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CrazyMotorcycleGuy
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Auto Tech info
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  (#1)
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Auto Tech info - March 10, 2011, 07:07 AM

So I think I've decided that I want to become an auto tech. I've been goin to school to get my Business Degree, but I think I really want to work on cars, and eventually motorcycles. It was always a dream of mine to work on cars when I was younger, and Im work very well with my hands, and putting things together. My only thing is, I have no idea where to begin. So I am here hoping someone can point me in the right direction.


-NiCk

'97 YZF600r figher
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  (#2)
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March 10, 2011, 07:14 AM

1) Get yourself a decent set of basic tools.
2) Find a general service tech spot. (Basiclly change oil and do tires)
3) Apply for and pass as many ASE certifications as you can.
4) Learn to shake down a car from top to bottom and provide complete estimates.
5) Find the shops top tech and live in his back pocket. Anything he/she does you learn.

2-3 years of that and you'll be ready to be a full time tech.


God Speed Jeff! You'll never be forgotten.

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  (#3)
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March 10, 2011, 07:14 AM

Start by going to a community college and registering for class. NOVA has a great program for auto tech and it will also allow you to get an Associates Degree in applied science. With an AAS degree you will be able to continue your education in the future if you decided to. Do not go to UTI or Wyotech or any other for profit school.

I have gone down the same track you are starting on. I have been pretty successful in the Auto industry over the years. If you would like to meet up some time I will be happy to help you out and let you know what worked and didnt work for me. The auto industry id changing fast and you need to have a good understanding of electronics and computers. keep that in mind.





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  (#4)
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March 10, 2011, 07:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubbs View Post
Start by going to a community college and registering for class. NOVA has a great program for auto tech and it will also allow you to get an Associates Degree in applied science. With an AAS degree you will be able to continue your education in the future if you decided to. Do not go to UTI or Wyotech or any other for profit school.

I have gone down the same track you are starting on. I have been pretty successful in the Auto industry over the years. If you would like to meet up some time I will be happy to help you out and let you know what worked and didnt work for me. The auto industry id changing fast and you need to have a good understanding of electronics and computers. keep that in mind.
Well im looking for any help I can get.

But im an definitely very computer litterate, so that wont be a problem.

What can I do now that will help me get on my way faster.


-NiCk

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  (#5)
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March 10, 2011, 08:56 AM

Your story is very familiar to one I lived about six or so years back. How old are you and where are you going to school?


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March 10, 2011, 09:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoleAddict21 View Post
Well im looking for any help I can get.

But im an definitely very computer litterate, so that wont be a problem.

What can I do now that will help me get on my way faster.
Two posters just gave you good starting routes.

Get into a shop doing oil changes and tires, while you get some education at a community college.

There's really no shortcut to a good career, in any field,


-Fitz

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  (#7)
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March 10, 2011, 09:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
Two posters just gave you good starting routes.

Get into a shop doing oil changes and tires, while you get some education at a community college.

There's really no shortcut to a good career, in any field,


Chris
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  (#8)
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March 10, 2011, 09:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmo View Post
Your story is very familiar to one I lived about six or so years back. How old are you and where are you going to school?
Im 22. I'm currently attending NOVA. But I'm only taking an online class. Money is kinda tight right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
Two posters just gave you good starting routes.

Get into a shop doing oil changes and tires, while you get some education at a community college.

There's really no shortcut to a good career, in any field,
It's hard to get into a shop with no experience. I've been looking, I'll do anything at a shop. I just want to get in somewhere, so I can make my way up.


-NiCk

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  (#9)
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March 10, 2011, 09:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoleAddict21 View Post
Im 22. I'm currently attending NOVA. But I'm only taking an online class. Money is kinda tight right now.



It's hard to get into a shop with no experience. I've been looking, I'll do anything at a shop. I just want to get in somewhere, so I can make my way up.
So, let me get this straight...

You're surprised that it's tough to find a job in a bad economy?


Keep trying.


-Fitz

2016 Harley Softail Slim S
2012 Harley Ultra Limited in Ultra Annoying Orange Sold!
2012 V-Strom 1000 Sold!
2009 Buell 1125R Sold!
2005 Superhawk Sold!
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March 10, 2011, 09:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
So, let me get this straight...

You're surprised that it's tough to find a job in a bad economy?


Keep trying.

I didnt say finding a job was going to be easy.


