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Automotive technician

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by DravenVX, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. DravenVX

    DravenVX Member

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    Wondering how many working mechanics there are on this site? I am currently trying to get into the same field and would like some advice. Did you guys get an apprenticeship right away or did some of you just take a 2 year course and then went to look for work in that field? Any info on the subject would be great. Also i am from Cananda and if anyone here knows of the best schools for this sorth of training then please speak up! thanks in advance! :)

    Peter
     
  2. Exodus

    Exodus Junior Member

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    www.uti.tv
     
  3. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    If you can do with an equivalent $12USD / hour (Not sure how that translates) look for a job in the paper as an automotive restoration apprentice. That was my career path. I got to work on the cars I wanted to work on - which have no computer diagnostics or strange methods. Just 20's-80s and a few 90s Astons, Lambos, Ferraris and the like.
     
  4. hosmer

    hosmer I made the millionth post VIP

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    I work w/cars but in the opposite direction...I started as a dismantler


    now I sit on the computer and sell used parts.
    not a bad gig really...
     
  5. DravenVX

    DravenVX Member

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    thanks for the input guys. It's just that i am so sick of factory work, it's mindless work to me and i just wanna do something that i will enjoy everyday. Is the pay really that shitty? I'm sure there are jobs u could find as a mechanic that would earn you at least $15-20/hour, right?? Do mechanics at performance shops make more $$ generally or are they pretty much the same as say a honda dealership mechanic? thaks again everyone who contributed.
     
  6. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    iof you're GOOD at what you do, you can make good money.

    if you're slow, you won't make shit. techs get paid flat rate. the faster you work, the more "work hours" you make....

    bill made more than i did last year. he works for honda. i'm a web delveoper.
     
  7. Airjockie

    Airjockie Watanabe Whore!!!

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    Take what you know as a car mech....and fall in love with planes.....

    Aircraft mechs make more.....

    if you have 2 years for a college education....then look into getting an Airframe and Powerplant American FAA licence....a great college to look into is the ERAU in Florida....might take you 3 years if your horny and like to drink....maybe 4 years....but most of those college credits and faa licences transfer over to the CAA area...and you can land a decent job anywhere....

    as in Anywhere...well...since your a canadian...it might be different...but a fresh newbie with an A&P lic in Alaska can fetch $25-30 an hour fresh out of school....since you like the cold...that may be perfect for ya.


    The job is not hard...but it's more involved....a lot of time is spent on the computer or in the books looking up proper maintenance proceedures and specs....that's why you guys see an occational post from me while I'm at work....and I work in a factory as well...prepping the Sikorsky choppers to get them ready for the customers after the guys on final assemboly slaps them together....OT out the ass...and killer benifits.

    as for the schooling...look local for a proper school...or do a brief splurt down in the states to get a good school....like ERAU....hint....Daytona Beach Campus [​IMG] ...and a lot of canadians come down there for their spring break in Feb..... and well.... if you need any more incentive... I barely scraped $85K's in American dollars...and I never finished my degree...thats just a licence and experiance for 6 years later....

    And I'm one of the poster childen for the ERAU webpage.... [​IMG]

    I'm the guy in the blue t-shirt....
     
  8. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    i just finished the general portion of my certification, and I'm currently in the Airframe portion of my A&P lisense. Hopefully by August i will be a certified Airframe tech, and by march 07, a full blown A&P.

    down here in tucson, the straight out of school A&P's make ~$16.50 an hour. And A&p's with a Structures certificate make $18- $20/hr, straight out of school. There is a ton of jobs available for a&p's, basically all over the world, as the JAA over in europe will accept FAA Certified A&P's!

    hell, being in this program, i have already had 3 job offers in the past 4 months, and it'll still be another year before i am fully certified.

