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Becoming an auto tech

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Anonymous Poster

Mar 16, 2008, 3:09 PM

Post #1 of 11 (2733 views)
Becoming an auto tech Sign In

Hi. Wondering if anyone on here can help mediate a marital "discussion." :-)

My husband wants to be an auto technician and the guys at the for-profit UTI (Universal Technical Institute) have been really doing a hard-sell on him. But it is SO expensive (like $20k/year) and I'm just not sure if it's worth it, given that it seems he can take the same courses at the local community college. Does anyone here have any inside knowledge on this UTI? Is it worth it?

Double J
Veteran / Moderator
Double J profile image

Mar 16, 2008, 3:27 PM

Post #2 of 11 (2728 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

I have seen something on Tv.. I think this is the one..not sure..
Where I live there are a few trade schools and most turn out fair/poor techs...years ago the shop I was at made a deal to hire some as apprentices when they graduated..well we had to get out of the program...those guys weren't very good/well trained at all.
They promised them a tool set when they graduated and most just got some/few basics and that didn't cut it.
Now I'm not knocking this place cause I am not familiar with them at all..
I just get leering of these places ....
I just believe if your going to do it THEN do it up right...the place to go is Wyoming tech...or a place that has an in depth hands on training program...we have a community college nearby that has an excellant program and has turned out quite a few good mechanics.
Maybe even look into one of the manufacturers programs...GM has an A.S.A.P program and are affiliated with certain part of the time/on the job training at a least I think they still have it..
Mercedes has'em, BMW...etc...worth checking into that as well before spending the money..
Plus you get out of it what you put into it...depends on his real desire...
I once had a very good friend who was very of his sons use to come to the shop and watch me work and ask questions....I told him to get an education and do something else..
I mentioned that to his father and he said to me...Quote.."I would rather have him be an excellent mechanic than a lousy vice president..
So good for him to want this...but MY advice would be to check into MANY different places before making a decision.
Personally I would opt for a quality community college or Wyoming Tech or a manufacturers program.

Just my thoughts

Good luck to him and you...

(This post was edited by JIM N on Mar 16, 2008, 8:09 PM)

Anonymous Poster

Mar 16, 2008, 7:06 PM

Post #3 of 11 (2725 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply. I very much appreciate it. You can imagine I'm decidedly wary of spending a ton of money on something I suspect has an equivalent that's much, much cheaper.

I understand my husband's concerns, though. He wants to come out of school with a guaranteed job, which UTI is saying it does. But it sounds like these manufacturers' programs do the same. We'll definitely check them out. Thanks again ...

Double J
Veteran / Moderator
Double J profile image

Mar 16, 2008, 7:51 PM

Post #4 of 11 (2722 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

Don't get me wrong, I believe some places are higher,cost wise,but are much much better...Wyoming Tech I'll bet is high but I don't know for sure....but I ,me ,YES ,me will say that when applying for a job in this industry,especially a dealership,if you have Wyoming Tech on your resume,your in like flint!!!Service managers love those guys....I have worked with many, never ,ever,knew a bad one.
As far as the guaranteed job,I am not a big huge fan of hypes like that,because there have been companies,not only automotive training but truck driving and such that "guarantee" a job and you come to find out that your lucky if it lasts six months...
MAKE WAY for the new graduating class......

Again good luck to you
Hey let us know what he decides.


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way2old profile image

Mar 17, 2008, 4:21 PM

Post #5 of 11 (2711 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

I dont necessarily agree with the higher the tuition the more you learn. I am sure that places that charge a lot might cut you out if you do not apply yourself. But this profession has a lot of pride involved. We are independent because we have a talent most people do not have. If your husband is really interested, I would suggest(as Jim already has) a good community college program. This profession's earnings are directly related to the amount of yourself you want to put into it. If he want to do it, and will do it, he can make it. I agree with you about going into debt for that amount. That is a lot of money on a gamble. He needs to be absolutely sure this is what he wants to do the rest of his life. Believe it or not, there are never any "used to be" mechanics. Once you learn to like the taste of grease, it never goes away. Tell him we wish him luck and keep us posted.

Being way2old is why I need help from younger minds

Double J
Veteran / Moderator
Double J profile image

Mar 17, 2008, 4:40 PM

Post #6 of 11 (2710 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

I just meant that a place like Wyoming tech is probably higher but a better school..a more in depth approach..a much better "value" for your money...
But a good local community college is a better choice if wanting to stay local.
Gm's ASEP program worked with a good community college around here...students go to school for like 6 months then go to the dealer for 6 months of hands on..apprentice....then back...etc..problem with that is you do have to "pay your dues" so to speak...I.E. squeaks,rattles,water leaks...etc.....Well worth it..any career demands the "pays your dues thing"
IMO...can't be the hands on...nothing compares....especially working with journeymen in a real world books at all can train you for the weird/wacky/crazy kinda stuff that arises..


