Being an Automotive Technician is NOT a Concession or Fallback Career, it is a Choice!

Michael Mobile Technician Utah Posted   Latest  

I was browsing on Linked In and happened on a comment that just made me mad. "Parents if you can give your kids one piece of advice when they are young please make it this “Listen and concentrate at school otherwise you will / might end up in the motor Trade” 🤯🤯🤯 No one should have to come here 😭"

We don't become technicians because we can't do something else. We do it because we have an interest in automobiles. Nobody forces us to stay in this field. There are plenty of paths away. If you are not satisfied being a tech then go do something else. The above statement is offensive. I was on the Honor Roll all through High School. I went to College. I find satisfaction in the "Motor Trade" therefore I stay. I am challenged every day. I choose to be a technician and I am proud of what I can do. We take dead things and bring them back to life. I have yet to see a doctor, lawyer, professor or any other educated person do that. We should be proud of our trade. I meet many in our field. Top techs are some of the most highly skilled hard working people I know. We all have to study and pay attention to keep up on technology. That guy has it all wrong. What do you think?

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Mike: The person who wrote that sounds British. Also sounds like a parent of my age. If so, I'm sorry to hear that things are that bad over there too. I've found a way to endear myself with guidance counselors. I advocate that they have to offer their personal vehicle as a training aid to anyone they recommend for this trade. Get some skin in the game, so to speak. The good thing is that…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
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Braintree, Essex, UK? But maybe he is talking about where he is in life.

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Jj Technician
Massachusetts
Jj Default
 

The people who say things like that I find are typically the ones who couldn't "hack it" so to speak. They got into the field with a pie in the sky vision of fancy tools and having "the machine" tell them what's wrong with every vehicle they come across. I don't take any offense to that, on the contrary, it just makes me more proud that there are truly people who just can't do the things myself…

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

OK. Slight thread hy-jack. What i see now is management issues. So many shop owners that only know numbers and won't listen/trust their technicians to do what is needed/sell parts NEEDED for a proper repair. If you have a tech that routinely screws you on diag, either fire or train them. Seems logical. So what does the tech do if the management is inept? Or lacks drive. Or even worse insists on…

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Tanner Instructor
South Carolina
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I spoke at a brand new automotive high school program this week to about 35 kids. I asked them to go around the room and tell me why they chose to attend the program. Most didn’t have an answer other than my counselor told me to. A few said because they were into cars and thats why they attended. I think 2 said because they wanted to learn to maintain their vehicles. Next I asked who intended to…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Tanner, I was told long ago that those who were hurt the worst during the great depression were generalists. People who could do about anything. The ones that did well in the trades were specialists. This may have been a history teachers opinion but it stuck with me. For years I was the generalist. I would do everything from a tune up to a full engine rebuild. The problem with this format is…

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Greg Curriculum Developer
Washington
Greg Default
 

First of all “Motor trade”? I’ll admit that I’m don’t want my son to work on cars. I’ve been doing it for 25 years and it has taken a toll on my body. Customers that were upset about their diagnosis have yelled at me and told me I must have made bad choices in life to do this crappy job. They were upset that their repairs are going to be more then what they can afford. I might be a mechanic but…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Greg, I hear what you are saying. The heavy part of the work is hard on your body. At age 40 I felt it. That is when I sought to become better at diagnostics. It is challenging and does not beat up my body. I do programming which most of the time goes pretty smooth. I also do diagnostics. Much of the time it is after all the easy fixes are completed. It can be a real beast to get it right…

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Jeff Technician
California
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Retired after 48 years in the business and seeing what's in the future I couldn't in good conscience recommend it as a career for anyone. I had a passion for the trade, that's what kept me in it. Looking back did I make a good choice, no I should have listened to the older guys I first worked with and chosen something else.