    Pima Community College has a 19 month A&P program, which will get you fully certified. this is the program i am currently enrolled in. Rumor has it that my school is the only aviation school to have a 727 for the students to work on. Currently we have 2, one junker that is an awsome trainer, and a fully functional 727 donated by Fedex. We will be doing engine run ups in 2 more weeks, as well as working on the bleed air, pressurization system, APU, and the de-icing system in the next few weeks. ths is besides the de haviland dash 8, cessna 150, 152, Rand robinson kr-2, bell 310 (i believe) heliochopper (yes, misspelled on purpose) Pyper Aztek, and pyper super cub aircraft we have to work on.

    this truely is an excellent program, and an even better field to get into! i would definately recomend looking into it more!


    edit: http://www.pima.edu/program/aviationtech/
     
  9. DravenVX

    DravenVX Member

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    thanks for the great advice guys but avation is not something i would enjoy. It would be forced labor like factory work almost, a whole lot cooler but it's still not the same! Maybe i will find something else that pays more but still deals with automobiles and engines but thanks anyways guys!
     
  10. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    as far as switching careers though, it is possible to start off at about $12 an hour. Shops really appreciate the hard work you do, if you don't fuck around and keep their shop clean and the customers happy they will treat you really well.. about 90% of the newbs I've worked with in the shop leave real quick because they lack the attitude it takes to make shit happen. And the bosses pick up on those attitudes very quickly.

    I think that what shop owners want to see is that you're not there to waste their time. Time is SO valuable to a shop owner, service writer, or supervisor. Because a lot of times the difference between making profit and a loss is a few minutes.
     
  11. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    not quite sure how you come to this conclusion, as it is the same concept as automotive repair... you get a job ticket, you do the said job, have the a&p with IA inspect it, and start another one..

    it's not all assembly for new aircraft.. aircraft need repairs as well.
     
  12. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    [​IMG] i have no desire to work on planes either...
    not that i'd make a great mechanic anyway.... but i'd rather work on cars.
     
  13. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    the only warning I can think of is that if you make a living working on cars it can become really easy to lose interest in working on your own.
     
  14. swanny

    swanny Senior Member

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    I'm getting my Bachelors in automotive management after getting my associates in collision repair. Here is a brief overview of the jobs and routes you can take in the field given to me by my professor here at Pennsylvania College of Technology;

    Examination of Academic Degrees in Automotive Technology

    Automotive Technicians, as they are known today, evolved for mechanics that fixed cars. Training to become an automotive technician has evolved and current methods of training include; secondary school vocational training (either at a comprehensive high school or at an area career and technology center), on-the-job training sometimes under the guidelines of a manufacturer, and post secondary training that is either at a public college or private trade school. While most training programs can be categorized in one of the areas above, there are various training programs that do not fit these guidelines and are as such hybrids such as the Ford ASSET program and GM ASEP program that combine a college level training courses and on-the-job training.

    Regardless of the training method chosen, each has the same objective, to give students the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce. While some programs offered at colleges, may have college academic courses incorporated into the program (such as English), most of the courses are technical in nature and are considered terminal in as much as the program content is designed to provide a specific end result – employment. Therefore it is common for students exiting trade related programs to earn an A.A.S degree (Associate of Applied Science) instead of an A.S. (Associate of Science) degree. One of the differences between the two degrees is the AAS degree is mainly comprised of technical courses that are not considered transferable into academic degree programs such as a Bachelor of Science of Bachelor of Arts degree. Although there are a few smaller colleges that will accept some of the credits towards an academic degree such a Bachelor of Science, for the most part few credits from an A.A.S degree, other than the academic courses, are transferable to most colleges and universities.

    Additional reasons for colleges and universities not to recognize even college level technical courses is because these schools often only offer academic subjects that prepare students to enter professions such as Engineering, Education, or Business. These three professions were not arbitrarily chosen as an example, but rather represent the three professions that most influence the occupation of automotive technician. The illustration below represents the 3 professions that influence the occupational trade area of automotive technician.

