AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAINS DONT GET PAID WELL !

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John Demper in Guilford, Connecticut

91 months ago

AUTOMOTIVE TECHS DONT GET PAID WELL ! THEY HAVE BUY 50,000.00 IN TOOLS AND WORK ON HOT ENGINES,GET CUT ,BURNT AND PAID CRAP. THE STARTING PAY IS ABOUT 8.00- 10.00 A HOUR AFTER YOU HAVE A YEAR OF SCHOOL UNDER YOUR BELT. AFTER FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS YOU MAY BE MAKING 17.50 - 19.50 PER FLAT RATE HOUR.IF A BRAKE JOB PAYS TWO HOURS AND YOU DO IT 1 HOUR YOU HAVE DONE WELL.BUT LETS SAY YOU WORK FOR A DEALERSHIP AND HAVE A ENGINE JOB THAT PAYS 8 HOURS UNDER WARRANTY BUT IT TAKE YOU 12 HOURS -YOU JUST WORKED 4 HOURS FOR FREE.ITS FORCES THE TECH TO TAKE SHORT CUTS THAT MAY BE UNSAFE.THINKING ABOUT BEING A AUTOMOTIVE TECH, THINK AGAIN. TRY A PLUMBER AFTER TWO YEARS IN THE FIELD YOU MAKE 30.00 PLUS A HOUR AND ALL YOU NEED IS BUCKET OF TOOLS FOR COUPLE HUNDRED DOLLARS.!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rick in Sarasota, Florida

91 months ago

Yes, I must agree, the automotive technician job used to be profitable, rewarding and honest years ago. More tools, more training, more complexity and constant pay cuts due to warranty labor rate reductions.

The warranty labor rate reductions trickle down to Chiltons, Motors, Mitchells and other flat rate manuals. They bump up the posted warranty rate and there you have it..........customer pay jobs that pay less too!

You used to get a decent percentage of the flat rate too. I remember years ago getting 50%! Ha! check it out now! Labor rates of $90-$100 per hr......what's your portion of that? You do the math! Very sad!

And, don't get me started about this flush/service scam. IT'S COMMONLY REFERED TO AS A WALLET FLUSH!!! That's they only thing that really gets a full service!

It is so sad to see what has happened in this business over the years. I really used to love it and loved doing it. I left the business over a year ago at the top of my game, (experience, certifications, etc.)

I'm not looking back and not going back! I would no longer recommend this profession to anyone!

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DONALD PELLIEN in Colorado Springs, Colorado

90 months ago

I OWN A SUCEESSFUL INDEPENDENT SHOP IN BLACK FOREST OUTSIDE COLORADO SPRINGS. WE HAVE 4 TECHNICIANS, THE QUALIFIED TECHS MAKE $25 A FLATRATE HOUR, AND OUR CUSTOMER PAYS $87 PER HOUR. SOUNDS GOOD BUT ONLY AS LONG AS BILLED AND FLAGED TIME MATCH, TOO OFTEN IT HAS NOT MATCHED. WE LOOSE 20% DUE WARRANTEE AND LOW ESTIMATES TRYING TO STAY COMPETITIVE. IN MY OPINION, THE PUBLIC IS THE DRIVING FACTOR THAT KEEPS THE INDUSTRY WAGE LOW. BUT AT THE SAME TIME THE PUBLIC IS OFTEN THE VICTIM OF POORLY SKILLED TECHNICIANS AND A GREED DRIVEN INDUSTRY. ITS A RACKET THAT NEEDS TO BE STREAMED LINED AND/OR INDUCED WITH SOME REAL INTEGRITY. WE ALL SHOULD MAKE GOOD LIVING WITHOUT HAVING TO WORK 65+ HOURS A WEEK TO BE SOMEWHAT COMFORTABLE. AS LONG AS THE PUBLIC CONTINUES PULL THE FINANCIAL STRINGS AND SALES PERSONEL CONTINIUE TO SELL GARBAGE MAINTENANCE AND FOLLOW ONLY THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR THIS INDUSTRY WILL NEVER CHANGE. THE ANSWER INSTEAD IS TO SEEK OUT THE CUSTOMER NEED WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY AND INTEGRITY POSSIABLE AND THEN MAKE SURE YOUR PAIDED FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND ACCURACY. THAT IS THE ART OF REAL SALESMANSHIP, NOT HOW YOU CAN BEAT FLATRATE AND THEN SMOOTH TALK CUSTOMERS INTO A CRAP REPAIR OR MAINTENANCE ITEM. WE NEED SOME TYPE OF GUIDE TO BASE OUR BILLABLE TIME, NOT A DO OR DIE FLATRATE SYSTEM WHICH IS OFTEN INACURATE. THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO RESPECT WHAT WE DO AND FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT WE HAVE THEIR BEST INTEREST IN MIND. TOO OFTEN THIS IS NOT THE CASE AND IT WILL NEVER CHANGE UNTIL WE AS PROFESSIONALS CREATE THIS KIND OF CULTURE THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION. FIX THE COMPANY CULTURE AND THE CUSTOMERS WILL FOLLOW. THE PROFITS WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT HAPPEN, NOT THE "WANTA BE'S". SOUNDS EASIER THAN IT IS, BUT PERCEPTION IS AN ENORMOUS PART OF SUCCESS IN ANY INDUSTRY. UNTIL WE REVISE OUR OUTLOOK WITH INTEGRITY FIRST, THEN QUALITY AND BELIEVE THE ALMIGHTY "BUCK" WILL FOLLOW, THE INDUSTRY WILL ALWAYS FALL SHORT OF THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS THE PUBLIC DEMANDS.