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Jim Owner/Technician
North Carolina
Jim Default
 

That statement may have been somewhat valid 60yrs ago, but I think we all realized that today's top technician's are about as qualified and educated as any Doctor or Lawyer is today. I was lucky enough to have a grandfather that owned a gas station through the great depression and WWII, the stories he would tell me were tangible and sobering. He didn't get rich doing what he did, but he had a…

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Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
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Michael, As a recently semi-retired Automotive professional. I've been looking back on my own awesome career, It was what I wanted and I went out there doing WHATEVER it took to get to where I wanted to be. The one HUGE thing that made the difference was finding Good experience technicians and educators that were willing to help and give me their time. I'm not sure if I would have stayed or been…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Jim, I so wish we were not so far away from each other. You have fantastic ideas that worked in the past and are so needed today. So many times when I am at a shop I hear the service advisers and shop owners berating technicians in front of customers and peers. No wonder there are so many revolving doors. There is no loyalty on either side. If the decision makers would take time to work with…

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Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
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Mike, The next two events I'll be at is this Saturday in Philly for the SUPER SATURDAY Training event, then next month down in Daytona Florida for the ASA Florida Foundation Training event, It would be Great sitting down and going over some ideas we both have.

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Dave Mobile Technician
Ohio
Dave Default
 

While I don't share this fellows o pinion of the trade I know a lot of people in the trade that do. As I have gotten older l have come to realize ( I am a slow learner) that we are all born with the only thing we have to sell. That thing is time. If your are lucky you are born with a gift or a passion for a field . Some will spend their time per suing that passion. Some will spend their time…

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Jeff Technician
California
Jeff Default
 

Well said

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Walter Manager
Washington
Walter Default
 

I have heard that statement many times. My reply to them is changing your own oil in your backyard does not make you a technician. The modern day technician has to have a high intelligence and capability in computer technology, electronic technology, hydraulic technology, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and the list keeps going. They average naysayer is good at one thing, but we…

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Scott Owner
California
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Hi Michael, I'm going to play the devil’s advocate here as I think there's some truth to this statement for the people that we really need to attract into this profession. Judging by the responses sometimes the truth hurts - throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that yelps is the one that got hit. Let me take a step back and say this is a completely different career than when I…

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Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
Jim Default
 

Well Said, Scott A new problem (at least for me) that I'm hearing about is the secondary automotive instructor friends of mine are telling me that their students are talking with their friends that are training for other trade skills like Plumbing and Electrical and finding out how much salary they can make and how much less in tooling they would have to pay out of their own pocket, Then…

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Scott Owner
California
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Hi Jim, I've got a good customer that has a fleet of trucks for his electrical company. They only work on schools and only hire union electricians. Because they're working for the state they have to pay prevailing wages. A few years back I saw a list of tools that the new hires were required to have. I took a copy of it and I can't locate it at this moment, but it was eye opening. Needle nose…

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John Owner
New York
John Default
 

Scott, I agree with your last paragraph completely. :)

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Scott and Jim, What I am hearing here is that there are not complaints about the work itself but the compensation for it. What do we do about the compensation? The short answer is that labor rates will have to go up. If an electrical contractor is paying $60 an hour and providing truck, cell phone and gas card, how much is he charging the customer per hour?

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Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
Jim Default
 

Michael, I've been saying that forever, way back when most shops in my area were at $35 to $38 labor rate, I was $85. Most would think we had no work, we were busy EVERYDAY, because as one customer once told me that the word on the streets was that place is GOOD but Expensive, That is A LOT better then BAD and Cheap. This is how I was able to have the top Techs in the area and pay them what they…

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Scott Owner
California
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Hi Michael, How much he is charging the customer is unknown as WE are the customers as taxpayers in California. The prevailing wage part of this is set by California to prevent contractors from bidding on work for the state, winning the jobs, and not paying their workers what the state deems should be the minimum a job classification should be paid. This would seem to level the playing field…

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Scott Owner
California
Scott Default
 

To get to the cliff note version of how we fix the compensation problem - 5% of us are not going to fix this problem. To borrow something - the best predictor for future behavior is past behavior, and with that said, things have been like this for as long as I've been here, and they'll be like this when I'm gone - unless there's an impetus from the fed-up consumers, regulators that are tired of…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hey Scott, I feel your pain. Lots of 3rd world repair shops in my state. I was called out to a business yesterday to program a ABS module. It was on a 2006 Ford E-350. Once connected with IDS, found there was neither programming or AS Built available. The IDS showed that there was no communication with ABS. Switched to ForScan. ABS shows up with codes for YAW sensor disconnected. Customer tells…

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Scott Owner
California
Scott Default
   

