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Auto Mechanics, I have a question.


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lance
Novice

Jul 29, 2011, 5:04 PM

Post #1 of 22 (4598 views)
  post locked   Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

I'm not sure if this is the right section to ask this, but here I go. If not, please direct me where to post this:
I'm 40 years old, unemployed, stay at home dad, not a lot of money. I have a family of 4 and I need to change careers. I've never worked on a car before, but I tried to change my brakes last year and I was able to! It felt good as I was always scared of cars for some reason. I was thinking about going to school to be a mechanic. I know nothing about it at all. How much does it cost? How long does it take? Where do I go? Is this a good job as far as pay and security? How much will I get paid starting out? Do you need your own tools, and if so how much does it cost and what do you need? Is it hard to goto school and can you get financial aid for it? I know this is a lot of questions, but I need a career and I hope 40 isn't too late, and after doing my brakes myself, this fied has interested me. Any advice/info help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks


(This post was edited by lance on Jul 29, 2011, 5:04 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 29, 2011, 5:36 PM

Post #2 of 22 (4587 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

It would be petty late in your life to attempt this now. It takes years and years of experience and thousands and thousands of dollars spent on tools and training to just keep up with changes. It can be a very profitable trade if you are very good at what you do and well equipped but you would be a longs ways from that point and actually may never get there at your age. Once there you would have a distinct advantage in the work place.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



zmame
Veteran / Moderator
zmame profile image

Jul 29, 2011, 7:39 PM

Post #3 of 22 (4573 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

schooling: Depends on where you live, My understanding is that most of USA is ASE based. In canada it depends on the province I had to do 4 years of College. Government payed most of my fee's. My costs $500 a year, books and supplies (about $500), parking $400 + the rest

Tools: from 2003 till present I have estimated I have spend aprox $35,000 on tools and still need more.

I made $8.50 as 1st year apprentice. 4th year made $14.50, licensed $21.00hr

Benifits: None (thank god for canada health benifits Wink)

Pention plan: None

Very complicated trade the newer vechicals are very hard to work on and very complicated. You have to know electrical/electronics to make it in this trade. My personal experience I would say don't do it!. The money is definitly not worth the amount of work load. Very hard on the body too most mechanics are crippled by the time they are 60.


(This post was edited by zmame on Jul 29, 2011, 7:41 PM)


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
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Jul 31, 2011, 2:51 PM

Post #4 of 22 (4545 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

I pretty much agree with all the advise....

I will add it's very hard on the body & takes it toll (just talk to some of these old farts here Wink)..... Granted starting so late it might not be so bad but on the reverse we're talking about a 40 year old body that hasn't been "conditioned" for what this job takes so that might create some different problems of it's own...

Starting off you'll make next to nothing, it's tough getting pasted the 1st few years...If you get competent at diags, you can write your own way....

My advise would be to concentrate on diagnostics and get good at it. This is the area that is lacking. The field is full of R&R guys but few have true diagnostic skills and a good diag tech is in high demand....(plus it's a little easier on the body than straight heavy line R&R)

Personally, this late in the game I would suggest looking at another line..........






__________________________________________________________________________________________



(This post was edited by Sidom on Jul 31, 2011, 2:52 PM)


Mr.scotty
Enthusiast
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Jul 31, 2011, 8:55 PM

Post #5 of 22 (4536 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Alot of shops don't have A/C either so your always hot in the summer.
I think move have heat then A/C.
me on the other hand don't have either.Pirate
--------------------------------------------------------

Your only as good as your tools!


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 31, 2011, 9:07 PM

Post #6 of 22 (4535 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Plus you don't want to end up looking like this...which most of us mechanics either look like now or are heading that way...







Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Aug 1, 2011, 11:09 AM)


zmame
Veteran / Moderator
zmame profile image

Aug 1, 2011, 7:01 PM

Post #7 of 22 (4510 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Wow that looks just like Jeff at work lol


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Aug 2, 2011, 8:56 AM

Post #8 of 22 (4490 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Being a mechanic in todays world is like swimming in quick sand . The harder yor swim the faster you sink. You hear of shops charging $100 -$200 an hour .but the tech is lucky to get 30 -40 % of that . THe shop owner is not getting rich either. Overhead is stiff.If you really want to get in at your age , it would be hard to learn it all . Think of a specialty, diesel,boat and motorcycles. there are trade schools for each and they have financial aid .Most offer help with job placement


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


way2old
Veteran / Moderator
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Aug 2, 2011, 4:21 PM

Post #9 of 22 (4473 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Discrete, where did you get retired's picture? Did you drive up to see him?