    Education Profession

    Occupational Area:
    Automotive Technician

    Business Profession Engineering Profession

    Unlike a trade area, a profession is based on “original research†that makes up the profession’s theoretical framework along with applicable state and federal law. To gain the insight necessary to enter and perform competently within the profession requires advanced study of the profession’s research. Typically the depth of study to enter and advance in the profession is consistent with a Bachelor of Science or even graduate level degree. Furthermore, the profession may also have rigorous mandatory or voluntary licenses that are needed to practice certain level within the profession (such as the Professional Engineer’s License or Certified Public Accountant). The complexity associated with the profession often requires professional organizations that guide the profession and establish rules as well as publish new research.

    While the description of a profession provided above is rather broad, in the 1980’s professors in Vocational Education theorized that there was a gap between occupational areas, such as automotive and the professions the occupation served. From a practical standpoint, the connection between the professions and the occupation comprise what is referred to as a discipline. To facilitate the flow of information, jobs, some of which did not even exist at the time, were going to develop that would support the occupational area and transfer information from the profession to the technicians. While a gap did exist in the 1980’s between the occupational area of automotive technology and each of the professions, the gap was not as wide as it is today. Specifically the advent of technology and greater complexity in vehicle design created larger gaps between the automotive technician and each of the professions. The jobs that resulted were interesting in as much as they required people who had some level of occupational training in automotive as well as some level of education to understand the professions they served. Therefore as "technology" (in the broadest sense) advanced the gap widened and shifted with the sophistication of profession. This meant that within the Engineering to Automobile Technician discipline, jobs developed that included titles or job descriptions such as:

    * "Diagnostic" Equipment Salesperson
    * "Diagnostic" Equipment repairs/service/installation technician
    * Technical Hotline Specialist
    * Field Service Engineer
    * Engineering Specialist or Assistant
    * Shop Forman / Technical Service Manager
    * Technical Writer / Technical Website Developer
    * Automotive Information Technology Specialist
    * Test Equipment Operator

    Within the Education to Automobile Technician discipline developed a number of jobs that included:

    * Technical Trainer / Training Assistant
    * Teaching Assistant (para-professional)
    * Training Aide Design and Construction Technician
    * Training Material Developer (adaptation specialist)

    Within the Business to Automobile Technician discipline developed a number of jobs that included:

    * Service Consultant / Assistant Service Manager
    * Service Manager / Service Director
    * Service Department Support Staff Positions
    * District Service Representative (manufacturer representative)
    * Customer Service Hotline
    * Consultant (hired)
    * Parts Sales Representative
    * Automotive Franchise Representative
    * Automotive Business Specialist (variety of titles and duties)

    The pay and level of experience varies for each of the jobs listed and it should be noted that the 3 discipline gaps are interrelated. This means that from a practical standpoint, persons employed in the “gaps†can adapt to jobs in other gaps.

    While an automotive technician may evolve from the occupational area into one of the jobs in the disciplinary gap, it is more likely that some academic preparation is needed to be successful. This means that studies beyond trade preparation is needed and in some cases an academic degree, such as a bachelor of science is required. However the academic degree required is not necessarily within the profession but is rather specialized to the skills and knowledge commonly used by jobs “within the gapâ€. This means preparation must include specialized courses that fit within each of the gaps and more specifically “automotive business related courses†(such as AMT 310, 312, and 314), “automotive APPLIED engineering / data collection courses†(such as AMT 312, 336, and 495), and “training and development courses directed toward automotive technician training†(such as AMT 345). Important to understand is that these “specialized bachelor of science†degree courses do not prepare students to enter any of the professions discussed thus far. In fact few specialized B.S. degree programs offer courses within the profession at all (Penn College offers an entry level accounting and computer science as well as some management courses but does not require finance, law, marketing or engineering courses). It must be realized that the lack of coursework will limit the career opportunities for those who aspire to be in the business profession such as dealership general managers and owners of businesses or for those who wish to obtain advanced degrees in the profession such as a (M.B.A.) Master of Business Administration (unless additional undergraduate coursework beyond the “specialized degree requirements†is obtained first). While the lack of coursework hinders entry into the business and engineering profession, within education, the occupational training and specialized B.S. degree does allow entry into some Education Master of Science degree programs in Workforce Education and Development (for secondary vocational teacher certification) as well as Training, Adult Education, and Instructional System Design.

