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Old 05-01-2006, 11:20 PM
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Curious about a career in the auto industry

Hey fellow car nuts!
I've been a lurker on this site for quite some time now and although this is more of a 'hobby' site i've noticed that there are quite a few members who turn wrenches for a living on this site... so my question to you is do you enjoy your job? and do you have any regrets?

I'm sixteen years old and have seriously been considering becoming either an auto mechanic, diesel mechanic, or heavy duty mechanic. If i can make up my mind i'm able to get a head start and go to tradeschool for my grade 12 year of highschool.

I'll add any questions i'm forgetting to ask when they come to mind

Any advice, suggestions, or alternatives? any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 05-02-2006, 04:54 AM
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There's more money and less headaches in the diesel end of it.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:40 PM
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Automatic transmissions are treated as a secret black art, even among mechanics. You can pretty much name your price and set your own hours once you learn the trade and get some experience.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesubhumans
If i can make up my mind i'm able to get a head start and go to tradeschool for my grade 12 year of highschool.

I would advise against this course. Finish your high school, as that diploma will never hurt you. Also, down the road, if pulling wrenches no longer agrees with you, it is much easier to re-train or take courses if you have graduated. Plus, and trust me, the trade is headed in a direction that those 30 level courses( advanced math & physics, for example) will come in extremely handy, as the computer and elcectrical aspects are advancing at an exponential rate. This holds true in the diesel and heavy duty trades, as well.

Last edited by sbchevfreak; 05-02-2006 at 12:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:13 PM
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Education absolutely

The days of the GED mechanic are comming to a close. Basic wrench turning is now accompanied by HDS modules, db3 and 4 units, ect. There are a few "greasemonkeys" still out there that can work wonders without a computer in hand....but they are woking on older cars for guys like me. Get your diploma, then go to trade school, then get paid for what you are worth.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:21 PM
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I have been a auto technician for the last 18+ years (professionally) been into cars for as long as I can remember. I like it because you can make as much or as little money as you want, and your not behind a desk in a cubical. BTW, I haver owned my own repair shop for the last 8+ years.

I would strongly suggest going to college for this line of work. Today's cars and trucks are more computer controlled then ever.

What area do you want to fix on a car/truck? Heavy= engine/trans replacement, Lite line= brakes and general maintenance, Driveability=how the car runs, misfire and service engine soon light diagnosis

If you can get a well rounded knowledge of all of these areas you will do well.

Do you want to work in a dealership or for an independent?

Steve
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggarmike
Automatic transmissions are treated as a secret black art, even among mechanics. You can pretty much name your price and set your own hours once you learn the trade and get some experience.
good advice there....
Just remember, if you own your own shop, YOU get to deal with the public on a day to day basis

Get the education...that way you can always expand on your knowledge base, and remember
A) Never say never
B) You're never too old to learn
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:40 PM
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Sorry, i guess i worded that wrong, what i meant to say is that my highschool has a special program that allows me to go to tradeschool and learn the trade that i choose and still be able to graduate with full credits, this would also allow me to get a head start on my apprenticeship. sorry for the confusion.

Right now i am more interested in the diesel side of things because i think it would be so cool to work on such large machinery.

And as for owning my own shop that would be the main plan... i would like to work at an independant shop for when i'm starting out and learning and working my way up though.

I also worked at an autobody repair shop for a month and although i enjoyed learning how to do bodywork i honestly think i wouldn't enjoy doing it after a few years in that buisiness.

Anyways i appreciate all of your advice, every bit of it helps!
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:11 PM
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Okay, I see what you mean. Alberta has a similar program thorugh Apprenticeship & Industry Training called the RAP program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1931 steve
I would strongly suggest going to college for this line of work. Today's cars and trucks are more computer controlled then ever.
I'm not sure about B.C, but in Alberta (where I trained and work) auto service is a compulsory trade. You cannot legally work in it unless you are currently enrolled in the apprenticeship program, or have completed the mandated training and apprentice hours.
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