Hi Michael, Not to beat a dead horse, but the BAR in California is nothing more than a job creation and job justification program. For general repairs there is little they can enforce other than for paperwork violations. If you don't have a signed estimate, a signed RO, license, mileage, date...That they can enforce and penalize you for, but for the real issues of incompetence and work not…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Sounds like the politicians that established BAR had this great vision of protecting the consumer. They hired a bunch of hacks to run the system. Now it is about climbing the ladder and collecting a paycheck. We used to have a safety inspection program here. The Highway Patrol would come around and get after us for missing a tinted tail lamp. So I guess we have something like BAR. We also have…

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Michael, Michael, Michael, please don't tell me that you believe program implementation is about fixing an issue. (If you do, please twist one up and share because you must have the good stuff.) In the beginning, there is a concept to address an issue. Once the concept is approved, a plan to implement it is put into place. Once approved, the plan is implemented. Then John Q. realizes that his…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Guido, I believe that there are State and Local representatives that are sincere in trying to make our roads safer. We had a safety program here for 30 plus years. As technicians we found some real dangerous vehicles that were either repaired or taken off the road. The scuttlebutt is that a legislator's vehicle was rejected and he made it his mission to end the program. He got his wish. The…

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

Eggscellant!!!

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John Owner
New York
John Default
 

Michael, Unfortunately, the real top techs and skilled people in our industry are the vast minority. The majority of our industry is not committed and vastly uneducated to the skills needed. Furthermore, they don't really care. It's a paycheck. I see it everyday in the repair shops and body shops I service. I agree wholeheartedly with your counterpoint to this statement that was on LinkedIN. I…

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

Another omelet. Eggsellant!!!

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Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
Jim Default
 

As usual you are SPOT ON, John and BTW I'm sure I see you this weekend on your and my own time at SUPER SATURDAY Training event with the other usual 5% you talked about.

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Richard Diagnostician
Alberta
Richard Default
 

I hear you loud and clear, seeing those types of statements upsets me. I'm very passionate and pour a lot of my self into my chosen career. I never understood why people stay in a profession that they hate. One thing that doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other "respected" professions have is governing body or trade association. If you have a grievance you can go to your association and deal…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Richard, Does Alberta require a government license to practice as a mechanic or technician? My understanding is that some Providences do. What I hear is even with a professional license they still are not paid any better than their US counterparts.

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Richard Diagnostician
Alberta
Richard Default
 

Up here in Canada we have a 4 year apprenticeship program. Every year you go to school for 2 months then the rest of the year you are working in the trade. Once you fulfill the required worked hours and years in school and write your red seal test you will receive a technician license that is accepted in all provinces. When you are a apprentice there are rules about minimum pay. You can find out…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Richard, So an certificated technician who has completed the program will make $28 to $45 per hour. An apprentice in his first year will make $15.40 to $24.75 per hour. It seems it would not be hard to get technicians on board with those wages. I do not know anyone who starts their green techs at $15 plus in the USA. Sounds like a great deal. My Sister lives in Nova Scotia and my nephew works…

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Jamey Owner/Technician
California
Jamey Default
 

I was looking to hire a green tech about 10 months ago. He was young and working at a local chain store dong oil changes and wallet flushes. They were paying him minimum wage. I told him I would start him out at $15.00 per hour and he would learn more here than he would at the chain store. I handed him an application and told him to fill it out and bring it back. He did...... 30 days later!!…

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Tyler Technician
Nova Scotia
Tyler Default
   

You are correct Michael in Nova Scotia Red Seal techs are making around 20-30$ an hour. First years probably 12-15$. If you ever make it up this way look me up!

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David Owner/Technician
Ontario
David Default
 

Flat rate or hourly?? From what I know and see this is a tad on the high side. Most hourly Certified Automotive technicians are only hitting the 20 - 25 per hour. Anything more is usually Flat rate. The heavy Truck/bus technicians are usually hourly and they range from ( believe it or not advertised) 20 - 35 per hour. This is in Ontario.. Take a look on "Indeed" job board or even "Mechanic's…

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Albert Owner/Technician
Pennsylvania
Albert Default
 

You are absolutely right. Over the course of my adult life I've been in three trades, I started as a locksmith did that for 8yrs then went on to own a handy man business did that for ten years now I'm mobile tech I find that trades give me the satisfaction of being able to fix almost anything. That's why I can spend 12 hours on a problem and wonder where the time went. it is a choice

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