What do you do for a living?

I am currently a mechanic at a car dealership. Although I’ve also worked at independently owned and chain-store automotive centers.

How would you describe what you do?

I spend most of my time diagnosing problems or complaints people have about their cars. Then come the actual repairs. Maintenance is rare nowadays.

What does your work entail?

Why is the car is here and what you have to do to it?

After figuring out whats wrong, get parts price quotes, quote labor and bring it to the service writer. He/she then suggests(sells) the repair to the customer. You have about a 50/50 chance of getting to the next step which would be the actual repair. Confirm whatever you did actually fixed the car, bring it outside and start all over again with the next car in line.

What does a typical work week look like?

You show up everyday not knowing what’s ahead of you. You have no idea if you are going to make any money, if its going to be an easy, pain free day or stress-filled leaving you in some epic bad mood. You’ll eventually learn what cars you don’t want to work on, what jobs are more of a hassle than others.

Experience is your education in this field. School, books, company training is just background information and won’t give you the confidence to go elbows deep into something.

At a dealership you deal with warranty jobs that don’t pay you fairly. Each car gets its own little book report, writing down what you did why. Stress builds easily. Independent shops are more laid back, most techs probably will probably feel less “rushed”. Not as many ‘i’ dotting & ‘t’ crossing as a dealership. Chain-stores fit in some where in between.

How did you get started?

Peer pressure from my friends in high school. Somehow my interest grew and eventually surpassed theirs. I pursued it as a career, they went off and did other things.

I should also credit car forums and message boards. Reading online about how people built, modified and customized their own cars scratched the itch because, at the time, I didn’t have the money, knowledge, or resources to do that kind of thing.

What do you like about what you do?

Little. See the “what’s most rewarding” question below.

What do you dislike?

It’s a disrespected, misunderstood job. I don’t eagerly tell people what I do for a living. A lot of stereotypes still exist. It’s expensive, not that many people realize how much tools cost, $5-10,000 for just the box, you can open a small drawer and they’ll be $1k worth of tools in there. Very high level of stress on a daily basis. Too easy to break something expensive, damage, or injury yourself/others. Although I feel I’m paid fairly at the moment, there are no rich mechanics, definitely not a lucrative rewarding career. I also take issue with flat rate, the system of how we are actually paid.

How do you make money/how are you compensated as an auto mechanic?

Majority of mechanics are flat rate. You are given an hourly rate, but not paid 8-5. Each specific repair has a time associated with it dictating how long it ‘should’ take you to complete that job.

A brake job might have a labor quote of 2.0 hours. If you finish that brake job in 1 hour, you just made double your hourly rate (for that one hour). The idea being, if you can be efficient and productive you’ll benefit. Glamorous isn’t it? Now into account you wait for approval to do the brake job, so that 1 hour that it really takes you to complete turned into 1.5, half an hour waiting for the customer to call back. But you also have to test drive before and after.. now add 10mins… go get parts.. close out the paper work.. all the small things add up.

There also isn’t an abundance of work, some magical never ending line of cars that need to be fixed. There are plenty of slow days you show up to work, only touch 1 car and make less than 1hr even though you were there all day. Warranty jobs not only have a ridiculous and unfair flat rate time, they also take time out of your day where you could have been working on something that is actually going to make you money.

Also worth mentioning the other ways mechanics can get paid: Regular hourly, clock in and out, no matter what you do during the day you going to get a paycheck. These obviously aren’t going to offer anywhere near a competitive pay compared to a flat rate tech. Smaller, independently owned shops are probably the only places that still pay guys this way. A combination of a flat rate with a base hourly pay. You make near minimum wage hourly but every job you do is worth a different amount (4 tires pays $1.00 an oil change .50 cents for example) on top of the hourly pay. This is done mostly at chain-stores. Some do a base hourly pay plus a small % of the total bill. Few but some flat rate shops give an hourly guarantee. Either 35/40hrs of guaranteed pay if you had a slow week.

How much money do you make as a auto mechanic?

Difficult to compare one to another. Where you live and what type of place dictates what you will actually make. Currently aged 25 $18/hr flat rate at a dealership where the range for flatrate techs are from $16-25/hr. Higher than the average for the area, I’d say. Also depends on the brand of cars you work on, luxury brands will tend to pay more. Dealerships usually more than most independents.

