I get asked all the time if it's smart to become an auto mechanic. Should I go to tech school? Can I make money? Is being an auto mechanic a good job. Do mechanic's get screwed? All the questions lead back to "Should I become a mechanic in 2018?
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Now you may watch this and think "Charles that is a LOT of negatives to being a mechanic". You are right. I have to point out the down side. Your upsides are individually yours. The negatives are pretty universal.
When I came to a Ford dealer I've done all their training in less than 1.5 years. Just to find out that despite my hourly rate have increased with that, I started to make significantly less money! What a brilliant system they created there to discourage all the incentive to be a better tech...
It seems to me, like many industries, the auto mechanic industry needs to deal with more "specialized" technicians. Most of the jobs would only require 3 or 4 thousand dollars training, completed in a matter of 3 or 4 months at most, and you only do one. Thats your job: one specialized tech.
Yould have your simple specialists like a wheel and brake tech, fluid tech, basic electrical tech, suspension tech, basic engine repair(part replacement) tech, interior tech, basic body repair tech, window tech...
then your more advanced specialists: transmission tech, computer tech, frame repair tech, block repair tech (if you even bother, since everyone just replaces now...), body restoration tech, advanced interior tech, etc.... still specialized but more in the $7k - $10k training range
and lastly, the most important one: Diagnosis tech. this is the $15k - $20k training range, because you have to learn a little about 3 - 5 other basic specializations, and the use of specific diagnosis tools (which the industry desperately needs to focus on creating more of).
Then you have a more complete version of what somewhat exists today in the form of various shops like quicklubes, transmission shops, smog shops, wheel shops, etc. The consumer takes their car to whatever shop needs to fix a problem, but the first shop they go to would be a "DIAGNOSIS" shop.
A Car "Doctor" of sorts. He performs the diagnosis, then writes you a prescription: "Take it to the auto computer repair shop, tell them to do this and that." or "take it to the Fluid shop, tell them to replace this and that." etc etc.
Ooooo man that would be amazing. Just thinking about how stream lined it would all be.
The brunt of the liability would be split too. The diagnosis shop would only be responsible for bad diagnosis (repair completed properly but didnt fix the problem), and the repairs shops only responsible for bad repair jobs (right diagnosis, bad repair)
which is why the diagnosis techs make the big bucks, and take more training.
EVEN still it would be significantly less than the current $40k - $50k expected training cost for someone who will ultimately end up swapping tires, and pressing the computer update button.
No matter what, we are always going to need mechanics for as long as people are still driving cars. For those who want to become a mechanic, let me know how well this soap recipe would work for you in cleaning off your hands after working. https://www.naturesgardencandles.com/candlemaking-soap-supplies/item/00mecsoa/-mechanics-soap-recipe.html
I’ve done years in a white collar field. Been a grunt in the Army, done 4 combat deployments and all I want to be is a diesel tech. I watch all the videos and consume all the info I can get. I’m taking courses at a local community college and so far enjoying it.
My point is that the grass is always greener. I see a lot of comments about the hard work and wear and tear but I can tell you sitting behind a desk will destroy your soul. I look up to all the tradesmen doing the real work. I may make better money but I come home and have no satisfaction. I’m now in my late thirties and will make the transition in my early forties and I can’t wait.
If you're buying older cars and flipping them for profit....then most definitely be a mechanic. I say that b/c all u need is books and YouTube, maybe a class or to If u don't have a friend that's a mechanic. If u plan on working under someone else in any form or fashion...think it through.
Walked away from a 38 dollar an hour office job that after 7 years I just couldn't stand anymore. It's a shame that I and my coworkers made so much money and did way less work than the average tech that is a diagnostician. I don't get why someone with almost no brainpower or problem solving skills can pull down even more than 80k a year and ""work"" from home half the time because "their kids are sick" and good, knowledgeable techs do so much more and are paid SO, SO much less. I just don't get it. I guess I sort of get it but really don't like it.
Auto mechanic is a absolutely the worst profession. All the mechanics are super underpaid. The shop charged customers at high price on labor, but the mechanic dont get that labor money. Mechanics spend ton of money on tools. So if your tools are stolen, you gonna have to pay $10000 for tools
Starting a business in auto shop, it is difficult. There are just way too many autoshop. Most people come in for tire rotation and oil change.