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steve

86 months ago

Ex-Toyota Tech in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: Yes!,Yes!,Yes! I agree with all the above. I too left this trade earlier this year after 22 dissapointing years at the top of my field with all factory and ase certifications. I have never been so happy! I had the good fortune to have had the experience of 50/50 early in my career. It is really sad what has happened to our industry, and now with the introduction of the light duty classification it is a real slap in the face. I will continue to service a few of my loyal customers that have followed me home, other than that I will not look back!

I went back to college studying to become a history teacher. I always liked cars,but what do you do when your fifty or sixty. I am looking to take a job as a pharmacy technician while in school. My wife went to college and is an EXA/CPht for walgreens pharmicies.And she has a great job. Anyways I am trasitioning out of a field that is just to unstable to ever really plan for any stable future. I dont even buy tools anymore.

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Ex-Toyota Tech in Rosemount, Minnesota

86 months ago

It's been a year and I still believe that leaving the Auto industry was the BEST thing I ever did! I still buy some tools and yes I still work on a FEW cars, at home for family and some of the loyal customers I've had over the years. I was lucky enough to have had a sideline that turned out to be a good career! I do like to fix things and figure out problems (sometimes on the phone for some of my former colleages) and I do enough of that to satisfy that hunger but, I no longer have to be involved in dealership politics and I love it! To me working on cars part time at home is much better than busting my ass for no respect and little money at the dealership! It is not that hard if you are talented and HONEST to find enough customers to stay busy full time if you want to.

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satish kumar in Plano, Texas

85 months ago

John Demper in Guilford, Connecticut said: AUTOMOTIVE TECHS DONT GET PAID WELL ! THEY HAVE BUY 50,000.00 IN TOOLS AND WORK ON HOT ENGINES,GET CUT ,BURNT AND PAID CRAP. THE STARTING PAY IS ABOUT 8.00- 10.00 A HOUR AFTER YOU HAVE A YEAR OF SCHOOL UNDER YOUR BELT. AFTER FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS YOU MAY BE MAKING 17.50 - 19.50 PER FLAT RATE HOUR.IF A BRAKE JOB PAYS TWO HOURS AND YOU DO IT 1 HOUR YOU HAVE DONE WELL.BUT LETS SAY YOU WORK FOR A DEALERSHIP AND HAVE A ENGINE JOB THAT PAYS 8 HOURS UNDER WARRANTY BUT IT TAKE YOU 12 HOURS -YOU JUST WORKED 4 HOURS FOR FREE.ITS FORCES THE TECH TO TAKE SHORT CUTS THAT MAY BE UNSAFE.THINKING ABOUT BEING A AUTOMOTIVE TECH, THINK AGAIN. TRY A PLUMBER AFTER TWO YEARS IN THE FIELD YOU MAKE 30.00 PLUS A HOUR AND ALL YOU NEED IS BUCKET OF TOOLS FOR COUPLE HUNDRED DOLLARS.!!!!!!!!!!!

everybody are just cheap and just want to fill their pockets but without a mechanic and a body man this people cannot run their business,i hope all trade people can understand me and teach these people a lesson .thanks

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mattymatt in Staten Island, New York

81 months ago

jhood,
you just ruined the post for everyone
the business is crooked. stay away. enough is never enough and too little is too much. in other words your damned if you do and your damned if you don't. Don't be an auto tech! (besides its more money for me if you suck!)