Some places rate you A,B,C tech. ‘A’ would be a master technician does everything, B probably can do everything just lacks the experience, C is entry level. There’s no standard so the letters can mean different things at different workplaces. I don’t think they’re used much anymore to be honest.

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How much money do you make starting out?

Starting at a dealership may not be the best choice. It will take forever to climb up the ranks. I suggest a chain-store or a local independently owned shop. Be humble, you’re probably not as good as you think. Experience is your education in this field. School, books, company training is just background information and won’t give you the confidence to go elbows deep into something.

If you are really dead-set on being at a dealer, the foot in the door position would be a lot-attendant. Expect minimum wage there. Next spot up would be a oil change guy, maybe $9-12 hourly. Don’t go for flat rate pay when you first start out, if any place is foolish enough to offer it to you.

Unfortunately it seems the easiest way to get a pay increase in this career is to job hop. After a while you can use your experience at one place and try to gain a higher wage when applying somewhere else. After 3 dealerships, 1 chain, 1 independent I know a lot about job hopping… I also move around lot, there are other reasons I kept leaving my jobs.

What education or skill are needed to do this?

Completion of a typical one year automotive course at any-school, anywhere, is sufficient to start. Its just a piece of paper- your skill level comes from ability to perform the needed work and just overall experience. ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certifications are industry recognized. Although the material they test on is very outdated, they are still useful to have and sometimes a requirement. Also if the state you work in does annual safety and emission inspections, you obviously need those licenses.

I don’t know of any car manufacturer that doesn’t offer “their own” training. Either online courses, or physical schools you get sent to for about a week at a time. They want you to learn about the cars you are working on. If you are able to do this from the beginning jump at the opportunity.

What is most rewarding about this job?

If I ever end up doing something else in life, I’m very grateful that I am mechanically inclined. Not that many are, and without growing up around it, it usually doesn’t happen naturally. I’m my own electrician, my own plumber, I’m able to determine and see the value of quality craftsmanship in just about anything.

But more specifically, struggling to figure something out and then finally completing the repair successfully is pretty rewarding. That’s about it, it’s not like anyone “thanks” a mechanic, not that I expect it.

What is most challenging?

Noises and drive-ability complaints. A customer is in their own car everyday, they are going to immediately notice some small minor problem. When we get the car, its a “first impression” everything is happening all at once. Its difficult to isolate every little thing.

Going to work everyday knowing I don’t want to is also pretty challenging.

What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

The big named tech schools that have commercials running claiming growth in the industry, still a need for techs, blah blah blah will only see your enrollment to their school as their paycheck. You get out of them what you put in, no one is going to hold your hand to help you to succeed.

Mechanics are a dime a dozen, to stand out from the rest you have to be well educated and motivated to actually do work! Try to find a community college that offers at least an associates degree with their automotive classes. Depending on your future plans, a one year tech school obviously isn’t going to prepare you well enough to open your own business, and a college degree is almost a requirement for any type of management job.

How much time off do you get/take?

1 week per year/ 2 weeks in 2 years pretty standard but its going to vary depending on where you work. Most places are open Saturdays and some even Sunday. Usually they will let you take a day off in the middle of the week if you have to work a Saturday.

What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?

We’re all crooks and thieves of course! People are scared of what they don’t understand. Their car disappears into the building, after a way-too-long of a period of time goes by, they’re forced to empty their wallet. I would love nothing more then to explain and educate a customer about the operation of the evaporative emission control system and why it’s currently not working in their car, but no one wants to hear any of that. We’re also not salesman.

The service adviser/writer is though, if you feel you are being “upsold” something you don’t feel is necessary unleash a barrage of questions. Ask to physically go see what’s wrong on your car, ask why its necessary, ask them to break down the bill, what does the part by itself cost, etc.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

To do something more important, but still automotive related. I refuse to go back to school (for an actual degree) so the light at the end of my tunnel is pretty dim.

What else would you like people to know about what you do?

In the automotive world, you normally get what you pay for. Dealerships are expensive, just about everywhere is, but maybe they are for a reason. I have since learned that reason, but I realize it’s difficult for other people to see it. I don’t understand how you justified that the quality of your car is somehow “worth” what you paid, but to fix it quality just isn’t important, the “worth” part disappears?

Dealerships have resources that no outside repair shop can compete with. I’ve been on both sides, knowing what I know now if I was unable to do it myself, I wouldn’t be bringing my car to the “good enough” repair shops.


