge Manager
Fresno, California
Jorge
 

Regarding the challenge of change - Keep in mind that we are solidly in an era in which the global discussion of electric, hybrid, smart cars and high tech vehicle technology is at an all-time high. This general population education is providing the ground work for the meaningful definition we need. Will the opportunity be lost (or minimized) if we don’t also take this opportunity to step out

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

Field engineer sounds good, but I follow James Avery on iATN and he says those guys can't fix anything...LOL The greatest respect any of us will ever achieve it that of our peers. 90% of car owners do not care and never will. I just started reading "The Death of Expertise", and it mentioned that people don't even listen to their doctors anymore unless they agree with what they saw on

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

My earlier comment aside, if the focus is only on the highly skilled, "Diagnostic Specialist" has a nice ring to it. It's even an existing job title, as it's the 'rank' above master in the Toyota/Lexus world.

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Any title only carries as much weight as we give it, and sell it, collectively. Maybe not related enough to bring up on such a venue as this, but I'll throw caution to the wind. Im going to bring up...professional wrestling. I know, I know.. Anyway, I listened to an interview with a gentleman by the name if Paul Heyman. He's the "manager" (and for you WWae followers: the advocate) for Brock

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Justin Technical Support Specialist
Fresno, California
Justin
 

DO..... YOU... SMELL...... WHAT MATT IS COOKING?..!..!.... I do and that is 100% on point excellent perspective and I agree that its got to be an all hands on deck effort what ever we call ourselves, displaying the skill and professionalism is the name of the game.

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Jim Mobile Technician
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Jim
 

Thought that this page in a handout at the Greater Philadelphia Automotive Troubleshooting contest was very relative to this Topic.

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