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Not-a-whiner in Lafayette, Colorado

81 months ago

I worked at a Carmax - 4 10 hour days, 3 days off. I billed around 80 flatrate hours a week at $16 an hour (I haven't been in this profession long enough for a higher wage). I worked thoroughly and honestly, but I will admit that you have to bust ass. Techs who are smart and fast and like to hustle will make money. Techs who like to stare at a job for thirty minutes, stand around the coke machine, pause here and there to talk about their POS ricer, will become bitter and grumble about how it is the industry more than their own work ethic. Also, you do not need 70k in tools or some of this other stuff people are going on about. Some use tools as a substitute for their you-know-what and the Snap-on man loves to see them coming. Get Snap-on or Matco for the regular, hard-use stuff, and cheap tools for the rest. Don't get tools that your brain can substitute for. Keep honest and your shop will respect that. Why? Because they need you more than you need them. A single tech can be hundreds of thousands in revenue for a shop. Especially, always remember, there are people who grumble constantly in every profession. EVERY profession. Also, remember that all jobs suck - that's why they are jobs. But take pride in what you do.

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Bobby in Calgary, Alberta

79 months ago

With all the above statements of bitterness who would ever want to be an automotive technician. To be honest it all depends on who you work for and how good you are. For me averaging 12hr a day flat rate is the norm. This is over the course of years and I'm not even the top tech in our shop! Yes, other trades do offer more in terms of benefits, some are even unions like electricians. Buying 50k in tools does suck but when your hobby is restoration it softens the blow. The best way to make money in a dealership is to learn the waranty and how you can use it to your advantage. I see more turn over of bad techs who refuse the learn or think for themselves than I care to mention. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my body isn't telling me my best years are behind me but 75+k a year isn't half bad when you consider your pay is directly related to how hard you work.

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Tom D. in Perrysburg, Ohio

79 months ago

Most of these comments seem to be coming from dealer techs. I work for a chain shop. We make a base hourly rate and then commission on the sales we do. Now it is true that it is very unstable work. But I have also had very productive weeks. My gross check have ranged anywhere from $300 all the way up to $1200 for one week. And I could do more, if the work was there. Now lately, business has sucked and my checks have been at the bottom end of the spectrum. I am always looking for a new job, something more steady with better pay. but i chose this work and it is what i am good at. I hate the fact that i have to pay to work by buying tools. You just have to find the right shop. My shop will reimburse me for the full price of my scanner that i bought. just one of the benefits of where i am at. It just sucks that are economy is having such a big affect on business right now.

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Bill in Mission Viejo, California

79 months ago

You guys need to work for a fleet shop. Im making 24.70 an hour working on a fleet of busses. I have decent insurance employer paid 100%. I am in the teamster union local 652 you guys need to get working for transit companys. I worked for a chrysler/jeep/dodge dealer for 3 days before I quit. They paid me 45 minutes to change 2 lower balljoints on warranty it took me about 3 hours to do, while the guy next to me was changing a warranty engine that paid 8 hours and it was his third day on it! Its all about ass kissing and politics in a dealer. This one guy would start at 8 am and be done at 2 pm with 18 hours booked and i would be doing lof all day i said screw this unless u want to blow the service advisor dont work for a dealer!

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steve in Evansville, Indiana

79 months ago

Hey. I work for a honda dealership, and it is pretty good. However the politics are so bad it becomes funny. My questionis, could I make atransition to fleet work as a honda technician? Dont have much expirenece with the bigger vehicles.

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Bill in Mission Viejo, California

79 months ago

Yeah you could do fleet work no problem. Working on bigger vehicles is alot easier than working on obd 2 and can vehicles. Most companys want you to have certs in ASE T-4 Brakes and T-8 PMI. Plus when you work fleet there is no time pressure when I used to work for an independant shop it was always run run run. Now I take my sweet ass time and I enjoy my life alot more.

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steve in Evansville, Indiana

79 months ago

I like being a Dealer tech. For one, I only have to worry about one product line. I have all the specialty tools and factory support at my disposal. And you dont need to spend 50k in tools. That is an ego thing. I learned a very long time ago that if I had to ask to borrow a tool more then three times, then I will buy it. Other wise I dont. Basic hand tools are basic hand tools. The quality may differ for sure, but I have a set of husky wrenches that I have had for years, and they still work. I have 1/4 inch sockets from sk, craftsman, stanley,. They all still work too. Every career has its good and bad points. there is no perfect profession. It seems that most of us, sometimes let are ego get in the way of professionalism. I will admit that since I stopped working on domestics, and switched to asian imports, I have enjoyed my career alot more. The domestic techs do have it hard.

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UTI student in Houston, Texas

79 months ago

Alot of interesting opinions here.
I left the mortgage industry to return to automotive school.
Lets see a poll of average pay so everyone is on the same page.