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe April 26, 2017 at 6:58 am

It’s not just auto mechanics thats lost money over the years its all service jobs. Painters to plumbers you name it they all lost there cash potential. If you ask why (LOL) you must be an idiot I mean a liberal. One word immigration and its not just Mexicans. (Well most of it) cheap labor means low wages for everybody.
Sorry got a little off topic. I went to UTI graduated 86 got the first job I applied for. Fleet mechanic. Work there 6 months. Then for the hell of it I applied for a fleet manager/tech position. Two mechanics under me my own office etc. A 19yr olds dream job. After 3 interviews I had the job. As I was leaving the interviewer says “wait I almost forgot can you speak Spanish”. Ever since that day my love for
mechanics suffered until I found classic sports car restorations. Ran with that til the market took a dump. Went into construction learned another trade. Long storie short lean at least two
Trades or more. You always have something fall back on and by all means learn to speak Spanish


Hollis February 10, 2017 at 5:59 am

I’m on year 35 of being a auto mechanic or tech as we’re called these days. That’s why I’m up at 5 in the morning soul-searching the internet for answer’s …


Alex Meyer October 31, 2016 at 7:49 pm

I’ve worked as a car mechanic for nearly 10 years and the wages, hours… it simply doesn’t pay off. You invest anything between 3 to 5 years in education to be a proper mechanic, go out to the real world to discover you’re going to get paid peanuts and everything you do is fix problems and face customers who just are angry because obviously they don’t want to spend the money and don’t understand what they’re being charged for.

All in all, unless you are highly qualified and very specialized and just are nuts about the iron, it is little rewarding.

Sets of tools aren’t as expensive as the article lists tho. I set up my complete tool box in less than 3k and It is an absolutely complete tool box. You can check what’s on it on my blog.


JJ February 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

I’m approaching mid 30s and never had a profession. Thinking about going to my local community college to become a tech. Here’s the funny thing: I don’t like wrenching much and really could care less talking about cars. Hell, I drive an old 95 Honda Civic, don’t care for a new car, and barely maintain it. I can use a labscope, use scan tool PIDs, and read schematics, though. I get a kick out of working on someone’s intermittent or MIL issue. I’ll wrench if I have to (I can do it, I just prefer electrical over wrenching). I don’t have a wife/kids so I don’t have nothing to lose if the automotive field doesn’t work out.


Mr. T June 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm

One thing I forgot was not only have the wages depressed but the workplace conditions have as well taken hits: time off [boss got mad bcz i had to wait in line at the post office, took 20 minutes longer had to mail a critical item] …back then I could take any amount of time off I wanted as long as I properly arranged it no problem.
Injuries/sickness: once again these things were no problem whatsoever but nowadays they will fire you for getting sick then fight you in court with made-up slurs about you.
Working hours: old way was drop wrenches at 12pm for ONE HOUR lunch, drop wrenches at 5 go home but NOW it’s arrive before start time to get ready [while you are off the clock, no less] 15 to 20 minutes lunch stuff it down your throat, back to work till 6 or 7pm, repeat. Screw all of this, as I said I am gone fishin’… 🙂


Mr. T June 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

This profession is a calling i used to say [like a soldier or a priest] but NOT ANYMORE.
I can attest to virtually every single one of the remarks here I can only add a few:
Wages have decreased by at least 35% since about 1990, I used to go home with 700 – 800 in mu pocket at an independent, now i’m lucky at $550.
Watch out who you get involved with I have worked for drug dealers [unbeknownest to me at the time] thieves etc. Its all TRUE and there is this little thing called guilt by association.
Then we have these little pissant managers who make you buy your own gloves / goggles etc. and will try to charge you for anything that breaks [hubcaps, a gas tank, a wheel rim to name a few WTF?]….I have to fight the front desk to get one can of brake cleaner, on and on it goes.
I’m leaving and not looking back even as I have made some great friends along the way. 30 years is 30 years too much of this underpaid, under respected RUINED trade ciao baby.


Joe February 24, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I been working on cars 16 year now I hate my job but good at getting the job done. Working on car is not for wanna be. You must know how to reason. I have all this smog licensed in California test and repair, ASE, year of experiences and yet my younger brother and cousin with only high school diploma earn 6 figure just for pushing a key board….with every holidays off, paid vacation. Everythings you can think of they got it. I feel like kicking my ass everyday for choosing this career but I’m heading into my 50′ and it just to late to little time to think of anything else. It do or die. Untile tech get a new respect automotive filed will face challenge once this internet go viral.