So you ain't gonna make anything
This industry would be awesome if the pay would get fixed. I consider myself a very strong tech, I am the guy at work that gets all the tricky diag jobs. Here is the problem with diag guys like me, we pull out the scope and look and check wave forms libaries, or pull out the fluke 88 and start back probing to figure out the problem. Sometimes it may take me 2 or 3 hours or if I get a super turd it can take days to get to the bottom of a tricky problem. Most offten I only get 1 hour (or 2 if I am lucky) for diagnostic time. Where as the alignment techs and heavy line techs are swaping parts and flagging a bunch of time. Being smart in this industry hurts your pay check. Parts changers make all the money. This needs to get fixed!
I think the performance side of things is a lot of fun and good to get into, but it takes a lot of knowledge and expertise. I'm teaching myself how to tune and even knowing a lot prior, there is a ton to know and understand.
I was a mech. for 12 years...ASE Auto and Heavy Truck Master...Wouldn't touch the field with a "ten foot" yard stick now. I rode the feedback carburetor/ TBI wave of unstable technology. Those were the real difficult days(vacuum thermo-switch with computers(bad ones) overseeing ill-conceived fuel management algorithms). To have any car of the late 70s or any of the 80s perform flawlessy was a nearly impossible goal. Cars are, in my opinion, simpler and easier to diagnose/work on now than 30 years ago.
What about the electric cars. Traditional combustion engine may disappear soon after. Many countries have done policies to encourage the use of E cars. Check brands like NIO. You cannot stop the innovation.
I am trying to talk a coworker out of being an auto mechanic and going to engineering sorry not trying to be a dick but you have way more jobs opportunity's and you can always be an automotive engineer if you want to be. BTW took both an auto tech and auto body class at a community college and got two degrees and even took welding classes so it I know what is up. I trying to help my co worker see the light that if we have self driving cars it going to take engineer to fix them and not an auto mechanic.
I just want people to learn from my mistakes . Also I am 30 and going back to college to get my BSN in nursing and then my end game is to be a pediatric nurse practitioner but I can still fix your car and weld and build a house and fix things . I just fix and build things on my days off.
see what i wanna do is build cars and tune cars, i know its a big field and a big paying field but i just love tinkering with cars and parts and trying in any to fix my car if possible. i do plan on going to tech school because i am in the army so the free schooling wouldn't be a bad idea i guess.
I worked for 15yrs in the auto industry in varying capacities. Your assessment of the pay not keeping up is spot on. The last 5 years of working in the industry really turned me off. I had tons of tools and money invested in those tools. The returns were not worth the investment. Over the years I watched as my paychecks went down and my gravy jobs were given away to guys making a lot less than I was, all the while getting stuck with the warranty work and the harder diagnosis jobs that the inexperienced guys could not do. I got burned out and lost my give a darn. Realised it was time for me to leave.
Very interesting to hear this. I'd definitely say learn to be a mechanic in your own time, let it be a hobby that saves you money. Don't get me wrong, it's extremely useful knowledge to know, everyone has a car including you, but for most deffo not worth it for a career. Like I would also advise people to learn to cook in your own time, but don't become a chef. If you do take up becoming a mechanic / technician, head towards aviation mechanic then you become properly licensed and opens a new dimension for ya
I personally studied 2 years of automotive technology at a nearby community college thinking I was going do this for the rest of my life. Had a sour experience working at dealership where they promoted someone that was less skilled. I ended up leaving and got a job as a technician in another field, biotechnology. If anyone is reading this, let me tell you having good diagnostic and troubleshooting skills will transfer to many other fields. My back doesn't hurt, I have time to relax and rest when I need it, and make more than I probably ever would being an automotive technician. Also, ZERO investment for tools, the company provides everything I need to do my job. Most techs I work with average about $30-35/hr. If you're real good and have tenure it can range from $40-60/hr. with full medical and retirement plans.
Forgot to add, I had zero biotechnology schooling nor did I study biotechnology in school. It was my training in school and mechanical aptitude that got me the job.
I've been wrenching for 3 years. Every situation I've come across says "Fuck this, let this industry suffer from overwhelming shortages of manpower."
Pay's a joke for the expectations. I'm caught in a dealership situation where 6 months in I have 0 manufacturer specific training, and flat rate is regarded as 'flat rape.' .3 to change a battery on vehicles where it's halfway under the cowl, and takes a minimum half hour, 1.0 for an alignment included camber and caster adjustment, on vehicles where you have both of those, and the 3 hour 5.4L Triton tune up is worth only 1.8. HAH.
Oh, and anything going wrong is the technician's fault.
I've been a tech for 25+ years. IMO no. The investment on the part of the employee for tools alone is not worht it.. What other profession requires such a large investment on the part of the employee for such terrible returns?
