Dealer Ready Technicians

Michael Mobile Technician Utah Posted   Latest  

I was on a Motorcraft website this week and saw a banner. "Become a Ford Certified Automotive Technician". This intrigued me. I followed the link and it asked for my ZIP code to tell me where the local Ford Technical School Classes were being held. I thought to myself. If I were in my twenties, had a wife a two kids, a mortgage and two cars, how could I ever stop working full time and go back to school? In my twenties and thirties, I struggled to survive. There is no way I could have lost productive time.

Scenario... Let's say I am an ASE Master Technician with an L1 certification. I have 5 years of practical experience in the aftermarket. The local dealers are starting to offer attractive incentives like 401K matching, full medical and dental, uniforms, tool allowance, vacation and sick days. (one can dream) I want to become a dealer technician but in going to interviews I find that I have to pass off each area of expertise in order to do warrantee work in that area. Most of the work is warrantee so the plan is not attractive. I have already been doing work in all these areas for 5 years. I would have to attend formal classes and take online classes along with tests. This could take a year to accomplish in the current system. Plus as a newbie, I would have to wait my turn as others that had more seniority would have priority. Even with the better benefits, it would just be too much loss in income waiting to get "certified"

So here is what I would offer if I were an OEM. Make accessible all the training and certification materials online. Anyone can become certified as a GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Honda technician online. They would need to first have passed all applicable ASE tests. They would have to show 4 to 5 years of practical experience. They would agree to consider offers from local dealers once they have completed the program. Along with online classes, they would have access to service information, instructional manuals, how to videos and so forth.

So why would the OEMs do this? The OEMs would have access to a database of highly qualified technicians. The technicians would be versed in each OEMs service information. The transition from aftermarket to dealer would be seamless. In fact, I would dare say that the aftermarket technician would have an advantage since they would have to learn concepts and principals common to all of the OEMs.

What is in it for the technician? The technician learns about one or more OEMs. The technician has access to service information as part of the program. If they become dissatisfied with who they are working for, they are prepared to work in a more specialized environment.

A point in all this is that one who has been successfully repairing vehicles should not have to duplicate their training. The hands on part is done. To become certified, one should only have to show that they are competent the vehicles they plan to work on.

Thoughts on a plan like this?

+8
Agree
Interesting
Disagree
Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

Dealer training IS pretty freaking awesome. When working @ dealer they used to pay you for every test. So the time wasn't a loss. I would do 3-4 tests during lunch or if i had a slow patch.

+2
Default Ð Awarded
Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart Default
 

I always wondered why the manufactures don't have programs like all along.

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Marek Technician
Wisconsin
Marek Default
 

But why are dealers putting out theses benefits? maybe because they are losing their own techs or not getting enough new techs coming in? And why would that be happening hmm maybe its due to pay?

+3
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Funny
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

So your Plan is to have OEM's pay to have any Tom, Dick, and Harry able to take Factory training? In the hopes that they "might" come to work for a dealership? And honestly if you feel 5 years of "hands on" and some online training will make you a Master Tech of anything, especially at the level required at the top level of dealerships or anywhere else in this industry, you have a whole lot of…

+3
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Mark Technical Support Specialist
Washington
Mark Default
 

Its interesting you feel so arrogantly about your Ford Training. I'm sure your an extremely talented technician, have your worked in the independent field? I started my career with Ford 18 years as a Master technician in three areas. Also ASE Master in car and truck, L1, L2, L3 and carry a State certified emissions certification. I moved to manage an independent shop for two years to help out…

+5
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

Arrogant? Not likely I said anywhere in the industry. That includes Indy shops where I have spent 14 of my 30 years in this field. So yes I have worked in the Indy world. since you spent so much time in the Ford world then you know how much dealers pay annually to have that dealership level schooling and tooling available to their people. My response also points out that OEMs won’t give out…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Matt, Maybe it is different in your area but dealers are constantly begging for technicians in mine. It seems like it would be an advantage for the dealer to be able to hire someone ready to roll. The training would be for the individual not for aftermarket shops to consume. Maybe you have no desire to work for another product line. Wouldn't it be an advantage for you to have GM or FCA training…

+2
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

If you spend your time always looking for a better offer, are you really giving your best to your current situation? I've worked for FCA and GM before I went to work for Ford, if I really wanted to work for either of those I can easily do that. The dealership I work for currently owns 3 Ford dealerships, 2 FCA dealerships and a GM dealership. They also own a Kia/Hyundai dealership. I spent from…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Samuel Technician
New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

I ALWAYS have my door open for advancement and "a better offer". I will never say this is it and not want to improve or continue to look to improve until the run is over. Once I concede, then I have officially stopped and need to step to the side and consider this part time, a hobby more less. Otherwise, I am doing nothing more than existing.

+3
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Mark Technical Support Specialist
Washington
Mark Default
 

I know exactly what Ford Dealers pay and many manufacturers now charge regardless of whether the technicians attend. By the way Ford does offer their training to the general public for a fair price.