Sound off...
What make of car do you work on (mercedes, bmw, ford, honda....)?
What are you getting paid/hr?
Rough ave. of hours flagged per week?
What state do you work in?

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clancy in Centerville, Massachusetts

79 months ago

im a nissan master tech and make 22.00 hour and average 75 hours a week flat rate at a nissan dealer in massachusetts...that's working my butt off roughly 55 hours a week doing honest work

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steve in Nashville, Tennessee

79 months ago

Work for a Honda dealer in Virginia. I make 17.00 dollars an hour flat rate and on average get paid 90 to 125 hours bi-weekly. Hvae ase certification and VA inspector license. Work 730-530 M-F, with an hour lunch from 12-1. Saturday and Sunday Off. when you graduate from school get yourself a job with Honda, Toyota, or Nissan and stay there. They will continue your education through there training centers. Also dont be a pre-madonna, be a worker. You will recieve alot more respect. Dont go into extreme debt with snap-on. Most of my stuff is sk, craftsman, husky. Had it for years and they still work. Hondas dont require you to have too many tools anyways. Learn the basics and learn the warranty and you will be fine.

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Bill in Mission Viejo, California

79 months ago

Hey UTI student their is one guy at my work who went thru uti diesel program, and all he does is oil changes and tire changes etc. He makes 14/hr and has been with us 6 months. UTI is not very highly regarded in the real world...u cant learn everything there is to being a mechanic in a little over a year. You are better off going to community college and getting certificates from a real accredited school. Plus it will save you money, what is it nowadays 30,000 for the courses? Oh but you get a snap-on starter tool set!!! UTI is only good if you want to work as a flat rate tech at a dealer even then you should do something else. The guy at my work worked at long beach BMW and he said it was the most fucked up place hes ever worked.

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Brittany in Merritt Island, Florida

79 months ago

Hey guys-

How does overtime work for everyone? Does anyone receive time and a half in addition to their flat rate when they go over 40 hours per week? If so, where do you work...dealer, independent shop, etc.?

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UTI student in Houston, Texas

79 months ago

Bill in Mission Viejo, California said: Hey UTI student their is one guy at my work who went thru uti diesel program, and all he does is oil changes and tire changes etc. He makes 14/hr and has been with us 6 months. UTI is not very highly regarded in the real world...u cant learn everything there is to being a mechanic in a little over a year. You are better off going to community college and getting certificates from a real accredited school. Plus it will save you money, what is it nowadays 30,000 for the courses? Oh but you get a snap-on starter tool set!!! UTI is only good if you want to work as a flat rate tech at a dealer even then you should do something else. The guy at my work worked at long beach BMW and he said it was the most fucked up place hes ever worked.

Bill,
I understand your opinion. One bad apple can ruin the bunch. You should get to know more the students before passing judgement on all of them. UTI is like anything other place of education....you get out what you put in. There are plenty of students that are there just happy to get only a passing grade, but there are also a few that are at the top of their class (and as a result are heavily recurity by top brands). As far as accredidation, UTI is. If you are going to attend automotive school, UTI is the best in the nation. If it wasn't the dealers (Mercedes, Cummings, BMW, Ford, Audi) wouldn't affiliate themselfs with the school...they would pick up another school (Wyotech students have to attend UTI campuses after they graduate to get the dealer training). This thread isn't about automotive schools, its about technician pay. Take your bitterness elsewhere.

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BILL in Mission Viejo, California

78 months ago

Depends jimmy-every shop is different. But if you are a top notch tech you can make good money.

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Philip in Germantown, Maryland

78 months ago

Yes, I started in this profession when the rest of you were still sucking your thumb. Let me tell you I've had the best of both very good and very poor. The poor have been about an even match for the good. The biggest item I think I hate about this bussiness is always having to see if you are going to get paid for a job. This will take up to 1 to 6 hrs. every 2 weeks. I have seen everything from an adviser forgetting to pay (a little check mark on the repair invoice) to putting someone else's tech number on it, to the computer program just dropping the time.
For anyone thinking about getting into this bussiness. Listen to your elders and find something else.
The newest screwing and one I don't thing I have seen before is that certain people in the shop have helpers. So they get more done in a faster time. Since the slowdown we have limited cars and you get 1 ticket to there 3 then the works done for the day and its only noon. They have the rest of the day covered because there estimates from the morning are just coming back with approvial.
The greatest one is I now have an adviser that just screws me. He acts as a good person then his latest thing is saying he would have given me a new job but I wasn't in my bay. This is a ????? that calls me 10 times a day and could not call me when he had a job because I was in the lunch room reading ( I had not had a job all day and it was 1:30 PM).
Anyway I'm out of room to complain. Hope to find a way to sue (I was one of the 75k a year tech's before also)Helper quit. He was going to loose his house.

