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Old 03-29-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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thinking of a career change

i was thinking about a career change, and thought about going back to school for automotive classes. for the mechanics out there, are there any downsides to your job. also, what do you think mechanics start out at paywise.

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Old 03-29-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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I don't know the answers to those questions other than every job has a down side, but I do know a question should you ask yourself. Do you want to be a mechanic? If it's something you think you'd like to do better than what you're doing now, I say do it.

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Old 03-29-2007, 07:27 PM   #3
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I've been job hunting lately and I see a lot of job openings for mechanic. I've seen pay ranges from $14- $22 per hour. Kinda makes me wish I was a mechanic.

If it's what you want to do, go for it, AD. I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide to do.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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I was a mechanic back in the 80's, I managed 2 independant service stations that did general mechanical, anything from tire changes to engine overhauls. I also worked for a Pontiac dealership for a short time but couldn't stand the corperate crap.
Back then the pay sucked, you got filthy, tired, cramped and scraped knuckles on a regular basis.
Today my buddy that's still a mechanic says the pay is much better since the factories drove out most of the independant shops but you still get filthy, tired, cramped and scrape your knuckles.
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:57 AM   #5
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Had a bunch of jobs....every one had it's ups and downs...had several of my own businesses...lost my hair, crippled myself...work for someone else again, but use the skills I've learned over the years... I loved being the independent contractor and making the big bucks, but hated paying the big bills...but now I walk around all evening fixing things and making people happy...that makes me happy...do what makes YOU happy! (It may take a while to figure it out...)
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:18 AM   #6
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I went to college for automotive technology and worked as a mechanic (read I did Automotive Restoration) for 2 years, and also a regular grease monkey for one year. Its deffinatly not a career for random people. You REALLY have to love working on cars. Every single day your are going to be cussing at 10 different cars. You are going to be bleeding, bruised, and covered in fluids/dirt every day when you come home. Most the people you work with are going to be disgruntled A holes everywhere you go. Pay is good, if you are good at what you do. Most shops pay you on flat rate. Meaning, if a job is supposed to take 3 hours (based on the service book) to pull a head and replace it, and it takes you 7, you only get paid for 3. If you get paid 2 hours to do 4 tires and an alignment, and it takes you 30 mins, you get paid 2 hours. Basically, how much money you make depends on how good the service advisor is, or how good friends you two are. Also, you have to remember, although the money is good, you are going to be constantly going to school for rerefresher classes on the new technology, not to mention the cost of tools. After about 5-6 years when you have all of the regular tools, and all you have left to buy is specialty tools, you are going to have atleast $90,000 invested in your tool box and your tools. Finally, make sure you are in good shape. Work out a lot, etc. You are really going to need good strong muscles for most the jobs you do. Also, if you don't work out a lot, you are going to start seeing back problems develop very quickly. Finally, watch out for early signs of carpal tunnel, and get it taken care of early so you dont need surgery. You will get to a point where your hards start to lock around a wrench/ratchet, thats your cue to go to the doc.

All in all, its not a bad profession. You can move anywhere in teh country and most likley find an opening, pays good if you are fast, but like I said, you really must love what your doing in order to stay with it for more than a few years. It sounds like a great idea, you know, get paid for what you love, untill you start cussing at the cars you hate to look at, let alone touch . Its not anything like working on your Jeep.

Its 6am, time for work, sorry if the post is hard to read. Shoot me a PM if you have any questions, and I will try and answer as best as I can.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:49 AM   #7
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:06 PM   #8
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I went to college for automotive technology and worked as a mechanic (read I did Automotive Restoration) for 2 years, and also a regular grease monkey for one year. Its deffinatly not a career for random people. You REALLY have to love working on cars. Every single day your are going to be cussing at 10 different cars. You are going to be bleeding, bruised, and covered in fluids/dirt every day when you come home. Most the people you work with are going to be disgruntled A holes everywhere you go. Pay is good, if you are good at what you do. Most shops pay you on flat rate. Meaning, if a job is supposed to take 3 hours (based on the service book) to pull a head and replace it, and it takes you 7, you only get paid for 3. If you get paid 2 hours to do 4 tires and an alignment, and it takes you 30 mins, you get paid 2 hours. Basically, how much money you make depends on how good the service advisor is, or how good friends you two are. Also, you have to remember, although the money is good, you are going to be constantly going to school for rerefresher classes on the new technology, not to mention the cost of tools. After about 5-6 years when you have all of the regular tools, and all you have left to buy is specialty tools, you are going to have atleast $90,000 invested in your tool box and your tools. Finally, make sure you are in good shape. Work out a lot, etc. You are really going to need good strong muscles for most the jobs you do. Also, if you don't work out a lot, you are going to start seeing back problems develop very quickly. Finally, watch out for early signs of carpal tunnel, and get it taken care of early so you dont need surgery. You will get to a point where your hards start to lock around a wrench/ratchet, thats your cue to go to the doc.