David May 28, 2015 at 7:40 pm

I used to be a an auto technician for 20 years,like in some of the previous posts,70s and 80s you could make a good living working on cars.i quit because the pay went the other way which is DOWN because of the warranty . Dealers have gotten way worse to work for.There are a few good independents to work for,but that’s getting far and few between. glad I quit and moved on.


sam May 24, 2015 at 7:18 am

I’ve chose the service field because I knew there would always be a need for people like us. People who can’t sit behind a desk and type on a computer all day. People who, when they’re cut up and bruised, they don’t feel the immediate need for a dora the explorer band aid with some fresh neosporn. We’re just everyday people working to make a living for ourselves. Some of us came from terrible backgrounds, and some of us came from rich lavish lifestyles. But the man in us felt a need for piston melting excitement. The kind of excitement that you just can’t find typing up financial reports. It’s the excitement you feel when that 16 cylinder diesel roars to life. Or that distraught sailboat owner whose boat you fixed hands you a $100 dollar tip and thanks you profusely.
Modern day men are being feminized by the new age of technology and entertainment. An “enlightenment” if you will, that is not so enchanting. We are a dying breed. There is a lack of people who are willing to work hard for what they want. Working hard seems to be a thing of the past. Everything is expected on a silver platter. Whether you dig ditches, collect trash, plumb pipes or wrench on some sort of equipment more complex than a 30 year old able-bodied mans EBT card, for whatever it’s worth….
My beer is raised and my hat is off to you.


mel May 6, 2015 at 5:55 am

My dad was a mechanic for forty plus years and although he made great money because he had worked his way to working on military vehicles,he said the same thing all previous posts stated…it’s hard on your body and you constantly have to learn to keep up with the changing times. It’s not just, oh I watched this video, now I’m going to go fix that!!! Practice, practice, practice; learn!!! He was such a hard worker and always provided for our family!!! I have a lot of respect for true mechanics!!!


Keith April 10, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Very sad interview. I have been a VERY successful mechanic for 15 years now. I have worked at 5 different dealers all of which except for this last one has payed me a hire bonus to work for them. The past 8 years of my career I have cleared 100k for gross income. Reason for the different dealers is relocation. No other reason. I love what I do, love to work on cars. I do hate the politics that come with working at a dealer but you will have issues anywhere u work. When I worked in San Diegk my flat rate pay was 38$ per hour with a possible 2$ an hour bonus based on productivity. Flagging on average 130-150 hours per 2-week pay period. Being a mechanic isn’t as bad as MOST of these posts make it seem. Money can be made bro a mechanic and can be a respected job as well.


joel June 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

130-150 sounds pretty high if you are working a 40 hr work week. Only techs I have seen do that are the ones that give a bad name. Scaming work and hours. That said, I have done that working 6 day weeks and overtime. It depends on where and what you work on. At a dealer, working on the same thing, over and over you get fast and can bank on flat rate. Today it is hard to do that. Drivability kills most flat rate techs today. I have took over multiple jobs that techs have spent days on, that I figured out in an hour. But, that is what I have specialized in. I have 15 thousand in diag tools alone. Not to mention the yearly updates and subscriptions. Dealers are not only making then new techs, only work on one brand, they are now making them work on part of it. Pretty much turning a tech into an assembly line worker. I think that is why the shortage on techs is. This job is doing something you love, but is getting killed with dealers and the cost of tools. Why be a tech, when you could make more money as a service writer, and not have to by tools.


mario March 20, 2015 at 9:52 am

Ive been mechanic for 10 years no education. I like what I do just not the pay. I go home with bruises cuts and burns. I love my job so much it doesnt feel like work but its not for everyone. Seek a shop where they hire a shop boy and see what I see. You’ll turn Around and say ” third degree buns? Hell nah im out”