    After reading the above information, you should now understand that the focus of this major is the automotive repair industry, while some skills are transferable to other businesses, this is not a general business degree that will prepare you for the business profession. Specifically, this major prepares you to go into the following four "most common" jobs:

    Corporate jobs such as the Ford TAC Hotline and Toyota Management Training Program. These jobs require living in another state (such as California or Michigan) and may lead to other corporate level such as district service representative, technical training, or field service engineer however it takes a few years to move up to these positions. These jobs are very competitive and the corporations who come to Penn College only hire approximately 3 to 5 graduates per year. Out of a graduating class of 40 per year, this is approximately a 1 in 10 chance. I will discuss in more detail in class how you can be competitive for these jobs, however in general, the graduates who get hired are the leaders of their class (high GPA, hold many ASE certifications, officers in the Penn College Student Government SGA, Motorsports, or other clubs) each has excellent work experience (typically were a dealership technician and/or had customer service duties with some level of supervision of other employees). Each graduate also typically interviewed for and obtained an internships with a major manufacturer the summer of their Junior year.

    Service Consultant Positions: A great number of students go into auto repair shops (dealers and independent garages) to work with customers. In major market areas, these jobs can pay very well. However the hours are long (50 to 60 hours per week) and they are high pressure. After a number of years, you may become an assistant to the Service Manager or maybe the assistant service manager which will give you some additional experience with other duties. Typically becoming a service manager at a dealership takes a long time because of the experience you need to obtain to be successful in this job. It would not be unusual to prepare 15 to 20 years to achieve a service manager's position (many managers are in their 40's and 50's). Students who are successful in obtaining these positions typically exhibit good people skills (friendly, outgoing, able to speak clearly and think quickly).

    Automotive Repair Technicians or related technical position: Given students in their junior year have or should have an A.A.S degree in Automotive Technology, many upon graduating will take a technician's position (given they are plentifully). The reasons are varied why graduates do this and include not being ready to assume a service consultant's duties, the need to obtain more "technical" work experience, the lack of service consultant work in the area where they want to live, the work and hours of a technician are seen as more enjoyable, the inability to communicate and handle people at this stage of their life. Please understand, taking a technician's position is not a backward step. To start to understand the nature of work the previous two jobs described (corporate and service consultant) do, your Junior and Senior year are full of experiences not unlike the work you will do as a service consultant, manager, and corporate positions. Not everyone likes the paperwork, documentation, and research these jobs require. Therefore some students and graduates find that after a couple years in the program, the kind of work they want to do is more "hands on technical" and therefore take a technician's position. However this choice is not without financial consequence either. While in the long run a BS degree can earn you more money (provided you develop your career properly after graduating), if you qualify for a technician's job with your A.A.S. degree (obtained at the end of your Sophomore year that earns $25,000 per year) and continue into your BS degree (delaying earnings 2 years plus assuming more educational debt in the Junior and Senior year) the net effect is between $60,000 and $100,000 of unrealized income and debt. Therefore you must obtain a high paying job to realize a gain with you BS degree. If you earn, after graduating with your BS degree, on average of $15,000 per year more than with your A.A.S. degree then the above scenario would allow you to "breakeven" (earn what you would if you would have become an automotive technician at the end of your Sophomore year) after 4 to 7 years. Naturally there this analysis is more complex than presented with other considerations such as the nature of the work and working condition differences among other factors, but none-the-less this illustrates the fact that your choices at this point in your life have consequence.

    Some graduates aspire to go into teaching or training. Teaching typically requires several years of work experience as a technician and state teacher certification to teach at the secondary level. Post secondary teaching requires advanced degrees beyond a B.S. (to be competitive). In both situations, you will need to go to a university and obtain additional coursework, such as Penn State in Workforce Education. Please understand if you know you want to go into teaching you can go directly to Penn State as an undergraduate and obtain teacher certification (I would be happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested in this path one on one).
     
