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Automotive career path question(s) #4115197 06/04/16 05:11 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Ok guys I've told some of you on here before in other posts that I am gonna pursue diesel mechanics at my local college which I still plan on doing...


But, I do have to ask...why are there so many people that are so regretful towards their decision to become a mechanic? Or a technician even? I've long discovered that this is the path for me and I've made my mind up that if I have some bodily issues arise from long term job experience(seems to be one of the bigger complaints) then so be it. I don't care. I'm more concerned with being happy at what I do versus being able to finance a 500k dollar house.

I know some of you that will read this will probably say that I haven't even got my feet wet in the trade to even know what I'm talking about or along those lines which leads me to ask my second question. Could it be that being a mechanic was once a lucrative or well paying job that has dead ended with pay or respect? It's conflicting to read responses on other websites to similar questions because some people say they are making in the low to mid 20s an hour at this or that dealership after finishing school. Granted the majority all say find a different career choice and do it now or you'll hate yourself for the rest of your life.

Is being an automotive technician better than the mechanic nowadays? Every one seems to talk about how much they can't stand the techs who work with them because "they play with the computers and electronics" and so they make more money minus all the labor involved. My goal with this career field is to become a technician that "plays with computers" because obviously this is where the auto world is evolving IMO.

Lastly, I am not trying to offend anyone with this post I promise! I'm just projecting my opinion of what I'm seeing both online and in person around people who do this for a living. The ones who I know that can't stand it the most are the ones who tell me the worst thing they did was turn their passion for a hobby into a career which kind of sounds dumb but that's just me.


2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115207 06/04/16 05:25 PM
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Mr Nice Offline
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Flat rate automotive techs struggle if business is slow, plus they have to tag team with service writer to make a living. Nothing worse than being under pressure to beat 'book time' and onto next car. Also lots of $$$ in tools they have to purchase.

I'm a technician by trade (military and civilian) and never raced to compete a job. I sometimes post jobs for our region.

What do you want to do for a career ?
You mentioned: welding, machinist, auto repair / diesel engine repair, etc...
If you like to play with computers then go into IT. I know a few directors of IT and they all make $100K+ at their hospital job.

Find a career field you like that pays well and you can do it when you are 50 years old. Lots of blue collar jobs are very tough on your body.

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115212 06/04/16 05:37 PM
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CT8 Offline
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Diesel engines have been electronic for many years now . Count on any specialized path Cars, big trucks, Forklifts, industrial equipment etc.will mean almost life long continuing education. When my son was in the Boy Scouts we did military base tours. we spent a weekend at the Coast guard base at Treasure Island in the San Francisco bay and there were Detroit 8V-92 engines in the boats that were electronic. We went on a 100 foot boat with huge Mann diesel engines they were electronic. All the late model trucks are electronic. I actually hate it mostly . But that is how things are.

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115213 06/04/16 05:37 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Yeah I've bled all over the forums with talk about doing all kinds of things because i kept seeking a career that I figured would pay good but ultimately never be happy at no matter the money. I'm dead set on the diesel mechanic because I'll be happy with that I've liked the big trucks as a kid and I like working on motors so for me it's the best of both worlds:)

Last edited by NavyVet88; 06/04/16 05:40 PM.

2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115215 06/04/16 05:42 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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I'm only in the welding program still because I'm one semester away from finishing and I'll always take what I've learned with me. I dont consider it time and money wasted by no means.

Last edited by NavyVet88; 06/04/16 05:46 PM.

2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115222 06/04/16 05:49 PM
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CT8 Offline
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Jobs doing fleet service is much more fun than dealer type work. I worked at a independent fleet repair and rental company for 5 years and then at a Forklift dealership for a little over 17 years until I felt it was time to retire and there was pressure at times and if you mess up it is not a come back it is a guy stuck some where with the semi loosing big bucks because you screwed up, Or the fork lift that broke down and they can't unload the 747 full of high dollar time is of the essence air freight.

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115248 06/04/16 06:17 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Yeah I feel like that's the kind of job I want and would be happy with


2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115252 06/04/16 06:22 PM
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Welding is a super skill to be have. Will you be certified?