Being way2old is why I need help from younger minds


Mr.scotty
Enthusiast
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Aug 2, 2011, 4:31 PM

Post #10 of 22 (4471 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Haha.., some of my buddys do look like that.Laugh
--------------------------------------------------------

Your only as good as your tools!


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Aug 2, 2011, 5:09 PM

Post #11 of 22 (4463 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

LOOK LIKE WHAT ,scotty? Are you insinuating there's something wrong with how I look in the picture.Pirate We cant all be premadonna's like tall dark and handsome ..W2O...........Or was it short ,grimy and gruesome....CoolCool


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


Mr.scotty
Enthusiast
Mr.scotty profile image

Aug 2, 2011, 8:47 PM

Post #12 of 22 (4454 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

NAh, haha.
I mean the pic of that guy Discretesignals posted above.
I'm sure I'll look like that too in the next 10-20 years
--------------------------------------------------------

Your only as good as your tools!


lance
Novice

Aug 4, 2011, 6:43 PM

Post #13 of 22 (4432 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Is there a demand for motorcycle mechanics? What do they usually make? I assume it's a better choice that an auto mechanic?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Aug 4, 2011, 7:12 PM

Post #14 of 22 (4428 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

That's basically the same situation with less jobs and a little less tool investment, maybe a little less body wear and tear but the same issues.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Aug 4, 2011, 8:16 PM

Post #15 of 22 (4419 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Here is a link to a few schools . Email a couple for a info packet. I must warn you ,,,,, If you do become a successfull mechanic you will find out just how many relatives and friends you will suddenly have with broken vehicles .... BUT I'M FRIEND / FAMILY YOUR NOT GONNA CHARGE ME ARE YOU??




link:motorcycle mechanic schools - AOL Search Results


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH

(This post was edited by re-tired on Aug 4, 2011, 8:19 PM)


Mr.scotty
Enthusiast
Mr.scotty profile image

Aug 4, 2011, 9:55 PM

Post #16 of 22 (4414 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Yup yup yup!!
Thats the same thing with me, all my friends and family think i should just fix all there problems for free all the time.
--------------------------------------------------------

Your only as good as your tools!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 5, 2011, 5:46 AM

Post #17 of 22 (4408 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

Yup FOUR! Actually all offered and with local (family all over this country so not all would think of coming this far) - - best friend is 130 miles away now and has had trouble locally where he is and we fixed it here. I couldn't ask for $$ over costs from him but would find more than I would have charged in main tool box or in kitchen. Niece and nephews when in school and young (no longer) I don't ask and never did and wouldn't take a dime and they would try.

Done with this for all but my own now. 40 YO seems young to me now!

True what everyone says here. Don't go after this trade for the bucks but rather a passion and if not you'll fail.

Glad I did it but wouldn't do it all again with what I know now,

Tom



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Aug 5, 2011, 7:21 PM

Post #18 of 22 (4395 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

I also agree with that. I can't go to a family reunion without bring my scan tool.

I couldn't imagine being a doctor going to your friends or families house for dinner. You'll end up giving your sister in law a Pap smear on the dining room table.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Aug 5, 2011, 8:46 PM

Post #19 of 22 (4390 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

If the doctor was not available the mechanic (technician) would have to do a fluid analysis on the varible speed turbo input.ShockedUsing the proper size interface.Tongue


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 6, 2011, 3:11 AM

Post #20 of 22 (4383 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

I always carry my universal dipstick..................



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



re-tired
Veteran / Moderator
re-tired profile image

Aug 6, 2011, 7:45 AM

Post #21 of 22 (4369 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

One other thing Lance . Mechanics tend to develop a rather warped sense of humor.Crazy


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


lance
Novice

Aug 15, 2011, 4:25 PM

Post #22 of 22 (4332 views)
  post locked   Re: Auto Mechanics, I have a question.  

:)






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