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steve in Evansville, Indiana

78 months ago

You make a good point Steve. Education is the key to becoming a good technician. I am getting out of the business, but am still working on a few classes I have left to get into the nursing program. I have enjoyed working on cars but feel that If because I have to go back to college to learn all this computer stuff, then I am just going to go back to college for something more stable.

Being a tech is not a bad career. It is one of the fastest growing occupations out there. But todays cars require post-secondary education. There is no more shade tree. If you love technology, and you also love cars, then Automotive may be for you.

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steve in Evansville, Indiana

78 months ago

Dealerships are nothing but politics. If you dont have the stomach for it, stay away from them. However there is advantages to dealerships. For one you work on the same thing all day.Repition will eventually make you more money. The private owned shops and tire stores have a more difficult time, because they will work on anything, and also dont have the factory support like the dealerships do.

The allied health professions can be an option. My cousins wife went to nursing school for LPN. After one year of school, she had a starting salary 21.00 doolars an hour. 45 credit hours of college. Total cost of the program, right about 5 grand. That is a small investment for 21.00 an hour. I know people with BA degrees that could not get a job as fast, or start out as much. MY point: If you are going to leave the business, go into the health professions.

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Jeepman401 in Norwich, Connecticut

77 months ago

There is no stability in the automotive field right now.
I can honestly say I didn't get into the field to get rich. I like working on cars. I prefer troubleshooting problems, and learning new technology, So I have spent (Pronounced wasted) the last few years in a dealership.
I have seen both sides of flat rate. I have worked a 9 hour day and made .5, and I have also had days where I went home at 1 after making 15 hours. It used to balance out, but it never seems to any more. A little while back, we got a new service manager, and he brought in 2 new techs into a shop where there wasn't enough work to go around as it was.
a few weeks later I get a pink slip and I get told that there wasn't enough work to go around, and I all of a sudden was out of a job.

Now I am finding nothing out there but low pay mindless jobs at tire shops and quick lubes, and I think its time to move on

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steve w in Elmira, New York

77 months ago

there is a lot of tire and quick lube jobs out there ..but it a bad time of year to try to get a job, as soon as the holidays end employment should start looking up ..take any free courses.i cant get enough! i look foward to fixing this stuff,i bounced around to several jobs befor i found a good one, someone who appreciates me, keep you head up . and buy a tool box you can easly load and un load yourself, makes easy travel! get -r- done !!!

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Jeepman401 in Norwich, Connecticut

77 months ago

A bit late for the tool box advice unfortunetly

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dealer technician in Brampton, Ontario

77 months ago

I work for a dealer in toronto, canada, I have been fixing cars for 12 years
i have worked for a dealer for 6 years, i have seen the rise and fall in just 6 years of dealership experience people just dont want to spend on thier cars like they use to. \i have read about techs complaing about poor warranty times there is moto we follow in my dealeship, we say let them do whatever they want because in the end they are just pissing of technicians and thats probably the worst thing they could do, we(techs) always win I SCAM WARRANTY EVERYDAY TO FEED MY FAMILY if they dont like it then stop F*&!king me on warranty. CP customers never get screwed the way we look at it is if the ceo's of the big three can take private jets to congress then they can afford to pay us fair warranty times.
The manufactures do it to themselves. another thing to many techs not enough work in the dealerships causes fighting over jobs day in day out.
T

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Expert Auto and Diesel Technician in Irving, Texas

77 months ago

I must agree with some of the comments about the business, I been working on vehicles 35 yrs I have invested over 100,000.00 in tools along. In this business only the strong survive if you thought that this business paid a lot of money then you are right and wrong. The industry has changed and it's changing all the time. I have worked for corporations, independent shops, also I am operating my own business, I agree the business stinks at times because alot of the mechanics out here don't have the ability or the knowledge to repair vehicles right the first time. The parts changers on vehicles has gave us a bad name. Some so call mechanics do need to step down and leave this business, because you are in it for the wrong reason, if you don't have the love for repairing products leave it alone its not worth the time and money, but if you do have the love and the ability then stay in it you will eventually start earning what you are worth. Sometimes you have to continue to shop around for a good employer especially if all you have is dealer training sometimes this training can be useless, but don't let this discourage you from this business.
The dealer is shooting theirself in the foot every year and the independents is too. Eventually the good technicians that stood their ground will be very valuable I already see it coming, going on strike could help, but its not the solution, continue to let these manufactors shoot themselves they will be begging for good technicians, don't give up its already coming to past. Dealers and independent shops are suffering and its not just the economy thats causing this action, cause after while they want have anyone to repair vehicles because they can't do it themselves, this is when you guys will be glorified.