I Am Legend March 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

I’ve seen a lot of shops in my short time as a technician(6 yrs). Even crossed over to diesel for about a year. In my brief experience I’ve witnessed how greedy, unfair, and cut throat auto shops can be. I’ve seen them all outside of a dealership. I had no interest in being a flat rate technician so I avoided them. They try and lure you with a high hourly pay knowing you won’t see any of it. I even got offered a 30 hr guarantee. But being at work for 45 hours and getting paid for 30 was not appealing to me. Common sense tells you if business isn’t non stop and you’re working 45 hours and getting paid for 30, whatever that high hourly wage is they threw at you is a lot lower. To make sure you never even get much past that 30 they hire a bunch of techs just like you to split the jobs up with. Good luck. From my observation it’s a lot better to run your own shop. My uncle never learned anything in school or worked in a organized shop but he makes lots of money because he has his own shop. It’s just a one garage shop with a parking lot. But he opens when he wants and closes when he wants. And has gained many customers. The risk you take with your bodies is not even worth any reward really. I could make more money by just finding a regular job. I could drive a box truck and have minimal mechanical skills and still make more than a technician busting his hump for 45 hours a week. Due to that reason that I didn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel, I refused to put my heart into any shop that I worked. After my first couple auto jobs I realized there was no hope in this industry. I learned whatever I can that I could apply to working on the side. And never rushed any of my jobs. If you are determined to find out how bad it sucks to be a technician for a living, always go somewhere that lets you get your hands dirty. All the jobs I’ve learned the most at I stayed the least amount of time. But there they let you do any and everything. There I learned how to use a torch, electrical work, attention to detail etc. I learned that no job was generally too big for me. It was either I’ve never done it before and wouldn’t finish as quick as someone who has. Or there we’re certain steps I didn’t know I had to take to get the job done that I would need advice on. After facing difficult job after job, it strengthened me as a tech. Now I’m sure with patience and the right tools I know enough tricks of the trade to complete any job. If you go to any chain shops you will never learn anything unless it’s a poorly ran shop. Most of those chain ran shops only let the guys they know can get the job done who has 15-20 years experience over you do the jobs. So you will be doing oil changes and tires for awhile. I can go on and on about my journey. But I agree with everyone here. It’s not a good field. You’d have less stress being a truck driver. And would make more or if less not by much. In anything if you want to perfect it you have to research and study. But in the auto field you have to get hands on as well. Start off working on your own car and doing basic repairs like brakes and suspension work. Those are usually the big money makers in the shops. The reason being is because they are mostly quick to do and make a lot of money off parts. Plus if you stay in a cold climate, suspension work is a must. I took my friend to a shop to have them diagnose a leak and they found 2 bad bearings, leaky wheel cylinder, bad front brake pads and rotors, and bad front struts. The bill was 2 grand. All those are pretty basic repairs. Wouldn’t take more than 6 hrs to complete so can be done in one day. So if you practice those and have some problem solving skills you’d be more valuable than an entry level tech with a degree. Good luck and tread wisely.


El Diablo March 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

I have been doing this for 35 years and find it hard to believe that a customer will hold us to a higher standard than there doctor they go and see. If you are not in the industry then you have no idea of what it really takes to be able to diagnose a condition, even if we try to explain all of the steps and conditions I have found that most customers do not care all they know is that there vehicle is not doing what it is supposed to do. Thanks to the internet and instant gratification people expect to be able to wait for there car to be checked and fixed, this could not be further from the truth as the industry was never designed for waiters other than oil changes and quick maintenance items. As the vehicles become more complex and more options added it does become more difficult to be able to trace a problem down and when doing warranty work it does not always pay to spend the extra time to find the condition just for the repair, I know I have spent 2 days finding and fixing a electrical problem and made 1.5-2.0 hours for the whole job. Also the internet has done a very good job of making the general public think that most of us are rip off artist and just trying to sell things not needed, yes there are those out there that will but not all of us are that way. So as the others have said unless you are just ding to work on vehicles stay as far away from this as you can, it just going to get worse in the long run and it does take it toll on you and your family from the long hours and complete stress that is reached from this job.


MechRunner March 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

You should absolutely go back to school, I was an auto tech for 5 years got a BBA in finance and now I am a finance manager at the same Ford dealer I started at and make almost twice what the master techs that have been there for 15+ years make. This goes for any career or profession The harder it is for people to get the credentials you have the more you will make thats just how the world works. As for the tools there is a lot of unnecessary spending if thats how the person is in their personal life, I know a guy who “HAD” to replace all of his sockets with the new ones that have the size laser engraved on the side, and you might run into the guy that buys a new air ratchet every year because the new one is slightly lighter and has a slightly better grip.