I would be happy with the 37k in my area its more like 24k I know guy's been working at shops 20 year to get 10 an hour I will not do it . I work on commission but the vehicles do not need the maintenance the older models needed and the people with these vehicles work shit jobs and can not afford maintenance . In my opinion body work seems more profitable and steady as long as people are behind the wheel there will always be collisions and if you fix rust the metal on these newer auto's is shit and the bodies fail long before the mechanical parts.
I agree with the imbalanced pay grade. As a web developer, we just sit in front of the computer 9-5 and junior devs start at 40k/year fresh out of college. Some of my colleagues can't even change a flat without calling CAA for god's sake.
I’m 29 in NYC and I’m a Railroad mechanic for Amtrak High Speed Rail (pipefitter tech). And I love working the train more than any of my past pipe fitting jobs. Plus the pay and benefits are awesome. 33/HR
As someone who went to tech school in the early 2000’s, I can tell you while I was finishing up school, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it as a dealer mechanic. I went back into Classic Car Restoration which I was doing before school. I had several friends who also did not become dealer mechanics for the same reasons.
Reefer techs are waaaaay under valued. Like having food at grocery stores and gas stations? You're welcome. This is coming from a 22 year old who worked at both the major dealers and now manages 100 trailers and 30 trucks... 56k a year plus benefits. The dealers only paid 30k... Imagine the look on your bosses face when you have to explain $1,000,000 worth of produce went bad while only making 15/hour
Yes humble mechanic is right. If you are shooting for average then DO NOT!!! DO NOT!! get into the automotive industry.. You will fail. Im a great tech after 14 years and i deal with everything european because it was fascinating and there where ppl there to leand you a hand. Now those days are gone in my opinion. Now you have to kill yourself to get things done and the clients dont care enough. Is it worth it all and all....ask yourself how far do you want to go with this? Fyi it will be expensive so be prepared!!!
I worked on Audis for about 5 years and ended up going back to school and becoming an engineer. My technician experience actually helped me land my first engineering position and I can't tell you how much money I've saved over the years by working on my own car (BMW).
Its a great skill to have,even if you don't do it for a living.But the business just don't respect skilled and intelligent techs. Tools and education will set you back 70 grand and most shops don't want to pay. Service ? Well service has changed a lot ! The DIY can buy loaded struts and install them at a fraction of the cost. Spark plugs are good for over 50 thousand miles.A syntec oil change can last 12 thousand miles. Exhaust systems are stainless steal.YouTube has almost every video you need to work on your vehicle. Battery impact tools are easy to haul around to do side work. RockAuto beats most prices at the shop and local parts stores.Last but not least ! The insurance company will total most cars and they will end up at a pick your part salvage yard for even better deals than your local garage.
The pay sucks, the work hours might not be great either. I've been doing this 6 years, and now I feel stuck. I have 4 ASE certs, and a lot of money invested in tools, but I'm barely earning enough to scrape by, and I feel drained every day. I got into it because I love fixing cars, and I learned a lot from maintaining an old MG Midget. If you make your hobby your Job, your hobby ceases to exist. It doesnt matter what it is, you will no longer find it as fun as you used to. I'd love to find a place close by that specialized in old british cars, but I'm no entrepreneur and I doubt there is much of a market.
More of a market than you think. You have to figure out how to connect with the people that want that service. Maybe that means you move. Maybe it means you become mobile. The opportunity is only limited by how creative you can get.
I run my own small shop and I am happy with it. Nevertheless, my sincere advice to anyone - DO NOT GO INTO THIS TRADE. It takes a looooong time and lots of effort, thinking and pure luck to get your own shop going and paying you good enough money. All other options in this field are just shit - low pay, lots of stress and the general image of a loser are guaranteed. And don't forget that to run your own place you have to possess good business and customer communication skills, not just to know the technical side of this trade. I do not regret I ended up here (for most of the days anyway), but this is only because of my lifetime interest to all things automotive. Even then some days I think I should have went to IT instead...
I used to be an automotive technician apprentice. It was lots of fun, but customers are shitty. They don't understand cars, they want everything done NOW! And they don't understand the concept of "This job might go wrong" A bolt could break something gets seized anything. I'm now a heavy duty mechanic working on cranes and large loaders and excavators. I get paid $5 more an hour and I'm learning without having to rush. Become a diesel mechanic or truck mechanic. Automotive is the worst.
just what I needed. THANK U! I agree with mechanics being under paid with all the wear and tear on your body nonetheless your intelligence . Vehicles evolution is growing towards advanced software in my opinion. Trying to find the perfect major for my goals and this helped alot. I advise anyone who wants to be a tech to work at a shop and try it out before deciding. Everyone starts doing oil and tires and they work you hard before having fun with the engine or suspension, etc. Again, thank you!!