  15. Airjockie

    Airjockie Watanabe Whore!!!

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    Actually...working on planes is soooooooo much easier....by far...

    no rust...everything is composite or aluminum...and everything is coated to protect against rust....so no breaking toools or knuckles on anything...

    Parts...if the plane needs a part...then it don't fly until it gets that specific part...you cant fab smething else to work or do a hack job...people with planes have the money for the right part...don't have the part...then work on something else.

    Figuaring out what part is bad...that's easy....everything is in the books...or on the computer.


    Anyways....back on topic...

    Most of the maintenance on planes is just taking it apart, and putting it back together with a fresh oil change. And everything you do is inspected by someone else. Torques are specific...and you have to check the calibration on the torque wrenches before you use them...and then every nut, bolt, screw, fastener....always has a safety feature....like cotter pins, safety wire holes, or reducing threads on nutplates....so one you put something together...it's on....and on for good.

    Tools are always checked, they rest in shadow boxes...and are brightly colored...so you can see them with a flashlight if you drop them in a cubby hole. That's why my wall is nothing but orange tools.

    granted...starting off in a small airport, and if there is a lot of work to do...then your actually going to break a sweat sometimes. When I do my job here inspecting other peoples work...I'm constantly finding things put together wrong, droped hardware, missing tools, and etc.... most of the stuff is clean as you go....I find the shit, get it out of the helicopter, service the fluids, check all the flight controls and surfaces...and other stupid easy bs on them...then day shift guys go fly them...second shift guys tear it apart and fix most of whats wrong....and me being on 3rd shift...I useually inspect everything, put it back together and get it ready to go out the next morning for more flight testing....

    If you love working on cars...then do it as a hobby. Cus after 20 years of doing the same back breaking shit...your going to get tired and want to move along...my back is fucked already from years on cars and planes..but most of the pain is from cars....plus like I said...right out of school...your already making more money than most car mech will ever make. Hell...my old boss in Florida that has worked at the same commuter service to the bahama's made only $14 an hour...but he didn't have the education....I don't have the full education...but I make almost twice as much as him....and if I did finish up my degree...then I'll be more valuable to any company I work at....and I'll make more than what I do right now....which is $25.20 an hour.

    Then again...some people can't handle the huge responsibility of working on aircraft....cus they can't just simply pull over on the side of the road if something happens....My name is all over the aircrafts forms...and I put it there every night...but after a few years...once you really know what your doing...it's nothing but a thing.

    It's your life...I can only make suggestions...you have to decide in the end.
     
  16. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, when I worked at the shop, I never did stuff at home. Primarily because my tools were at the garage.

    Aeronautics will lead to Aerospace, and if you get in on that, you'll be in the dot com of the future.
     
  17. DravenVX

    DravenVX Member

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    Working with planes would pay a lot more obviously but u have to enjoy planes to a certain extent, don't you? Car mechanics don't make much and i know that but it could lead to something better and something that you can easily live off of in the future. There are a few courses that have a 2 year apprenticeship in a shop along with lots of in class teachings back at the school. I am thining of taking something like this, but still not 100% sure though. It bums me out that some of you older guys who have been mechanics or worked in a shop for a long time say that you don't even feel like working on ur own car after all is said and done, that sucks! This is hard cuz it's not like i am 19 so time is catching up with me but in the end i just have to choose something. I just hope i choose something i will enjoy! Thanks once again everyone!
     
  18. Airjockie

    Airjockie Watanabe Whore!!!

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    I hate helicopters...but I get paid good to work on them...

    but I love airplanes and most anything that flies.... [​IMG]
     
  19. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    being an aircraft mechanic can be stressful.. A doctor has a bad day, 1 person dies. an aircraft mechanic has a bad day, with the new A380, up to 800 people can die.


    that being said, like airjocky said, everything you do is inspected by another person. not to mention that most tech data basically tells you how many times to turn a spacific bolt.
     
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