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steve in Plano, Texas

77 months ago

No owners can survive without a tech cause they cant work but want lots of money and cheat with hours so wat u give is wat u get so plz employers dont blame the techs

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steve w in Endicott, New York

77 months ago

ed- u- macation !!!! the last 15 so call techs could onley tell me how many volts?? with there dvm ,after I set it to DC.. i condem a conponent twice befor i order it.. knowledge is the key THEY WILL PAY IF YOU HOULD THE KEY

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mattymatt in Staten Island, New York

77 months ago

Hey Steve W from Endicott NY....
You may want to learn how to spell and form complete sentences before preaching about education!

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stevenrdl in Charlottesville, Virginia

77 months ago

It is called invisible writing, and it is very easy to do when writing on your computer. Did you know that? Probably not.

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steve in Windsor, New York

77 months ago

ED- U - MA- CATION!!!!!

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Phil in Rockville, Maryland

77 months ago

OK, now would be the time it could get changed, the government right now do not like the auto manufactors.
If we can get them to require that a auto tech has to be licensed or can't work on a car this job would change overnight. You would get rid of the part changers, the chain shops (what good is it to have SEAR"S work on car's) come on they can't even work a cash resister. I used to get the Service Managers from a Sear's store have me work on his car, no his employee's.
ASE was formed by the BIG 3 so the government won't require a license to work on cars and have us set up like plummer and electrians. When would you ever see a master licensed electrian make any less than $35-50 an hr. Master Tech's making less than $30.00 are really getting the shaft.
Now would be the time. Everyone that a real tech should give $10. to $20 a month to hire our own lobbist to change the laws so we can have the one's coming into this bussiness a chance to make a good living.
The manufactor have no money now to fight us, WE could pull this off.

Thanks for reading this and hope to get this going soon.

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Jeepman401 in Norwich, Connecticut

77 months ago

I agree with the licensing 100%, however, I'm not holding my breath on it

the problem is how do they implement it? its not like electrical or plumbing, there is such a broad range of subjects, your going to end up with something like ASE, and its not going to do any good The good techs who cant take a test to save their ass will get forced out of the business, and the tech who can ace a test, but cant fix much of anything is taking their place, or your typical UTI student (I went there, and I know how it is, 2/3 of the people who graduate from UTI are useless, they just know how to take a test and float by on everyone else lab work)

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Broke Technician in Providence, Rhode Island

77 months ago

I've hopped around from job to job, looking for a decent place. I've worked at a dealership and two independent shops: Firestone and currently (and in some sense, almost shamefully), Sears. In the beginning when I was changing oil for about $8 an hour, all the senior techs would tell me "If you're smart, you go do something else with your life." I started when I was 18, I'm 21 now. I've also In my short time of working in this field, I've seen my share of hacks and crooks. Let me tell you, it's just amazing what people will pull off just for an extra tenth of an hour or a couple of dollars extra on their commission.

In spite of my love for cars, I also went to school for this field - what a mistake that was. $30,000+ for what? I never have to wonder why I feel so damn depressed every night I leave work (I might have only worked on 2 cars for the whole day!!!). It's hard to put your foot in when you're trying to absorb all the information around you when you have guys looking to get their own piece and stay hungry for seconds.

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C. Rutherford in Statesville, North Carolina

77 months ago

steve in Nashville, Tennessee said: Work for a Honda dealer in Virginia. I make 17.00 dollars an hour flat rate and on average get paid 90 to 125 hours bi-weekly. Hvae ase certification and VA inspector license. Work 730-530 M-F, with an hour lunch from 12-1. Saturday and Sunday Off. when you graduate from school get yourself a job with Honda, Toyota, or Nissan and stay there. They will continue your education through there training centers. Also dont be a pre-madonna, be a worker. You will recieve alot more respect. Dont go into extreme debt with snap-on. Most of my stuff is sk, craftsman, husky. Had it for years and they still work. Hondas dont require you to have too many tools anyways. Learn the basics and learn the warranty and you will be fine.

Hello, I have been reading the comments on this page and they are kinda scaring me because this is about to be my career in about 6 months. I am a student at NTI(UTI branch) and most of the instructors there are retired from the field or either had quit for some reason. In my mind if its a good trade to get in why would they get out of it, it just dosent seem like they are telling us the full story of why they stop working. In my mind is the reason these people are leaving these type of messages. Anyway my plan is to get in this MSAT program and work for Mercedes Benz, plan B is to work for Infiniti/Nissan. What you are saying sounds more like what i am trying to see when i get out not starting out around 10.00 I was getting paid that much in High School and I'm not trying to go backwards in life. Could you give me some good advice?