"Cant beat the Smell of "Grease" in the morning..."

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 18, 2008, 12:20 AM

Post #7 of 11 (2704 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

My 2 cents: If someone doesn't want this bad it's going to fail no matter what schooling is selected. This trade is like some blood born addiction and virtually everyone I know who is in it will suggest to forget it as a trade and I was told that one day ages ago but it didn't stop me.

What was available in the early 70s - Mass. Some high schools had classes - not all. There were specific trade school/high schools once thought to be a dumping ground for students not doing as well with ordinary curriculum but the trade schools made you do both so was actually harder.

Here the community colleges had just gotten into the act and I did go to one and was in the second group in the start up of this as a college and technical program. Most who started dropped out quickly. Only six of us graduated. All honor students and frightened the school with the intense desire to learn this crapWink

Programs were heavily subsidized by this state. Cost was near free $300 a semester!

Tool companies and car companies took notice. Wild offers for tools up front. I was given new cars to rate or as it turned out "B" rate!

Real world polishes off the education which never ends - more so now. I lucked out with a superior owner/operator of a garage - just the two of us ran that show. Hated it at that pace, went back to college and worked on cars while at college (that grease smell doesn't quit) out of my trunk. Went on to work on my own thereafter - tough to have to own ALL equipment needed and do the work!

I suggest you have to want this work and love it to succeed. If the objective is money motivated only that's a set up for failure - tough trade........


SPECIAL MENTION: Thanks Mr. Devoe! (he would be in his mid 90s by now) This man dedicated his life to the trade and took it to the college level here - muchly on his own and was my/our teacher as well.

Massachusetts license tag "VOAUTE" = VOcational AUtomotive TEacher....

Anonymous Poster

Mar 31, 2008, 2:23 PM

Post #8 of 11 (2683 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

First, it needs to be your desire and commitment. Our local college has a very good automotive program. Guranteed employment? I'd be real leary of that statement. I've hired techs right out of school. Some have been great, others, not so great. I've hired techs with L1 cert that couldn't diagnose a bad spark plug wire. But, they could read a book and pass a test. This is a tough way to make a living. Constantly having to buy new tools and continued education. Having said all of that, a "Good Tech" can make a decent living. Starting pay for an experienced tech is in the 30-35K area. Having a tool box with 20-30K worth of tools is average. Coming home with a sore body is normal. Smile Some shops will pay for training, if he can "get his foot in the door" as an apprentice. Personally, I'd rather train someone "my way" if I have the time.


Apr 16, 2008, 8:39 AM

Post #9 of 11 (2653 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

OK, one small note here. The money a technician can make in this business can be excellent. That is considering the location. In short; if you live in tennessee, like I do, the median wage for a tech is about 25K. In virginia beach virginia I am told a good tech can make upwards of 70K; and in california 100K is not unusual. I think wages pretty much stay in line with an area's demographics. I made top wages in knoxville tn. at 35K...and I worked my tail off for that money. One more important thing about wages...mechanics are usually on the "flat rate" pay you get paid a set number of hours at your rate for any one repair. If no work comes into the shop that don't have a paycheck! And on this system you MUST always keep track of the jobs you do because I have unfortunately worked for a few unscrupulous shop owners who kept "forgetting" about jobs I had done. And if the repair you do fails remember: you do it the second time for FREE, usually with a dose of salts for messing up the first time.

Indytech profile image

Apr 16, 2008, 8:54 AM

Post #10 of 11 (2653 views)
Re: Becoming an auto tech Sign In

This is the only trade where you are spending more money on tools that can exceed what you make.
Then there is the flaterate payment system, which in a lot of cases suck for many techs.
if the shop is not moving a lot of work then your out of money .
if you are hard on doing this trade then try and get a government job as an tech
repairing police cars etc.
as said 25k-35k is normal don;t let the automotive training program tell you you will be making more
UTI will try and tell you you will be pushing 100k once employed.Crazy
If you can get in 60 - 70 hrs a week then you are one of the lucky ones.
Then their is the dreaded warranty jobs where you will get for a job that normally
take 5.4 hrs, on warranty you will get paid only 1.5hrs,
If you are not well in with the boss that all you will get pushed you way.
If you are well liked by your boss, then he will push you gravy jobs, like front end, brakes, etc
just my 2 cents after living this trade 20 odd years ,(I got out of it and opened my own shop)
thats where the name Indy tech comes in
staff tech

Indy Shop owner

(This post was edited by Indytech on Apr 16, 2008, 8:56 AM)

Anonymous Poster

May 5, 2008, 5:09 AM

Post #11 of 11 (2630 views)
post icon Free SMS and free mobile ads!! Sign In


. Free SMS and free mobile ads!! Its fantastic

(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on May 5, 2008, 5:32 AM)

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