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Becoming an auto tech.


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Miles Vinciguerra
New User


Dec 25, 2011, 1:13 PM

Post #1 of 11 (1235 views)
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Hey guys, I'm about 17 years old and I've been working on cars for almost 2 years now. Its really fun and interesting to me, some busted knuckles but its part of the trade. Im really thinking about becoming an auto tech, its just so interesting. I love learning about how the car engine works, and I would like to know if any of you experienced techs and mechanics have any advice for me. Ive already got some tools, my parents got me a 400 piece craftsman set for my birthday ( sockets, ratchets, ext, some alan wrenches.) I'm getting some christmas money from my gf parents, and I'm looking into getting some new tools. like screwdrivers, my own oil pan and oil wrench, pliers, nothing major like air tools. Any advice though? Books to read? I might be going to New England Tech or Mtti for auto, but I want to emerge as a really good tech. Theres not much practical knowledge around here that needs to get done, so I just need some book work and some research. Anything about the industry itself? Im really motivated, and just need some advice. :)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Dec 25, 2011, 3:16 PM

Post #2 of 11 (1203 views)
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If you just looked around the forum a little you would have found that the question has been asked many times. Read some of the previous replies.



http://autoforums.carjunky.com/..._a_mechanic._P93972/

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...mechanic..._P103397/

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...c_need_help_P107096/

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/..._a_question._P97229/




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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.



Miles Vinciguerra
New User


Dec 31, 2011, 9:08 AM

Post #3 of 11 (1141 views)
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I read all those, but I didn't feel that they really met what I was looking for. I just want someone with the REAL world experience to give me a reply. All these tech schools i visit say that they prepare you for the real deal. I personally think its bullSh!t. Unless I'm at a Ferrari or BMW dealership, there ISNT going to be a 1 mill dollar tool crib. Nice organized tools. Or a perfectly mopped and swept floor everyday... Just want someone to give me the straight cut and dry.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Dec 31, 2011, 9:11 AM

Post #4 of 11 (1137 views)
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The subject has been covered by people with "REAL world" experience.


Quote
Unless I'm at a Ferrari or BMW dealership, there ISNT going to be a 1 mill dollar tool crib. Nice organized tools. Or a perfectly mopped and swept floor everyday.


Glad you don't think so.




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

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.



Discretesignals
Veteran / Moderator


Dec 31, 2011, 12:09 PM

Post #5 of 11 (1128 views)
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The straight answer is that it's a job. You make money to pay your bills and to keep yourself educated and tooled on what keeps changing in the field. Nobody with a 400 piece craftsman tool set is going to walk into a dealership with some backyard mechanical experience and make it in the field without some basic education on the systems that are involved in today's vehicles and an understanding of how shop's operate. There's a difference between working on your $100 lawn mower compared to successfully and efficiently repairing a customer's $40,000 vehicle while properly documenting all the work in accordance with shop's policies.

Most of the mods in here are retired techs or currently working in field as shop owners or techs, so what your reading is pretty much what happens everyday in the shop. You should take their advice.

You have to get into the loop to get started and the best way is to get some vocational school training and some OJT. You have no experience or formal education, so nobody is going to touch you unless they want a shop monkey.

What you see in the movies isn't like it is in the field. Nobody is going to give you the experience and training, you have to work for it.

As for gathering tools, you shouldn't worry about that right now. Your main priority is to get your foot in the door and learn what they have to offer to see if that is what you really want to do as a career.





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 Dec 31, 2011, 1:13 PM)


Miles Vinciguerra
New User


Dec 31, 2011, 7:29 PM

Post #6 of 11 (1107 views)
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I understand that I'm not gonna walk into a dealership with my tool set and expect a career, or even keep a job for a week. Hence why I'm going to school for the education, and to gain skills so I can do exactly what your doing to me. All the work on my car was the radiator, starter, fuel filter, brake lines, all new brakes, oil (obviously) and filter, and air cleaner. This probably seems all basic to you, but to me literally just starting out it was tough. Im not just a kid that knows how to check their fluids, which was what I didn't add. And yes, I'm not going to be a shop monkey. I want to be a tech and know the most that I can about cars, I hope you don't take me like a joke, because thats not how I want to come off. I understand all the things that your saying,and I will take your and everyone else's advice with this field.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Dec 31, 2011, 8:10 PM

Post #7 of 11 (1098 views)
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I think you're really overestimating the knowledge and experience that you are going to take away from that school. I've hired a few tech school graduates and I wasn't very impressed at all with their knowledge or skills coming out of those places. They certainly were not equipped to hold their own as any kind of productive line tech. I really don't think you have any clue as to the level of training and knowledge required for the diagnostics you will encounter in today's computer controlled vehicles. This is a highly competitive trade and only the best can make the serious money. Don't think that you are going to escape the tool investment either. If you don't have the tools, you don't get the job.




