If Tech Job Listings look like this, Then…
I like to look at job listings for technicians, not for the average shop, but for as far into the next gen of service that I can. Helps keep good insight into what shop business models may need to encompass.
This is some of the text from a job listing for Waymo. Posted on their careers page. waymo.com/joinus/929469
In this role, you’ll:
- Install, repair, and troubleshoot Self-driving System components, including sensors, modules, and integrated sensor stacks
- Run scripts in Linux operating systems to test components and determine root cause of issues
- Be familiar with OEM maintenance items, including: brake systems, oil change intervals, tire replacement/wear indicators, HV coolant systems, HVAC recovery, on-board modules and OBD communication
- Record all repair work through excellent documentation practices
- Clearly communicate with team members and management
We’d like you to have:
- BA/BS or 4 years of experience in automotive repair/testing or equivalent in similar field
- Diagnostic troubleshooting/experience with OEM systems
- Experience working with HV/hybrid systems
- Experience running scripts and working with Linux based systems
- Ability to adhere to a schedule of operating times for the assigned shift including, but not limited to, working on holidays and shift rotations
Listings like this make me wonder:
How much are technicians like this worth to a company like Waymo?
How many techs well trained in root cause analysis are good with routine tire or oil changes? Willing to do? (Good with OE systems doesn't mean good with tires!)
How many techs trained in OE systems are comfortable working in Linux? (albeit running scripts is a LOT easier than writing them)
How many techs that do fit this bill are willing to be on-call for holidays?
When, where, and will I get the repair info on those integrated sensor stacks?
Listings like this prove to me that:
AC/HVAC and Tires are things all shops should be thinking about staying well equipped for and highly efficient with.
Training in root cause analysis still can't be stressed enough. Advanced computer skills are something we need to see training in for our industry and in our schools. (Are we still not teaching basic coding in High-School?)
It's been asked before... but will we require a night shift? Automated Vehicles will be less busy at night, making evenings the ideal time for service.
Hybrids. In case you haven't noticed, they are a thing, and will be for awhile.
Wow that is a posting that will be hard to fill and they probably should think about growing there own tech. That tech they are searching for should be easily a 6 figure kind of tech
I hope who-ever is goes for this has the integrity to demand nothing less.
My guess is their definition of well trained in root cause analysis is different than ours. Because someone that is truly well trained isn't going to take a job that requires doing tires
HI Craig. In my opinion, the ad appears overall to be reasonably well-written, if holding back some key information that is reserved for the applicants selected for an interview. The "bait" has been set with a teaser or two to "test the waters". The use of advanced technical jargon may be enough to scare away the incapables, but attract the wannabees who have some exposure to technical work in the workplace. FWIW, OEMs deal extensively with all of the same tire and service routines as many shops, in fact to a much greater depth in some situations. Frequently utilizing mandatory installation and diagnostic tooling is the norm, along with related training that many independent facilities choose not to purchase or participate in, outside of specialty shops.
I didn't read "on-call for the holidays", but did read that the technician would be required to work shifts that included holidays, just as many entry level or "lowest man on the pole" jobs have the newest hire work the less desirable shifts.
While I see Linux listed, I doubt that is a key need that cannot be trained as required for the right candidate and personally I would expect "integrated sensor stacks" to be one of those topics ripe for discussion during a first or second level interview. I would expect that any candidate considering putting in an application for the position would do some research to learn a little about the computational requirements
If a technician is already dealing with radar, Lidar, cameras, advanced cruise and electronic driver assist systems, they probably have a good basis for meeting that requirement. I expect that installation and setup, aiming etc, with diagnostic abilities would be expected through on the job training for the right applicant
From the ad, it would appear that they are looking for a technically astute person to complete whatever service and diagnostic work arrives at the facility. However, by mentioning "tires" and "shifts", it is quite possibly designed to eliminate the "prima donna" top gun who has demands for specific duties and work hours. IOW, they need the same type of person, without the attitude, but with some vehicle manufacturer franchise facility diagnostic experience at a lower price.
The expected education and/or experience level seems to infer an employment opportunity for relatively entry level person, perhaps a program post graduate with some technical experience in electronic systems and foundation skills. This type of position is one that I suspect is similar to the position secured with Tesla, by one of my program graduates.
He was quite capable, with reasonable expertise and claimed high standards. However, he did not really find himself at home within the dealership system where the few shops that he worked for, didn't quite meet his desired standards. He was a "prima donna" in the making, but probably still could be had at an affordable wage, because his experience was limited to the same time frame as the Waymo job advertisement.
Excellent take away.
And thanks for those links!
I like your perspective on the add.
One of my favorite techs that worked for us took a job at Tesla. Great guy, great attitude, and smart. Though, aside from his electrical knowledge his diagnostic experience was still fractional to that of my brothers at the time. Talking with that tech from time to time we learned that the frequency one has to take out a scope to diagnose things on a Tesla is not as often as what we see when diagnosing automatic transmissions or VVT issues. (Not surprising)
My main interest in this is in resolving what we need to do to get cars like the ones Waymo makes in OUR bays. Wont be anytime soon, and its perfectly obvious why Waymo would want their own techs right now...
No one gets to go mass market without a viable service provider network.
The same shortage of techs we have now will apply to any new ventures. Not an insignificant challenge.
Well thats a company under the same umbrella as Google,so it will probably be around for awhile. Sounds really intriguing. Unfortunately, mechanics of any skill set are generally all treated the same, and the pay scale is usually pretty poor.
Very intriguing. If I were younger and not busy supporting more people than myself, that's the sort of tech job I'd angle towards, regardless of the early pay. Frankly, that level of intrigue is what I wish we could offer the young learners now in our current shops. Clean cool tech changing the way things are done... sounds fun to me!
Turning the clock back 50 years to when I started out in my first job as an "adult" without a care in the world and without any responsibilities, I agree that the income would have been rather less important than the excitement of venturing into exciting territory with endless possibilities!
Excuse me for not knowing, but what is Linux and how many techs are going to have a BA/BS?
Linux is an operating system kernel. A lot of people aren't aware of it, but Android is based off linux. It's a general use operating system. Our Hunter-roadforce balancer uses it. Very versatile.
Someone with all these qualifications, especially Linux, is probably not interested in doing this job. With the holiday/shifts requirement, I suspect they are not really ready to pay what this person will want. It's one thing to push buttons on a laptop to run pre-written tests on a vehicle (we do that now all day long). It's quite another to KNOW Linux and be able to write/debug in it. A good Linux programmer doesn't need to work on cars to make a really good living.
Just shows how much trouble this industry is really in for workers if this is the coming norm for techs!
Trouble means problems. Problems have solutions. Focusing on the solutions is where the opportunity is. I think the brightest techs have a bright future, given their short supply.
Maybe....maybe not. We have been hearing that same line of thinking since 1970, and nothing has changed as far as tech pay, benefits, etc. I did an analysis of techs earning in my shop over the last 16 years. The pay was good, but not great, after subtracting tool costs, hours sent training with no pay, etc. The sad thing is, I was making pretty much the same thing in 1980! So things really have not changed much; higher labor rates with less % paid to the techs, lower times for complex repairs, most don't pay/charge for diagnostics, etc, etc.
If these issues are not fixed, I suspect most will move on to other careers. What is left will be parts replacers and backyard Bob's.