+2
Default Ð Awarded
Helpful
Interesting
David Owner/Technician
Ontario
David Default
 

I wasn't aware of that. Does one contact their local Ford dealer and request information? Does one have to buy a certain amount of parts to qualify? I understand that it may be different up here but I am curious as to how it works down there. For example, and I know of SEVERAL top notch independent trainers on this subject so this is just an example, Ford Power Stroke Diesel…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Mark Technical Support Specialist
Washington
Mark Default
 

motorcraftservice​.​com/product/traini…

0
Default Ð Awarded
David Owner/Technician
Ontario
David Default
 

Hi Mark: Thank you for your reply. Have looked into it. Have a SUPER weekend. Regards. Harley.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Marek Technician
Wisconsin
Marek Default
 

Are you guys forgetting OEMs already sell OE SI? they also sell their OE diagnostics equipment and tooling , so why wouldnt they sell there TRAINING as well ? they might not be selling it now but they will eventually and as soon as they do INDY shops will be lining up to pay for it just like they do for their service info and diagnostic tools

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Marek: It appears that you may be conflating training and training at the OEM training facilities. The OEMs do offer training. No, it is not free. They generally do not offer training, to the aftermarket, at their training facilities. The why of it has already been addressed. HTH, Guido

0
Default Ð Awarded
Marek Technician
Wisconsin
Marek Default
   

Oems will eventually sell oem training at their facilities......

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

I believe you can pay and take the same classes as dealer guys do. 90 bucks a test. OUCH! motorcraftservice​.​com/product/traini…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Thanks
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

Do you have any idea what it costs each dealer per year for those classes for their techs? It’s expensive.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Jj Technician
Massachusetts
Jj Default
 

Do you have an example? Vagueness is not really helpful, and it would be helpful to know what dealers are actually paying for OE training for their techs.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

The last time I checked the dealership I am at was paying $10,000 a year(and every Ford dealership pays that) for access to Ford Online training, in person schools, and tech access to FMCDealer that’s been a few years so it’s likely gone up quit a bit.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Jj Technician
Massachusetts
Jj Default
 

Is that per tech or total for the dealer? I'm sure in person training is per tech, but dealer tooling and service information is typically per dealer. In which case, $10k really isn't all that expensive if you're counting a couple in person training courses per year for however many techs. My piddly shop of 2 employees spends nearly $5k a year on just information access, no tooling or training…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Matt Technician
Missouri
Matt Default
 

In person training is included, you only pay for in person training if you register for a class(they are limited to 12 per class total per class) and no show the class. Then they charge you. $10K doesn't include any tooling. Just access to online stuff, classes, and service information. All special tools are auto billed to the dealer as they are received. We have 6 techs who get access for that…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin Default
 

Matt described the Ford training to be quite similar to GM training. Franchised dealerships have to purchase and/or lease everything necessary from PCs and infrastructure for the service bays, based on the size of the dealership. I recall working at a GM dealership when PCs were purchased in units of 10, many years ago. We needed 11, but had no option but to purchase 20 at whatever the cost was…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Rudy Technician
California
Rudy Default
 

Matt- 10k a year for all 6 technicians is a good deal. There are after market classes that 3-5k just for 1 class, per student. No doubt very few indy shops have the resources that dealers have, but they still find a way to pay.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Michael Owner/Technician
New Jersey
Michael Default
 

"No doubt very few indy shops have the resources that dealers have, but they still find a way to pay." I don't know Rudy. I have taken some of those classes that cost 3K or more but it's getting much harder to justify the cost vs the ROI. Most indy shops in this area tend to forgo classes for that reason as well as just not caring. Some don't even require or encourage ASE certification. My…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
David Owner/Technician
Ontario
David Default
 

Thank you for the link Gail. Best Regards. Harley.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Matt, It seems every year an OEM will champion a new recruit fresh out of college. They will show how this individual makes $60K in the first year. They show how this student has a great life working as a dealer technician. Everyone is different but I was able to pass all of the ASE automotive tests the first time with less than 5 years experience and less than two years of College. I did…

+3
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin Default
 

Hi Mike. In reference to ACDelco, there is no "free" training. I used to deliver the training years ago, circa 2001. There were three levels of independent shops that attended, each with requisite sales amounts that determined payment and access to ACDelco provided information. From recall, "TSS" (Total Service Solutions?") was the highest ranked and I believe that the facility had to maintain…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Martin, I have attended multiple AC Delco classes in my market without belonging to an AC Delco shop. Even without a shop affiliation. I just knew the outside salesman from the parts distributor. I suppose if the classes had been filled, I would have to pay or not be invited. It sounds like "officially" there is a qualifier. As an instructor, you teach and encourage your students to take…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin Default
 

Correct Mike. With the ACDelco tiered system, the TSS shops which were often ACDelco facilities, could send their technicians as they qualified through purchases. No one checked to verify employment status as far as I know, anywhere in TSS, Fleet or Installer levels, so invites were the norm for those in the field, possibly not directly affiliated. The shops simply sent bodies to training. The…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Helpful
Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Martin, All that has to be done is prove the concept being proposed. If I can get one OEM to buy in and they are able to fix the technician supply problem, others will follow. The benefit to the pioneer would be that the others would be behind and struggle to catch up. If training and testing for advanced technicians were moved to the cloud, then the cost to the OEM would be minimal. I used…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Eric Instructor
California
Eric Default
 

So an aftermarket tech could register with numerous OEMs and get full access to their resources? That would be nice for many folks and for many reasons, but I cant see that happening.