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115253 06/04/16 06:25 PM
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It isn't the work that is bad, it's the horrible persons you will have to deal with known as customers.

Persons that don't understand the necessity of periodic maintenance or that all machinery needs repairing sooner or later. Persons that live paycheck to paycheck or that have an unlimited budget when it comes to rims, stereos, tints, and alarms; but are mysteriously broke when it comes to repairs. Persons that can't possibly believe their car needs $500 in A/C repair this week because they just spent $400 last week on having a wheel bearing replaced. [If they paid the ransom last week for the bearing, how dare the shop ask them for ransom again this week for the A/C, it's now your fault that the system blows warm air because you're the one that touched a wrench to the wheel bearing, and then had the nerve to charge for your time]. Persons that carry a chip on their shoulder because some mechanic somewhere stiffed them somehow, so now they view all mechanics as the same person.

Fleet jobs aren't bad. The company already knows how much repair and maintenance is needed and how much it will cost and how long it will take. Any mistakes you or others make can usually get swept under the rug and get payed for, the company understands mistakes. The budget is always a little short and the drivers are super whiny, but much better than having to deal with a bad decision making and sometimes checkbook wielding customer.


'08 Honda C90ST Super Cub 15w-40 mixture of Delvac & Rotella
'08 Honda NX4 Falcon 5w-40 Delo 400LE
'09 Honda Fit LX 0w-20 PP
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: CT8] #4115258 06/04/16 06:26 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: CT8
Welding is a supper thing to be able to do.


I'm pretty good at it too actually. I'm no aerospace grade welder but I have done pretty well for where I'm at, I just started stick pipe welding the last three weeks of the last semester and I'm a full semester ahead of everyone I started with last year. Money is definitely worth it but its not quite what I see myself doing happily


2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115264 06/04/16 06:33 PM
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When something comes into the shop that need welding you will be able to do it and not have the weld break it is Valuable to the shop owner.

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: CT8] #4115267 06/04/16 06:35 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: CT8
When something comes into the shop that need welding you will be able to do it and not have the weld break it is Valuable to the shop owner.


I've had people tell me that when something does come in that needs or could use welding as a fix, the company would rather have it replaced than welded. How true is that if at all?


2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: CT8] #4115269 06/04/16 06:39 PM
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NavyVet88 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: CT8
Welding is a super skill to be have. Will you be certified?


Yes


2013 Honda Civic LX 1.8L 178k M1 HM 0w20 with Fram XG7317
2002 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0L 67k Castrol Edge 5w30 with Fram XG3600
Maintenance Technician by trade, working class for life.
Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: Mr Nice] #4115281 06/04/16 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Find a career field you like that pays well and you can do it when you are 50 years old. Lots of blue collar jobs are very tough on your body.
I am 63 years old and retired at 50 because I could and my body is wasted, Some mornings I can't grip with my hands for a while. But then again I would do everything I had done because It was fun. Work, motorcycle crashes and horse riding crashes a few years I went for a ride in a guys helicopter and he was really pushing it I thought helicopters only did the kind of stuff that was done in the movies.The ride was awesome and I though this is really dangerous.Though it will be your time to die when it was you time...You are having the most fun in you life the millisecond before you fall off.

Re: Automotive career path question(s) [Re: NavyVet88] #4115285 06/04/16 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: NavyVet88
Originally Posted By: CT8
When something comes into the shop that need welding you will be able to do it and not have the weld break it is Valuable to the shop owner.


I've had people tell me that when something does come in that needs or could use welding as a fix, the company would rather have it replaced than welded. How true is that if at all?
There is fabrication and repair welding. At the Forklift dealership we did lots of welding repair. Everything that comes into the shop for repair is a fix. The Forklift shop used roll back beds on class 8 straight trucks and semi to pick up and deliver the forklifts. We rebuild/ repair the beds because they would break, or a Cross member would break on a forklift upright assembly and I couldn't imagine what a new on would cost if they were available, A high quality clean up and reweld saved the owner of the forklift lots of money.

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