Matrix Todd February 17, 2015 at 8:52 am

I’ve been a mechanic for 30 years and offer the following tips and advice. …

No matter what anyone says…you’re never going to make tons if money unless you’re working in very extreme/dangerous conditions which no one can do for their entire career…your body will not hold out!

Listen to the guys who have been there and done it before…you’ll learn more from that guy than any book or video…

Invest in the best tools you can afford…it will save time and make your life easier, with Craigslist you can buy used tools like snap on cheaper than from the truck (over 30 yrs I easily have over 100k in tools) BUY THE BEST SCANNER ON THE MARKET!

Pick a specialty. ..transmission rebuilding, hybrid, outdrives, CVT, electrical etc….this will make you more valuable

even if you’ve been fixing cars for a decade…YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT!…That takes time

Plan on having joint pain, cuts, burns, bruises etc!

Fix it right! Don’t fake it or take short cuts…it will make you look like a fool and take away credibility!

And finally. ..tool boxes have wheels for a reason…plan on moving around a lot. ..it’s just what happens…when the smoke clears you’ll be better off and land at a place that fits you!

Good luck! You’re going to need it!


Inspector Ratchet February 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Automotive technician is a dying profession. In the 70’s and 80’s technicians were paid 50% of the billed labor. Then car dealerships figured out that paying flat rate by the book allowed them to decouple the technician pay from the billed labor. The result has been that technicians are now down to 20% of the billed labor. And they have now gone to price matrixing that allows them to take even more for themselves while paying less and less to the people who actually do the work.The result has been that experienced professionals are leaving the trade and the demand for skilled labor is being filled by 20 year old kids who have spent $45,000 at UTI for very basic training. Dealerships know these kids are desperate to keep up with their student loans and use that as leverage to pay even less.
Back in the good old days, the techs at the BMW dealerships I worked at all drove new BMWs. Today, BMW technicians are driving old BMWs or Hondas.
It used to be a solid profession. Not any more.


joe_plazzo November 15, 2014 at 11:58 pm

I definitely agree with what others have said here. I’ve been a mechanic for the past four years (post-college) and it takes a certain type of person to be a mechanic and survive in this industry. I would say if you’re really considering becoming a mechanic, try it out and see how you like it first before making any commitments. As for me, I’m back in school but still on work on cars once in a while 🙂


jim quigg November 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I have been a flat rate body tech for over 30 years and i totally agree. I make good money but have dealt with alot of workplace problems. I do look back and wish i had maybe done something else.


Auto Mechanic San Rafael August 30, 2014 at 12:26 am

I’ve been auto mechanic for 40years, dealer and garages. This stuff has taken a a toll on me $ wise and body pain,poor pay. I aways tell youg guys to school in something else.


myles August 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Haha… the sad thing about it is your 100 percent right!! ….good luck beginning a job as an apprentice assuming you like it because you see perfesionals on TV make it look easy. Don’t plan on learning much from senior mechanics… beating the impossible flat rate system tough enough so they wont give you the time of dayto teach you shit…the problem is you cant learn much by watching..o.k you maybe learn something but often times its a lot harder than it looks remember when the book says this is a 1 hour job and it takes you 3 your working for free..so don’t think because you watched a couple u tube videos ur experienced and ready to go No be used changing oil, rotating tires, and changing engine air filters for a year or so…possible longer until the old prick ahead of you retires. Also unless you have your own tools dont assume any technician will let you borrow there tools they are often assholes that dont want trainees,breaking or misplacing there tools so gettin the position to make any money could be a long time…NOT WORTH IT.. you’ll make more money work at Tim Hortons for the first couple years until you gain enough seniority and tools to have the right to teach yourself .. Good Lucky


charlie July 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm

i’ve been auto mechanic for 40years, dealer and garages. this stuff has taken a a toll on me $ wise and body pain,poor pay. i aways tell youg guys to school in something else.t


Mike Watts July 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Being a mechanic sucks because of the flat rate system and mechanics get treated unfairly, a lot of mechanics are looked at as having money but that is not the case because we have slow days at work and might go home with 1 hour if that and managers look down on the very ones that feed them their fat 100,000 dollar pay check, if you thinking of becoming a mechanic go to school and get a degree in something else, do not be a mechanic because you like cars that will get you in trouble, be smart become a nurse or physical theraptist better yet just get a degree in business and you will get a better job than a mechanic