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Eric: The Clean Air Act (1990 CAAA) requires that the tooling, training & service information available to the OEM franchisees and agents be available to the aftermarket. It may, or may not, be in the same format. For example, I used to take classes at the Saturn Training Center in Newark, DE. (Others, at the time, were taking the classes at the GM training Centers until 75% of them were…

+2
Default Ð Awarded
Eric Instructor
California
Eric Default
 

And that training offered to the aftermarket is/was not free, correct? My interpretation of the OP's concept was that it would be available with few, if any, strings attached. That would be a great resource for an non-dealer tech to have whether they intended to ever work at a dealer or not.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
   

Hi Eric: The GM training was part of the Delco program. At the time it was called TSS. It's currently called PSC (Professional Service Center). They also offer training to Key Fleets. You can see further information here: acdelco​.​com/for-profession… acdelcotraining​.​com/Homepage/login… Now, let's talk about the word "free". "Free" is a concept that is an oxymoron, at best. While I'm not…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin Default
   

Exactly Guido. I am currently working in the GM Product Service Training Centre, where I first delivered some PST courses and ACDelco daytime courses circa 2001 before moving over to GM ASEP on our main campus. GM USA and the old Service Training Group (STG) was very much an integrated training system. In Canada, we do things a little differently, but still receive some "hand me down"…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
   

Hi Marty: Thanks for the feedback. It makes sense that your training curricula is different than down here due to other requirements. A lot of people may not realize that GM of Canada is a completely different company than GM down here. True, it is the same parent organization but they are different companies. I'm also unsure whether Raytheon does a better job than Melior did back when there…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin Default
 

I agree Guido. I'm in both the Canadian and US GM system due to the nature of my work with GM ASEP. Even though our program in Canada functions differently, there is much commonality in curriculum content areas. Yes, space can be an issue for some courses with vehicles and multiple bench station activities, but with planning it is workable for the number of students we have daily. ACDelco…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Cliff Diagnostician
California
Cliff Default
 

Cal-State Auto Parts in Santa Maria offers the ACDelco training online if the shop orders enough Delco parts for free. It is based on each quarter purchases I believe. They also have Ford classes in a sit down environment as well. Though I have only attended one of those and the information was very basic regarding engine controls.

0
Default Ð Awarded
Samuel Technician
New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

I like the idea....First thing I noticed, is a couple "dealer" guys getting butt hurt over NOTHING. I am in the aftermarket. I do know that factory (dealer) level training is PHENOMENAL. The training and resources should be available to all. It is a win / win, the manufacturer will STILL make their money on charging for the training, the technician will build their knowledge and make themselves…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Michael Owner/Technician
New Jersey
Michael Default
 

I'll admit it has been quite a while since I had OEM dealer training, the last time was 2005 for me. It also was exclusively with Toyota and it did vary as to which region I was working in. What that means is that the training I received when i lived in the LA region was the best, Baltimore was a close second and the NY region was a distant third. As far as "phenomenal, outstanding" or other…

0
Default Ð Awarded
Samuel Technician
New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Michael, There is soooo much to say when it comes to this posting of yours. WHY WOULD ANYONE BE AGAINST TRAINING???? Some of the responses are swaying from your point and focusing on words like "5 years", "Master Tech", etc. We should be focused on words such as "training", "advancement", "industry development". Instead, collectively, we have narrowed this down to our one particular part of the…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Marek Technician
Wisconsin
Marek Default
 

PREACH ! my tech brother! we should be banding together to get the service info we need and diagnostic training we need. And honestly we shouldnt even be having the master tech level idea in our minds anymore at this present time of automotive technology there is no such thing. why? because new engineering and tech comes out every year from different OEMs and even tho oem technologies coming out…

+1
Default Ð Awarded
Agree
Jason Technician
New York
Jason Default
 

My previous job was at a used car dealership with quite the reputation. I regularly diagnosed 'new' cars from the big dealerships, that their techs could not fix. Honda, Ford, and FCA products. When my dealer was sold, I went around to the big guys I was doing work for. The pay, was quite lacking. They wanted to start me at about $700 a week. That's half of what I take home. I turned them all…

+2
Default Ð Awarded
Agree