Many things on cars are insanely challenging and do require high dollar special tools. But if we are honest we have to acknowledge that many many things are very simple things that just about anyone car do.
That statement doesn’t take away anything from the talented people out there that fix cars. It is just a statement of fact.
I'm behind on this one. I haven't subbed so I didn't keep up. I got into the industry 6 months ago with literally "I'm a vet and worked on c130s" and got hired. I can tell theirs huge potential. But I'm also noticing I have to get on my own ass to work up the ladder. I like what I'm doing, but I need more. The industry won't push you. You gotta push you
In the UK 90% of mechanics are basically chavs who clearly have no education or mental capacity whatsoever... and it's an extremely shady industry. I would never recommend anyone to become a mechanic unless it's in a well established, more professional, or big name business... in which case it may be great, and you could have the exact opposite of what i wrote earlier. That's the issue with being a mechanic. You're either working with amazing professionals, or low IQ Chavs trying to squeeze as much money from people as possible.
I'm about to go to tech school but I think it is an alright time to get in the industry, people I think are buying new cars less and less because the one they have is pretty reliable, and I'm sure they'd rather pay a couple $100 to fix something than buy a whole new car. But idk I'm only 17
Grew up working in my dad's mechanic shop. Worked more on race cars than daily drivers unless it was for a friend or family member. Still make a decent bit from cars coming in, but it's become more of a side job for my dad and I. He works mainly has a industrial mechanic for a large company in town and I'm a 6th grade math teacher. But when racers need there shit fixed and they're willing to pay. We'll fix them up. Living in a small town you have to go where the money is at. There used to be 4 mom and pop auto repair shops in our town other than us, now there's just one besides us. It's kinda of a shame you have people leaving the nice, quiet, small towns for the craziness of the bigger towns and cities.
I'm not sure how to properly cite this information so I will leave a link and and screenshot instead. Sorry for my ignorance! According to the employment occupation projections for automotive service technicians and mechanics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 749.9 thousand people employed with those job titles in 2016 and they project a 6.1 percent increase by 2026.
I'm not sure what their methodology does or doesn't take into account; however, if anyone is interested you can check this out here: https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_projections_methods.htm .
The population projections that I'm gonna use are here the numbers I will use are ballparks estimates based off this.
The US population in 2016 was about 323 million and Is projected to grow to about 349 million by 2026. This is roughly an 8 percent increase.
Based off this information I don't think that this type of work is something to bet on for people deciding whether they want to enter the field because the available jobs in that industry is going to decrease relative to the population.
I'm master tell and been capped out in Texas at 50 k year..and i even work on big rigs....fuck that don't b a mechanic now days...not worth it.....trust me I got no reason to lie.....50k a year not shit and most make 35k year....im top tear.......and got 100k in tools that I can resell for 10k
I wouldn't wish this job on anyone, every mechanic I ever worked around is the most miserable human being to be around, you have to hear them moan and cry about every nut and bolt. Pay sucks for all the stuff you have to know and do and buy. I'm now a union laborer making more money with insurance and retirement, + 100 times less stress.
Props to people who make a living out of this job, 8 years was enough for me
Vehicles now are better designed for higher mileage without major work with proper preventive maintenance. Once the miles rack up, the cost of fixing em isn't worth it, so people get rid of em. If you're willing to keep the vehicle, you have to fix it yourself to save lots of cash, so today there's more people fixing their own vehicles. What can't be done by a diy guy, the dealers do, that's where those techs come in to play. Few people overhaul anything major anymore, those who do specialized in it. If you wanna get into this industry, stay away from Fords. Lol... just sayin.
Yes i think it is. Last year i got the opportunity to move from valet to Tech trainee at Audi and i love it. When i started i never worked on a car before but 3 months in i was doing alignments, oil changes, and the master guild that was training me started teaching me how to diag a problem using the computer and Elsa. Like you said if you have the drive you’ll do well and i have the drive and i love it. Some techs at Audi make 100k plus a year and they are not even masters yet. The pay all depends on where you work and your grind. Good video !!!! I’m gonna buy a MK4 r32 one day just wait on it!!!!! #Techlife
HumbleMechanic You're not wrong, and that's certainly the way things are going. I think a lot of folks are going to struggle with making rent as automation increases. Half of folks are less capable than the average worker. If average gets squeezed out, if average is no longer profitable those folks are going to get pinched.