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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.



Miles Vinciguerra
New User


Jan 1, 2012, 9:39 AM

Post #8 of 11 (1090 views)
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Well hearing what your saying about overestimating the knowledge and experience, I will make damn sure that I will do everything that I can to impress techs like you. Again, I don't want to leave school and be looked at as a joke. I want people to see me, professional (in a "dirty" trade), with knowledge, school experience. Most importantly I want to learn the ability to trouble shoot like the best. I want them to look at me and say, "Wow, I want him to work for me.." Ive always been one to learn the most that I can, not because I'm a teachers pet, because through hard work, only good things can come as long as your doing the best job and busting your A**. I will refuse to be looked at as "another graduate". I want to be looked at as a smart kid, and hopefully show them that I will do what it takes to learn. I hope that in the future if you see my name, then the stamp " ASE certified" and you will think think back to this. Again I thank you guys, i will take this into consideration the best I can.


carjunky
Enthusiast

Jan 1, 2012, 9:55 AM

Post #9 of 11 (1083 views)
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Hey Miles.

I think what Hammer is saying is that in life when we are Young we feel that we know EVERYTHING... and as we get older we realize we really know NOTHING. The education is great but getting your hands dirty is the way people make a living.

Also its VERY Expensive to get started. In this automotive repair world techs buy their own tools. Tools which may cost up to $100 for a single wrench. If you are really serious about this, and I think its a good idea since its a field that if you are good offers self-employeement. Don't think you will be over the position of oil-changer or battery tester/replacement maybe even doing tire changes.

That way you are getting experence, and at the same time you may get exposure to bigger repairs if another tech needs a hand when you aren't busy.

Even now before school you may be able to get a basic entry level job, doing some of these. This way when you are done with school, your not just another person with a piece of paper. You will be able to say I work 20hrs a week at Johns Auto Repair while I was going to school.

Another Idea is going to car shows and talking to people about their cars, seeing what they did.

Good luck.


re-tired
Veteran / Moderator


Jan 3, 2012, 4:29 PM

Post #10 of 11 (1041 views)
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In Reply To
Well hearing what your saying about overestimating the knowledge and experience, I will make damn sure that I will do everything that I can to impress techs like you. Again, I don't want to leave school and be looked at as a joke. I want people to see me, professional (in a "dirty" trade), with knowledge, school experience.


You can show a diploma, certificate etc and prove education and be rewarded for it.The only way you are going to gain respect is to to EARN it , one work order at a time. It takes time to build a reputation good or bad. Stick to your goals and remember that you gotta walk before you run. BTW VOC schools are very exspensive to operate which is part of the reason you see Beemer's and such as donor's.Plus they feel if you can handle computerized door locks and motorized mirrors you can fix a ford ,chevy etc.


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH


Discretesignals
Veteran / Moderator


Jan 3, 2012, 7:35 PM

Post #11 of 11 (1033 views)
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Some of the dealers sponsor the programs these voc schools offer. I went through the GM ASEP program after getting out of the military. It was a two year program in which you go to a community college and voc in the same day and I let my GI bill pay for it.

The local dealers that sponsor the program also take the students in for OJT half of the day. So, you have one half in college/voc and the other half OJT at the dealer for two years. Came out with a AS degree in Automotive Technology and as a fully trained GM factory tech and a dealer to work at. You also work on your ASE certification. Sometimes the dealers will pay for you to take the ASE tests. The local tool vender also sponsed the program, so we got deep discounts on tools.

Ford and Toyota have programs very similar to GM's ASEP. Ford is ASSET and Toyota TTEN. I'm sure the other vehicle manufacture's have something also going on. You just have to check it out.

Of course, like the others mentioned the school gives you a strong basic foundation to start off of, so you don't go in blind as a bat. You also have to be motivated and want to learn. It's not the voc's fault if a student is there to mess around and not pay attention to what is being taught. Some of the students in my class were screw offs and didn't care, but that was their problem. It's really up to you on what kind of education you get from the place.





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 Jan 3, 2012, 7:54 PM)




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