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Volvo Mike in New Hope, Pennsylvania

77 months ago

Bill in Mission Viejo, California said: Me bitter??? Im a realist just giving people the facts. BMW and Mercedes are nothing special, and with this recession you will be out of work if you specialize in those products. As for UTI it is a for-profit school they make money by charging each student 30k and getting the new ones in. Alot of people go to the university of phoenix and get a masters degree, and guess what? Its not worth sh*t in the real world the school is a joke and so is UTI!

I Worked with a Kid Who spent 30 k on Tech School(UTI)he was Working at a service station i worked at briefly ...the REASON he Went was because of the Promise of Job Placement,when he GRADUATED and Inquired about enployment they said "Cant Help You Good Bye"Very Unfair But True

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Volvo Mike in New Hope, Pennsylvania

77 months ago

jodandoe toyo tech ex nissan uti grad in Desert Hot Springs, California said: being an auto tech is a burnt out option in terms of employment. when really any person could have done it, it payed good ten years ago. it paid very very well but since the late 90s its been horrible. the auto makers rip off the technicians with their warranty flat rate pay but slowly but surely warranties are getting longer and longer and pay less. your better off being a service writer who doesnt even have to buy the pen or computer they use. the cost of tools is rediculous a wrench from snap-on is 30 dollars. to achieve 8 hours daily right now at the dealer im at seems like a very difficult feat and this is sad considering a toolbox costs between 4k to 13k empty. its not that there arent enough qualified people but its plain stupid to do such a difficult job for such below average pay. im making 15 per hour or 2200 gross a month at 80 hours every two weeks. time to go back to school after spending 20k in education for this poor paying job.

I Very Much AGREE with your Post (i PERSONALLY Worked for 2 car Lines Toyota and Volvo between the 2 almost 15 years) Ive WATCHED the transition in this Field its Both Sad and Scarey it HIGHLY DOUBTFULL i will Return to a Dealer unless They put a BASE pay in writing...here is WHY ....Ive watched my income go way Down,due to Common dealer Practice ..ie...if their are Inexperianced Unqualified Techs odds ARE their Doing the Service Work WHILE Techs Like myself are Loosing their Shirt Diagnosing Drivability(Warranty) issues....It is EASIER and SAFER(Not Fair but True) I spent Many Years Tolerating This, I dont Anymore.....I predict that there is going to be a LARGE shortage of Qualified Technicians in 5 to 10 Years....Very Sad ...but my Opinion is that The Manufacturers/Dealers Did this Themselves.

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Volvo Mike in New Hope, Pennsylvania

77 months ago

Greg in Columbia, Missouri said: You are all a bunch of whiners. Anyone with decent skills and a desire to learn can and will make a very good living as a flat rate tech. The biggest problem I see is just what I have seen here. A bunch of hens standing around crying about what they cant do. I think you should all quit and go sell hamburgers at mickey d's so that you can find something else to gripe about.

Im Curious,How Long Have You Been in the Field?,What Do You Specialize in? ...Certifications?......Experiance?...Where is it you work?

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steve w in Binghamton, New York

77 months ago

my advise is go for it my house harley atv snowmobile car and truck are all paid in full by auto repairs ilove it keep training and gettttt rrrr done .had to do it guys !!

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stevenrdl in Charlottesville, Virginia

77 months ago

It really is not a bad career.What makes it tough is the industry relies on the health of the economy. Also flate rate at times can be unstable as well. I had made a decision to go back to school, but after 10 years of expirenece i am having a struggle deciding if I should just walk away, or stay with what I know. I am doing pretty well in college, despite a 12 year absence from the world of academics. If I do decide to walk away, i am really going to get a nursing degree or a degree in radiography. If you can only go toschool for two years, then the allied health professions is pretty much a gurantee upon graduation. There are techs who do really well, but i think the industry needs passionate technicians who really want to do it. I am having a hard time deciding if I am that guy anymore. Because their was a time when I really loved cars.
Steve R.