All in all, its not a bad profession. You can move anywhere in teh country and most likley find an opening, pays good if you are fast, but like I said, you really must love what your doing in order to stay with it for more than a few years. It sounds like a great idea, you know, get paid for what you love, untill you start cussing at the cars you hate to look at, let alone touch . Its not anything like working on your Jeep.

Its 6am, time for work, sorry if the post is hard to read. Shoot me a PM if you have any questions, and I will try and answer as best as I can.
If that doesn't sum it up for you nothing will.
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:17 PM   #9
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Smokin post JCS. I was going to allude to the same thing. I work in an office everyday and there are times when Joe tell's me that he wishes he could just work for someone without the headaches of owning your own shop. That's why Hackle and I help him out so much with his own rigs. He has no patience left over to work on his own junk at the end of a day of working on everyone else's.

Everytime I help him up at the shop I start talking about doing it for a living and get the same speech from him that JCS posted above.

Hell I'm sure even football players etc.... hate their sport that they have to do everyday after awhile.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:53 AM   #10
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Good point 1blkjp, I almost forgot about that. Mechanics never have new cars, cause they hate all the new technology , and most importantly like you said, they are so tired from working on other peoples cars all week, they dont even want to touch their own. If you like wrenching on your jeep, unless your an extremly active person, you are going to HATE saturdays and sundays when you got to change your own oil.. .
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:56 PM   #11
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thanks alot for the info and advice.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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I hope I make sense, I have been on the road all day. JCS made some great point When I decided to turn wrenches I enjoyed working on cars. I stayed a mechanic for about 6 or 7 years i think (been a long day). When It turned into a job I hated working on car, and we wont go into how some customers act when their car doesn't work, and they have to pay for the needed repairs. Thats why I went to back to school and am not a Mechanic anymore. The experience and the education i received in that part of my life was great though.

To add flat rate was awsome and I made great money. except in the slow times.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:29 PM   #13
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Waited a bit long to edit and do the math, but It was 7 years and in that time I averaged about 50k a year. Best money depends on your location and if the mechanic specializes. Specialization is where the money tends to migrate, but general techs always have jobs. I specialized in Electrical, and front end work but was always able to fall back a my general knowledge. I will say this I don't miss any of it.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:47 PM   #14
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i once thought about becoming a diesel mechanic, until i realized that its much more enjoyable driving/breaking the stuff they fix
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:10 PM   #15
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The overhead on the tools is usually countered by the fact that they can be claimed for a tax deduction every year, at a depreciated value of coarse. I sold off alot of my specialty tools when I left the field but my last inventory was at around 50k. AD, if you go into this field tools will be a continuous expense, but don't go cheap or your hands and knuckles will suffer. After I got over the Aura of Snap-on, I found that Mac, Matco, and Craftsman were just as good.

This is just one of the boxes I have. The bottom box ran me about 6k and the top was about 700. Keep in mind this was almost 10 years ago and the prices have probably gone up.

Even if you decide not to go this route as a new career the classes would be a great thing to attend.

I think thats it from me.


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Old 04-03-2007, 07:18 PM   #16
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thanks to some advice i've gotten plus the responses from this thread, i think i'll be signing up for classes and go from there. thanks about the tool info odhinn, i never thoght about that.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by activelydying View Post
thanks to some advice i've gotten plus the responses from this thread, i think i'll be signing up for classes and go from there. thanks about the tool info odhinn, i never thoght about that.
Yeah, he gets pretty angry when I lose one of his tools :/

Goodluck on whatever you do. You can never go wrong with more education.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:10 PM   #18
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You learn to cuss real well. Even if you thought you could cuss pretty well to start with, mechanics seem to find new ways to say vulger things.

Can you handle the taste of motor oil as a condiment ?

Your hands are never really clean, until that last day of vacation, right before you go back to work.

You learn just how far you can lean into an engine compartment with a lit cigarette in your mouth, safely. (Yeah Bobby, that's you).

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