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Becoming a mechanic

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New User

Dec 30, 2011, 6:28 PM

Post #1 of 3 (2434 views)
Becoming a mechanic Sign In

Hi ya all

My buddy and I were having a discussion today about becoming mechanics. Well, arguing. We are both close to 40 and have pretty nice careers as graphic designers. We've been in a cushy office environment for the past 15 years. But he's planning for future downsizing of our company (which it's been doing for 3 years). His plan, go to UTI, finance the $30k tuition, and then start a new career as a mechanic.

Now being a mechanic isn't a bad idea. My dad was one for 50 years and I thought about going into. But after working at a dealership then operating and fixing machinery in a factory, and talking to my pop and his mechanic buddies decided working on cars is what I'll do for fun.

Regardless, of my experience I've heard too many negative reviews about those non-accredited tech schools, and I can't imagine a 40 year old guy, whose only experiene automotive wise is on his own equipment and has zero experience with diagnosing efi and emissions equipment, is going to have a good experience finding a job and i imagine it would be an uphill battle convincing good shops to hire you.

I dunno. I could be wrong. But I'd think going up against 20 year olds, that have nothing to lose and no past experience in a comfy job making good money, a wife mortgage and kids is going to be a tough row to hoe. We might have better reliability, but speaking for myself, starting out changing oil, sweeping floors, making minimum wage and spending 3-5 years at the bottom of my field would be a tough nut to swallow. But I'd think, like any other field, that's how you gotta start to prove yourself and learn.

Opinions? Am I off my rocker for thinking he's nuts?

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 30, 2011, 6:36 PM

Post #2 of 3 (2428 views)
Re: Becoming a mechanic Sign In

Yep, you pretty much summed it up. First off, that $30K tuition is just the tip of the iceberg. An up to date tech today easily has over $100K in tools and equipment, most have double that. That tech school is in no way going to make you ready to compete with all the skilled technicians out there today. Most everyone is paying on a flat rate basis which means if you aren't very accurate and efficient, you are going to starve if you even find a job in this market. It takes many years to gain the type of experience it take to make you competitive and at 4o, that's a tough way to go in today's market. It's also very tough on the body and as you get older, you will find it much more difficult.


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New User

Dec 30, 2011, 6:49 PM

Post #3 of 3 (2419 views)
Re: Becoming a mechanic Sign In

Sheeeewww. He made me feel like an idiot for disagree with him. Said I was being negative. I just feel realistic.

I think it's a great field if you are young, in search of a career and love being around cars. But sounds like vo-tech, community college and take an apprenticeship program. But you gotta devote the time.

Plus, personally, I feel he's kind of a dummy. Some of the things he's told me about his personal jobs.... I'd never tell anybody I screwed up like that. And he doesn't seem to get how fast you guys got to work. I've heard of the time frames you are given and I have no clue how you can get those jobs done that fast.

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