-NiCk

'97 YZF600r figher

Last edited by SoleAddict21; March 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM..
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  (#11)
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March 10, 2011, 11:42 AM

I started in the industry by sweeping floors for $5 an hour. I made friends with the most experienced tech at the shop I listened to everything he had to say and was willing to teach me. After sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms for 6 months they et me start doing some very minor work on cars. When I graduated from High School I went to a community college and got an education in automotive. Ill be honest with you I wouldn't let you put air in my tires without any experience. i know times are tough and money might be tight but take out the student loans and get an education. There are a lot of very talented and experienced technicians out of work right now and you need to find away to set yourself apart from them. I know of 3 shops right now that are looking to hire a grease monkey and shop helper. They are not going to hire somebody just because they say they want to be a Tech. You need to prove that you are willing to do the leg work. Making excuses about how you cannot go to school doesn't cut it. I have been in the industry for over 20 tears and have seen a lot of people come and go. If you want it you will find away to make it work! NOVA has a great program and you even get a big discount on tools while in school which by the way is also going to be a huge expense to get into the industry. The good news is you don't have to have everything at once.





MY SPELLING SUCKS....DEAL WITH IT



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  (#12)
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March 10, 2011, 12:17 PM

Look for jobs as a porter at a dealership. I've seen some of those guys transition into techs by slowly doing more and more tech work after hours. The most important thing you can do is not give up on school. Even though you might not need it now, a B.S. will certainly help when you want to transition to a management position.


-Tommy
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  (#13)
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March 10, 2011, 12:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmo View Post
The most important thing you can do is not give up on school. Even though you might not need it now, a B.S. will certainly help when you want to transition to a management position.

Big +1 to this.

I moved my way up through the ranks and am now in a corporate position with a manufacturer. I am also at the pinnacle of my career without having a Bachelors degree. I am lucky to be as far up as I am and the only reason I am this far up is because of sheer experiance. I have been told that if I want to move any higher. I will need to have a BS degree. I am currently back in school to get that degree but because of the direction I took when I was younger it has been hard to find a reputable school to finish my education at.





MY SPELLING SUCKS....DEAL WITH IT



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  (#14)
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March 10, 2011, 02:00 PM

good info here. i started off doing hvac, then went to community college for gm automotive, and worked at a dealership for 4yrs before changing it up now working on heavy fire equipment. ive worked worked pt at a performance shop, and with nubbs pt doing anything that i was capable of in a pit crew helpers position. i will recommend: a degree, computer fluent, ase certs, able to learn on the fly with how things change in the industry, willingness to do the job/help and to learn. anything you can bring to the table is beneficial. welding or torch or plasma cutter experience, or rebuild experience, or computer diagnostics and reprogramming, and so forth. in many cases its not about passing tests or certs, but the willingness to try and attempt them. so many coworkers dont even try to take them. where im at they look upon you higher if you have at least tried. i will say if you can, finish your BS degree and then go for the automotive/motorcycle courses...if your so close, then finish the degree now while its fresh and then you wont have to try and tackle finishing it later.


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  (#15)
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March 10, 2011, 02:36 PM

I started off in a fashion close Johnnyspeeds recommendation/advice.

The only real previous experience I had was in building big Air cooled VW engines.

I started off as a basic Tire/battery tech for Sear Automotive. When the shop was slow I would work with the head techs and do Starters, Alternators and that kind of stuff. Learned Alignments and Front end repairs. I even did service writing for about a year and it really helped me understand the complexeties of making sure you are getting the right parts first time around.

Around this time I got into the import drag racing scene and my brain just absorbed it all. I loved it.

I enrolled in a vocational school and started to work on steps to get my certifications. I ended up getting married and moving and jumped the Auto body side of the industry and got a job as a Master Painters Apprentice. Did that for a couple of years learning the ins and outs of super detailed body work. Went on to get BASF certified with Glasurit Paints.

My biggest piece of advice if you get into it is this:
These are peoples cars. They need them to get to work and their families safely around. Treat them like they are your own car. Don't cut corners. Time is money in this field but there is a balance between getting a job done quickly and a job done right. You dont want cars coming back because it wasnt taken care of right the first time. If that happens then you are doing that job for free when another car is waiting that you could be making money on. Cutomers will recognize this effort and over time you will become their "go to guy". There is a great feeling in that.
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