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Discussion Starter #1
trying to fig out what to do with my life lol.... i abs love cars and considering being a dealer tech, then hopefully work my way up into mangement or brach off and do my own thing in years to come, but anyone work for nissan or any dealer or shop? do you recommend it? any imput would be awsome!
 

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its a tough way to make a living, but it'll make a decent one if you stick with it. im not a tech, just do work for my family and friends on the cheap.. if you love it it's hard to put a price tag on it. mind you school and ASE Cert's cost money, so just like any career there is a bit of initial investment :) personally I'd jump on it. right now with so many new technologies with hybrids and diesels and economy turbo motors there's going to be a serious need for specialized techs, as most people wont have the know-how to work on their cars themselves.
 

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You'll never get rich doing it, but if the income ceiling doesn't bother you, go for it.

I just like to caution people about seeking employment doing what they enjoy doing in their free time. Take something you actually enjoy doing, then have to do it 40-50 hours a week (most of it would be quite boring and repetitive....), you may end up not enjoying wrenching at all.
 

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If you go down this path; my suggestion would be to get certified and then get very educated and proficient in a complex and demanded part of the trade. That may be diesel engines, hybrid technology, etc... something that would make you stand out if lined up against your peers with similar years of experience, certifications, etc...

Best of luck.
 

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Canyon junkie! ( ^o^) <3
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If you are good with electronics in a car, you might see some pretty good money. A lot of things are going to electronics & computers. It's easy to replace parts, but when it comes to trying to figure out electrical issues, that's where those that know electronics make the money.
 

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A lot of people get sucked into being a mechanic. It's not an easy job. You might love cars, but do you want to work with cars for a living? It's totally different. You might love working on Nissans, Hondas and what not, but if you get hired at a Chevy, which means you don't get to work on cars you like.

It's not a high paying job unless you own your shop. You will not get rich doing regular maintenance and repair. You might make it if the shop specializes say in electronics. Also, the pay is usually flat rate fee. That means you only get paid for the work you do so upselling is the key. I used to work as a dealer tech at a Dodge place and it sucked. Most of the work I did was warranty and pays half of what it should have if it was out of warranty. Then sometimes if there's no work at all, you get oil changes all day long, which only pays 0.3 of an hour. So say you get paid $15/hour, that's $4.50 in your pocket and it doesn't matter if you did it in 0.2 or 1hour, you get paid $4.50.

If you do try to get a job as a mechanic, go German (BMW, Porsche, Mercedez, Audi, any high end really), specialize in electronics and get a smog license. I have a buddy who works at a BMW dealer and makes decent money. When you get hired at a dealer, you need to be on top of the training too, because if you're not qualified on paper, you will not get the work even though you know how to do it.

If you get into a domestic shop (Ford, Chrysler, Chevy) go for the diesel trucks. It's heavy work, but not everybody can deal with diesel. You can also try and go become a Tranny/driveline tech, a shop only has about 1 or 2 tranny guys, and to do trannies are bank. Just to find out if the tranny is good or not gives you the option of opening it up which itself is already 8 hours. Then you can charge for diagnostics and rebuild which is another 8 hours. I know a tranny guy who has enough experience that he can tear one in 4 hours and still get paid for 8.

BTW, most shops WILL require you to buy your own tools which is a big chunk of change. I know our shop foreman has almost $20k in tools. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yea i hear ya guys thanks alot for the input.... well im not really to handy... but know alot about cars and im willing to learn.... i think what im gonna do is look for a shop job on the side now... off the books one or two days a week to get a feel for what it may be, then make my descsion down the road..... just confusing being 20 years old wanting to make some decent money lol
 

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Canyon junkie! ( ^o^) <3
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You can also try and go become a Tranny/driveline tech, a shop only has about 1 or 2 tranny guys, and to do trannies are bank. Just to find out if the tranny is good or not gives you the option of opening it up which itself is already 8 hours. Then you can charge for diagnostics and rebuild which is another 8 hours. I know a tranny guy who has enough experience that he can tear one in 4 hours and still get paid for 8.
This! Forgot about the trannies. Basically electronics & trannies is where the money is at.

Everything else is going to be low paying & extremely boring & very annoying.
 