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stevenrdl in Charlottesville, Virginia

77 months ago

To sum it up for you, in dealerships you have alot of politics. Guys argue with each other over jobs, as a new graduate you will probably get the shortest end of the stick their is and lastly Their are "Operators and Policy Makers." You the technician who thought you were doing the right thing, is one of the Operators. The politicians who run the fancy dealerships, are the Policy makers, and well They are the ones that usually screw things up. I know a girl who spent four-thousand dollars on her education. When she graduated, she became an LPN and started out making 21 dollars an hour fresh out of school. Her training only required one year of school. Wanna go to school an extra year? Well then you could have become an RN and Started out a little higher up on the pay scale.
I personally dont want to knock the industry as a whole. I have done decent in my life as a technician. If you are a person who really likes cars, who is going to be passionate about what your doing, and this was your dream to become a technician, then dont let anyone take that away from you. I am certified tech, prior-service army veteran, and a current college student. I am here to tell you one thing that almost anyone else on this web-site would most likely agree- "There Is No Such Thing As A Perfect Profession." The problems that exist in our industry, dont eist in others. However the others are not the automotive industry. What problems we dont have, another industry probably does. I hope this helps.
Steve R.

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dj in Bristol, Connecticut

76 months ago

I am 42 and have been a tech since 1985 started in an independent stayed for 8 years as an hourly tech made my paycheck on time and a half 50 hours was a normal week! then because the small independent couldnt/wouldnt offer health insurance, moved on to a dealership where I was introduced to the flatrate system! I took to it like a fish to water never had a guarantee week since. my average was easily 60 hours a week and have hit the 100 mark numerous times until lately this year it seems times are changing and very fast ! it seems the trend now with the economy and lower volume into the dealership is too hire inexperiance/cheap help and like someone else stated give them the little gravy that does trickle in while the experianced tech gets the warranty/beating I now am contemplating going back to my roots to a local well known independent shop as an hourly tech which does offer health insurance and appears to be current with technology! not an old hen crying just stating what has come to be!

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Brittany in Edgewater, Florida

76 months ago

Thanks for the rude reply, Phil. I do have a bachelor's degree thank you very much, and I'm almost done with my masters in accountancy. I was just doing some researh and wanted any information on compensation that anyone could give me. Thanks anyway.

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stevenrdl in Charlottesville, Virginia

76 months ago

Hello, being a technician is not a bad career. Different places offer different pay scales. Like the dealership is flate rate based, meaning that you get paid for what you do, not for being on the clock. The tire chains offer a hourly rate plus commission, although the hourly rate is not as high as the dealerships. Private owned mom and pop shops may offer a salsry of x amount of dollars a week. Alot of people on this site are angry, because they are not doing what they want too do, or they dont have the proper training. The days of the shade tree mehcanic are over. A technician today, needs training in elctronics and computers, as well as still knowing the basics. those who dont pursue post-secondary education may find this hard too do in the next 5-10 years. I like yourself, am working myself through college. I like being a technician, so i am working towards an applied science degree in Electronics Technology. I hope this information is helpful too you
-Steve

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rambutan316 in Pasadena, California

76 months ago

I am taking an introductory automotive course at my local community college, and from the looks of these comments I am not sure if I want to continue taking any more automotive courses. Like most of the people here, I love cars and that would be my dream job to be able to work on cars all day. Unfortunately, there are bills to pay and it seems like the amount of stress and work involved in addition to the low pay does not seem worth it.

I am an honest person. I could never see myself cheating someone just to make a few extra bucks or to save a few minutes on a repair job. I know most auto techs out there are honest people who genuinely want to help a customer's car, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Since I am not the type of person to cheat someone or to work sloppily or recklessly to save a few minutes ( I like to take my time, especially when doing delicate automotive work), I doubt I can survive in this career field.

I am not sure if I want to pursue this career. If someone can give me some reasons to, other than the proverbial "do what you love to do" saying, then I would really like to hear them.

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stevenrdl in Charlottesville, Virginia

76 months ago

If you truly love cars, then consider the business side of the industry. Dealerships have pc support staff, as well a service managers, service writers, and sales managers. I f you really want to work on cars, electronics and computers is where it is going and going. If you really want to be a technician, stick with the imports, look before you leap, and Honda, Toyota, and Nissan are probably your best bets. There are technicians out there who make 100k a year. They are very skilled highly trained techs that most likely have computer and electronics training. Like any other career, it is what you make of it. There are down times in the industry, but there is also good. I hope this information is helpful too you, and good luck with your decision.
-Steven

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oscar66 in Cleveland, Ohio

75 months ago

Greg in Columbia, Missouri said: You are all a bunch of whiners. Anyone with decent skills and a desire to learn can and will make a very good living as a flat rate tech. The biggest problem I see is just what I have seen here. A bunch of hens standing around crying about what they cant do. I think you should all quit and go sell hamburgers at mickey d's so that you can find something else to gripe about.

I agree... shut up and work, make some money, or do something else! I have been in and out of this business for the last 15 years, and just landed a great job. Just me and 2 bays! You will not make $30 an hour turning a wrench. If you wanna be a big shot you should have went to college.

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