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Old 04-04-2014, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default hey pro mechanics out there, any advice on getting in the field?

hey guys. ive been at the goodwill for about a year now, and after a year of being the best producing employee and being treated as the worst employee, i am about ready to do what i WANT to do, instead of just pay the bills.


i want to work on stuff. thats all i ever do in my free time, and i get enjoyment from the sense of accomplishment when i am finished with a project. i want to have a job that i dont hate going to every day, preferably with a steady work schedule, not close one night, open the next work every damn weekend hell i am experiencing at the moment.


the problem is, i have no way of knowing a sure-fire no risk way of getting started. ive managed to keep myself out of debt in the 4 years ive been in "adult mode". payed my bills on time, never had a credit card bought my cars outright after saving for them, and i would like to keep it that way. i dont like collection calls.

i want something where i can go into it, knowing i will get a pay check, instead of paying to work on things. ive looked into wyotech and all that fun stuff. problem is, even if i get a grant for school (which i qualify for) i cant balance the school with a 45 hour work week when work is 35 minutes from home.

with all these hangups, and the fact that i have a very limited amount of tools and cash, can anyone point me in the right direction? ive been at this dead end min wage job for over a year, and i am ready to get out, on to bigger and better things!

thanks alot guys, i appreciate any help/info.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:04 AM   #2
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I personally would stay away from tech schools. They aren't worth the money. If you truly want to break into the field I suggest looking for a job at a dealer as a lube tech or shop assistant. It'* entry level and considered grunt work but if your a good employee and show intrest most of the time they will let you work under a tech and learn. Also if you ask them most likely they will enroll you into the factory training coarses witch usually are web based and you do at work when the shop is slow. Why pay for school when you can get paid for OJT.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:06 AM   #3
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Also I suggest trying to get ASE certified. There is a ton of free training material on line and having a cert will help you secure a job in the field.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:30 AM   #4
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I agree, avoid the mechanic schools. They are OVER hyped and have a low placement rate. Meaning employers don't give a hoot about that certificate from Ohio Tech or WyoTech.

You said you have no credit cards? Problem here, your going to have to open up some sort of line of credit somewhere when you do start to work. Tools don't come free and are not cheap especially if you need a tool pronto and that Snap-On truck just pulled up. Unless the shop you work in has a tool/paycheck program. They deduct X $ from your paycheck every week to repay for tools you bought.

Like William said, get in somewhere. It really helps if you already know someone that does work at a shop.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:31 AM   #5
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I would have to say due as advised above. If you don't wanna go Into debt try getting the job as a oil changer at a dealer.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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Even if you don't know anybody that works at the dealer go in with your resume and ask for the service manager. Explain your intentions and get the word out, you might get lucky and pick up a job.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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As mentioned start as a oil changer then work your way up. This is how I started, and hands on experience is best in my opinion. Tech schools are waste of time and money, let the dealer put you through school. Ive been in the auto field since 2001 and not a penny of major debt to show for it. But you have to buy your own tools. Flat rate pay is rewarding and sometimes a punishment. The most important advise I can give is go to your local sears or harbor freight and pick up some tools, I hardly buy from a tool truck unless I really need to. A toolbox is a must have, go to your local sears or harbor freight, there is no sense in spending 4k on a toolbox.. I really don't recommend this field, with factory labor time cuts and the technology goin into some of these cars its goin to get worse. Good luck with what you choose.

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Old 04-04-2014, 03:36 PM   #8
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As someone in your position, do what everybody else said. I started at walmart almost a year ago as a TLE tech, and I'm working on getting a job in a garage that will pay for my courses at school. Here, unfortunately, you have to have your papers from school for any bigger garages to even consider hiring you as a mechanic.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:39 PM   #9
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ive thought about doing an apprenticeship with a machinist. from what ive heard, all the machinists are retiring, and theres next to no young blood to replace them...

again, no good leads on that either.

i like working with my hands.

loading tv'* and dressers into compact cars is both killing my back and my drive to work.


thanks for the advice guys! much appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:53 AM   #10
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machinist wouldnt be a bad thing either i wouldnt think, alot of it now is learning to program machines like cnc. my neighbor has a machine shop and is always looking for people. dont know if they make alot though. no disrespect but i wouldnt want to be a full time car mechanic, im always beat after a few hours working on a car, and thats at a hobby level taking my time because i like tinkering, if i had to make money that way it would be awful trying to keep the quantity.
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