It's probably not rational for me to pass a value judgement on that, since it is clearly the better way to do business. I just worry about what's going to happen when a quarter or more of our workforce is rendered obsolete. There's going to be a large number of people who simply impossible to hire, nothing about them will be profitable not matter how keen and willing they are to work.
I ain't John Henry or anything but I'll always want to look after the little guy. That's just my nature.
I actually don't mind that. If the bottom to middle can be replaced with tech, then the becomes better. Also the bottom becomes better. Ever try to order something from a cheap fast food place and think... "I could just mash those same buttons, do it faster, and get it right"?
I’m not going to watch the vid as I’m in Australia. I will however say in Australia 2018 is the worst time to even think about becoming a mechanic. Fuck I just shut my workshop down and went back working for a large private workshop and we only have one apprentice now.
In my opinion, people shouldn't just be a mechanic. Trades in general are in such high demand, people are gonna make a lot of money. Machinists, construction, engineering, mechanics, all in high demand in the states.
Dealers steal as much from the techs as they do from the customers. I say get a few years in and look into something industrial repair maintenance. I left dealers nine yrs ago and have done better for myself every year since I left
There are still Plenty of 8-10 year old cars out there that need underbody/suspension/brake work. As a shop owner that is all good money. I would say if u are willing to do any labor job go for it. No one wants to do physical labor jobs. There is def a mechanic/tech shortage in America
HumbleMechanic I don't know I grew up liking cars my uncle and grandpa were mechanics. My uncle built nascar. Race engines . My first car was a 1988 vw scirocco and I really loved vw and working on them . I ended going to UTI phoenix AZ. Between that and my tools im into this job 60k and ya at this point . I don't even know what I want to do for a job . I'd at least keep my tools so I can fix my own car 😀
This a easy question to answer.
NO ..i am married to one. This guy is far off the mark. They don't make enough . You'll need a second income for the family bills. My husband has been one for 44 yrs and since obama was in office the cash for fly let's killed alot of independence shops. Look up top pay for techs .It's 58 thousand a yr.. no matter where you live.
This guy couldnt have been that good. DON'T BECOME A TECH NOT WORTH IT
Heavy equipment and diesel mechanics are in high demand. Good pay but harsh on your body. Also if your interested in going to college, you can get it completely paid for by the military if you were willing to be a mechanic there, and can also begin your mechanic journey. Mechanic is great because most of the skills can be used at home and home projects. It's dirty, and not a lot of advancement, it's hot and strenuous. But if you enjoy getting your hands dirty, it's a pretty good job.
Fleet repair shop is better than any dealer or other shop because you get paid by the hour instead of the ripoff flat rate commission. You will have steady pay and no slow season which usually is between November through March. Try to work on city transit vehicles,UPS,Delta airlines ground support equipment (GSE),U.S Post Office vehicles,Greyhound etc. They have great pay,insurance,personal time,holiday pay,retirement ,promotions regular pay increases and more . The dealership has none of that or very very little. They do give you many broken promises .The only thing I gained from a dealer is practice and experience for as long as I could take it. Flat rate is for suckers.
Agreed, I did make lots of money on FR but I had to bust my hump. That was fine in my twenties but when I got to the forties I began to feel my bones. The experience did help me get into airline GSE work so I guess I should say that dealer work is a good place to cut your teeth and decide if you like it.
I look back on my career and honestly feel like I made way more money on FR than I would have hourly. FR is not for everyone and is situational for sure. Ultimately I think a balance of hourly and bonuses is the best choice.
I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life in the automotive industry. Started out as a porter then lube tech then technician. It’s long hard road but if you really want it it’s there. Avoid tech schools like the plague!!!! If possible go to a community college that offers an automotive program that way if you don’t like it you will have college credits that are transfer into another field of your choice. That’s my advice.
I went to automotive tech school, it was not a waste of time or money for me. There is no "prove me wrong" or "prove me right", it depends on the person. I had a great career that I would never had with out going to tech school. But I have seen some people waste that time at tech school and not take it serious.
I have also seen guys take it serious and work really hard, and just not be cut out for it. THAT hurts to see.
This would be an interesting thing to do true research on including adjustments for inflation. While electrical system repairs are more expensive, many other things are not failing, or serviced WAY less.
I think old cars are awesome. They can be awesome completely independent from anything new.
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