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A lot of people get sucked into being a mechanic. It's not an easy job. You might love cars, but do you want to work with cars for a living? It's totally different. You might love working on Nissans, Hondas and what not, but if you get hired at a Chevy, which means you don't get to work on cars you like.
I worked as a tire tech for about 3 months and it sucked. I don't mind working on my own car sometimes, but I never want to work on everyone's cars all the time...it wore me out and was a very thankless dirty job.

Also I agree with it will take you a long time to work your way through the ranks to make a decent living eventually.
 

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I worked as a tire tech for about 3 months and it sucked. I don't mind working on my own car sometimes, but I never want to work on everyone's cars all the time...it wore me out and was a very thankless dirty job.

Also I agree with it will take you a long time to work your way through the ranks to make a decent living eventually.
Yea being a tire tech WILL tire you out (pun intended) :D. You get paid $10/hour and have to deal with friggin 35 series tires. I did that and obviously I left as soon as the dealer opportunity came, until it closed.

Also a note that some of your co-workers WILL be jerks, that's because if you're asking for help, it means that they are losing money trying to help you. Some of them are ok with it though, just got to rub their bellies a bit.
 

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Upon graduating high school I started out as a basic 8$/hour tire tech at "Town Fair Tire" and worked my way up to a shop manager in 4 years, i eventually was doing tires and alignments at the same time and making $16 an hour. It was good but VERY repetitive and the hassle of dealing with careless employees and snotty customers got to me.

I met a used Toyota dealer who did buisness with TFT, i was only "Hunter" certified for alignments, not ASE... but he knew how hard i worked on his cars and hired me at his place. i started out making 12$ an hour wich is consciderably less than TFT, but i stuck with it for over a year and im now making $20 an hour as a mid-level technician, got my ASE in light vehicle maintinence/inspection, brakes, suspension.. and im slowly working on the other tests. once i've completed all the tests i will be a master technician and make a salary.

One big drawback from my job is tools though, i've purchased probably $6,000 worth of tools in the past year as its a requirement. Granted i only buy Snap-On.. there is cheaper alternatives. The other drawback is EVERYTHING is electronic now. So if you only have mechanical skills, the time to jump on the electronics bandwagon is NOW before its too late.

but I honestly think you TRUELLY have to love working on and learning about cars to stick with this career. I've seen many people come and go because they thought they enjoyed working on cars.
 

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^^^ You can absolutely love something but hate it at the same time when you're actually doing it everyday. I'm just saying it's not for everybody, just because they love cars. I agree, that I've seen a lot of people come and go because they thought they like working on cars. Sure they do on the weekends, but not when trying to earn money.

A lot of my ex-co-workers also didn't graduate college. I'm trying to get my degree cuz that's where the money is at. I'm not saying that just because you didn't graduate means you're not going to make money. If you're satisfied with making 20-30/hour then you can have a satisfying career.
 

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If you're satisfied with making 20-30/hour then you can have a satisfying career.
That's a hell of a lot better than the $12/hr I'm making now. Not bad money by any means, but certainly not possible to live on your own these days with that kind of cash and still have enough left over for other bills/food/gas.

That's why I'm going back to school.
 

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Join the military and work on vehicles there. Lots of good training.
 

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Join the military and work on vehicles there. Lots of good training.
That's actually a pretty good deal, as long as you don't mind getting sent to 110* areas where the shops are at 120* like my brother who was stationed in Baghdad. Also you'd be working on diesels most of the time too.
 

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i'm working at a shop currently for being only 20 its decent money. i don't care to have a big house or nice things. you just learn to live with it. i have a house but i also rent it out to 3 other people at about 400 a month and my rent is only 1200 a month. :D so they are paying my mortgage. its all just a matter of what you will put up with. if your see yourself later on down the road in a huge house, nice toys, etc etc etc. mechanic job probably isn't for you. but if you want to make decent money working on cars and not necessarily working paycheck to paycheck but still need to manage money. then its a fine job.
 

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i'm working at a shop currently for being only 20 its decent money. i don't care to have a big house or nice things. you just learn to live with it. i have a house but i also rent it out to 3 other people at about 400 a month and my rent is only 1200 a month. :D so they are paying my mortgage. its all just a matter of what you will put up with. if your see yourself later on down the road in a huge house, nice toys, etc etc etc. mechanic job probably isn't for you. but if you want to make decent money working on cars and not necessarily working paycheck to paycheck but still need to manage money. then its a fine job.
Just wait till you have a family ;). That's what happened to me and being a mechanic is not going to cut it, but that's just me.
 
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