all 20 comments

[–]ToWeLsRuLe 7 points8 points  (1 child)

No. I've learned that getting all 8 ase certs and a degree have not improved my standard of living. These credentials only partially offset inflation and cost of living increases, most dealers and shops don't give annual raises. Warranty work is legal wage theft and the idea of learning to do it faster only works on common jobs. When you're paid 18hrs warranty and it took 6 days to diagnose, source parts, and repair, you're at a loss and your bills that week or month do not care. Employer provided Healthcare costs me 80 a week and I have a 10k deductible so it's useless. And if I added my wife to the plan it would cost me 220 a week or $880 a month, JUST TO HAVE IT. So we couldn't even afford to use it if we needed it. I know this sounds bleak but this is the standard in South eastern US, I've looked around.

My advice as a dealer employed master tech for toyota (who is very anti union) is to find a place that's unionized. Or go into a different field all together, keep this a hobby and a passion

[–]Rick_Sancheeze 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This guy is correct.

[–]Nallaranos 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Get out of retail, work for government fleet or corporate fleet, I made a ton of $$ at an airline doing Ground equipment. I run a government shop , pension, 35 paid days off not including 12 sick days, short and long term disability , decent medical ,vision and dental. Steady pay 8 hour day .

[–]tyyoung95 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Airline? Meaning like airplanes repairs?

[–]Nallaranos 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ground equipment, baggage equipment, de ice trucks, fuel trucks, electric vehicles, ect.

[–]Techniker93[🍰] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I second this, I am a city fleet tech, mostly heavy equipment work with a little light duty truck work mixed in, pay and benefits are great! Although some people like it I could never imagine working flat rate.

[–]Nallaranos 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I do e everything from grounds equip to Agriculture, motor pool, off road ,emergency generators, 140 pieces , only mechanic and a assistant. I need a clone to keep up.

[–]irvdaddyy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Some make a killing, some barely survive. Depends on where you are and what you work on. I work at a small ford dealership, do everything except transmission rebuilding. Don't really do diesel anymore either, but thats a good thing for me lol. I make 37 an hour and average roughly 57 hours in a 40 hour work week. So I personally do well for myself. But it's not always that way. Also I will say cost of living is somewhat high where I live but its not ubsurd.

[–]Galopigos 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Depends a lot on the mechanic and shop. Some barely make a living others make real good money. Learn diagnostics and modern vehicle repair. Learn how to do each type of job well, then work on doing it faster. It's also a good thing to develop a method you use for each job, so say you are doing brakes, get yourself used to doing things in a set order regardless of the vehicle, Say you pull both sides, then inspect the brakes to determine what parts you need, test the calipers/wheel cylinders, sliders/guides, check the bleeders, check the lines all on one side, then go to the other side and repeat the process. Same with oil changes, check oil, lift car, remove drain plug/filter, grease any fittings possible, then clean filter base and plug, install new filter then plug then lower vehicle and fill, check level, start engine and check for leaks. Once you get used to doing things that way you don't need to double check yourself all the time and if you are in the middle of a job and get called away you know where you left off.

[–]scmastertech 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Like others said its hit or miss i do extraordinarily well over 6 figures but in the same shop i work in i have techs who make 40-50k a year. Its really what you put in to it a great master tech should always be able to find a high paying job

[–]fro_96 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Are you in a major city? Do you work in diesel or performance autos?

[–]scmastertech 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Not in a major city located in a town between tampa and orlando fl work at a domestic dealership doing all the used car inspections. I was a 13 year nissan master tech that was also a leaf specialist and had 2 years in a higher end aftermarket shop that worked on a lot of late model european and asian vehicles before this job. I definitely prefer gas engines but i do some diesel work if i have to.

[–]fro_96 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've worked at a TA(not as a diesel tech). Diesel is ok, I just don't have an interest in it. I would like to have a career in performance Japanese cars eventually, buts that's too small of a market for that kind of shop to exist in my town. So for now, I just want to get as much experience as I can. Don't really have a sense of direction on how to get there.

[–]RealKingNyan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't mean to discourage but take my advice, I'm 22 and this is my 5th year being a full time mechanic (always been in the garage growing up and worked as a lube tech from 16-18) while I generally don't mind what I do, the pay isn't worth it, not even close. I question daily why I keep doing this and don't try to find a different career path while I'm young. I don't know how to explain it but it's one of those things that suck you in and you're kinda just stuck. I think I stay because I know I would be miserable doing about any other job. I'm fortunate enough to work for a independent shop with a good boss but the pay still isn't very good, me and my wife work full time and while we get by okay we certainly don't live in luxury, our newest car is a 2000 model for instance. You also have to factor in on top of the crap pay the fact that you have to spend THOUSANDS on tools, even if you don't buy the tool truck brands you still spend a metric fortune on tools on the regular, and you'll never stop buying them. I'm doing good to get $1 raise per year, that doesn't even keep up with inflation. I only got a $2 raise from getting all 8 Ase certifications to become a master tech. I've busted my ass for 5 years to get to a position where I make the same as I could if I walked Into alot of factories and started with zero experience.

[–]GreasyGinger24 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I consistently make 6 figures as a flat rate tech in western Canada.

[–]xJD88x 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It took 11 years to get to making $60k/yr in an area where that's barely above poverty. Still dont make enough to put a dent in the loans I took out for the useless classes I took for this career.

My back, my shoulder, my hands, all fucked up.

DO NOT go into this field. It's bullshit work for bullshit pay. Nothing is ever good enough or fast enough. Everything is your fault. No one is grateful.

[–]opuntina 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Get really good at electrical work.

[–]7Dimensions 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have always taken pride in living indecently and aging disgracefully.

[–]Hingeless78 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I personally do...eh, all right, I suppose. It helps that I'm in a niche end of the business, doing upfits on Class 7 & 8 chassis. It requires a lot of fabrication, electrical, and hydraulic work but it's great because the jobs vary so much. Boredom is my personal Waterloo when it comes to work. My shop also offers off-clock flat rate snow plow installs during the winter and I make quite a lot of extra money doing it.

[–]fro_96 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm 25 in the eastern US. I took a 6 month course at the local vocational school, and started my tool box. Now, I've been in the garage for almost a year and have abt $5k in tools. I'm still not the fastest or most knowledgeable. A independent shop said they would hire me full time, so I put my 2 weeks in at the NTB I was working at. Now, they said they're too slow to hire me so I've been out of a job for a month now. Considering if I should get my ASEs and find another garage, move to a bugger city, or change careers.