Experienced Mechanic in Ipswich April 2, 2014 at 4:39 am

If you don’t have the passion to do mechanical work, forget about being an auto mechanic. Just like any other job, it entails a lot of hard work and patience to get to the top. Loving what you do is what counts. If you love what you do, you give people honest work. Honest work means more referrals and ultimately having your own independent shop,


Paul Lorenzini January 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

Whatever you do, DO NOT BECOME AN AUTO TECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You will hate the pay system and it will ruin your outlook on life. Mechanics are only meat for the white collar administrators and you will only be respected as long as you are beating the hell out of your body to beat impossible flat rate times.
Here’s an example..
4 tire changeover pays .7hr
Road test vehicle before service=.1-.2hr=6-12 mins
Set vehicle on lift..1-.2 depending on vehicle=6-12 minutes
Remove all 4 wheels and carry to tire machine, remove valve cores .1hr= 6 minutes
Dismount 4 tires, being careful not to damage tpms sensors, clean rust and or bead sealer from wheels .1-.2 per wheel .4-.8 hr=24-48 mins
Mount 4 tires on rims and inflate .2-.3 hr = 12-18 minutes
Balance 4 tires .2-.4hr=12-24 minutes
Remount wheels on vehicle and roadtest for TPMS light or vibrations .2-.3hr=12-18 mins
pays .7 hr
Actual amount of time for a human that is not working at animal maniac speed as service managers like=1.2-2.2hrs
Just hurry up and work harder fools.
Until your body gives up at age 40 and you get a pay decrease.
DO NOT WORK ON CARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bobby Cotton April 28, 2013 at 5:35 am

Thanks for the word of wisdom what you said really helped me to see a little bit more into what machanics have to go through I just got done with my first year of college and have decided to change my major and thinking about going to school for auto technology but I know nothing about car even less about fixing them or tricking them out. So I know I got some I got some reading to do but I was wondering should I specialize in a field like for example car restoration because I seen guys on tv do it and looks pretty cool or maybe a engine rebuild please any advice would be appreciated thanks.


Jon Jon the Phenomenon June 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Run!!! as fast as you can! No but in all reality even if you did know 100% you wanted to work on cars you would still find out that 80 to 90 percent of the time your superiors are going to screw you and you won’t like working on cars. My box was 11 thousand dollars and has double that in tools not even full. If you kinda think you might like working on cars you won’t last a week; if your very mechanically inclined like I was, love building motors, doing crazy never before done swaps, live at the junkyard when you don’t have a job (there will be much time spent out of a job), figuring out the hardest problems, surpass everyone in your class by a mile at the tech school, piss off your teachers by constantly proving them wrong, you might just survive but it will not be fun I make about 3 thousand a month 500 of that goes to tool payments I work alot and no time to spend the money I make. Did I mention other techs can be real dicks and even get you fired intentionally this has happened to me before. Some places will fire you for nothing literally nothing others won’t have to you will hate it so much you’ll leave out of pure hatred for them and eventually you will land in a place that still treats you like crap but pays you enough to make up for it kinda and you don’t hate your coworkers and everyday you go in and grind out another one with your brothers. The people you work with will be your new family and they are very sick twisted hilarious individuals it’s alot like what I imagine prison is like but so you can see even if you love it before what I am now is what you will eventually become, those are the good sides and many bad sides for some people like me pride will force you to never give up and prove yourself to others and yourself but if I went back in time I never woulda started this fight become an accountant or a doctor both are much easier and more respected, and if you still think you wanna do it after reading this I think your ready and by that I mean youre definitely not ready.


R S July 12, 2015 at 8:27 am

Back in 1976, I fell into that group of kids who liked working on cars. Taking apart an engine and putting it back together at the age of 16 got me going. For the past 35 years, the satisfaction of being an auto tech has gone away due to the GREED factor of dealer principles. I understand it is a business and bonuses for managers are based on profit, but when your boss tells you give yourself a flat-rate raise and work harder. I have to wonder what happen to giving out raises when the shop rate goes up. I always thought this was an industry standard regarding what your flat-rate amount is based on. I have tow sons and told them if I catch you working on cars I will break your F——-ing Hands. In Europe, their is a greater respect for an auto-techs than here in the USA. If I had to do it over again, I would NEVER pick working on cars for a living. Until this industry changes, I would never recommend this kind of work to anyone.


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