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Old 04-03-2005, 08:02 PM
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How much does an automotive tech. make?

I'm 16 and deciding if my passion for automobiles should be a weekend hobby or a career. I'd love to go to wyotech but I dont want to go and get a nice degree then get stuck with a low paying job. How much does an Automotive Technician make? thanks bf

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Old 04-03-2005, 08:08 PM
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I went to a Voc school I was a bit older than you about 18. The start off pay was not to good. But as you get more experience and training the $$ will follow. I work at an independent shop now I make a little under 50k a year.But its different depending on where you live more or less.
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Old 04-03-2005, 08:55 PM
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I'm not sure about where you are, but up here, the average journyman wage starts at about $18.50CAD/hour, more if you work on flat rate. A 1st year apprentice will start at 55% of this wage, 2nd year 75%, 3rd year 80%, 4th year 90%. Up here this is the minimum that must be paid, some guys get more, depends on the tech and the employer.

It's a great trade, but to tell you the truth, we don't get paid nearly enough for the amount of knowledge and equipment that we are required to have. This is not to say the pay is terrible, but it is not representative of what we know. This is just my opinion, but we should be getting in the neighborhood of $30-35/hour, if for no other reason than that we have to supply around $35,000 (low avg) worth of personal tools. Not to mention the sheer amount of technical data and diagnostic skills that we have to cram into our skulls. We are doctors, only our patients are made of steel and plastic. But the work that we do can control life or death for the people who drive our repaired vehicals. Unfortunatly, not enough people see it like this. Sorry, it's a sore spot for me, so I kinda ranted.
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:05 PM
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I agree with the above post. When I was in the trade I was making good money for 1981. I quit for two reasons. One the dealerships were not sending mechanics to school to learn the cars that were coming out with all the computer controls and it was real tough to learn it on your own without instruction. Second, I was wanting some retirement and security. If you can get hooked up with a shop or dealership that believes in educating their technicians it can be great. I just didn't want to be doing it when I was 55 years old.

Vince
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:05 PM
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Electricians make a whole lot more money. In 4 to 5 years you could be a journeyman making $50K to $75K. It is a lot easier work than wrenching on cars.
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lluciano77
Electricians make a whole lot more money. In 4 to 5 years you could be a journeyman making $50K to $75K. It is a lot easier work than wrenching on cars.
I work in an electrical specialty shop. I agree with sbchevfreak We aren't paid nearly enough if you consider what it takes to repair these vehicles in all the different aspects of auto repair. We specialize in electrical but we must do anything that comes threw the door to survive. One day Im putting head gaskets on a Windstar the next day Im rewiring a 67 Jeep. The tools needed are very expensive and in most cases must be bought over time. Your never really done buying tools.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:46 PM
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They make slightly less than it cost to live. As wyotech save your money go to a local or nearby votech. Seriously, you got to look at all aspects of it. With the way things are now you'll be working until you are 70 years old. 5o years of this work will just about guaranty that you'll get carpal tunnel, ulner tunnel and back problems before you're half way to retirement. Just as an example I live in a somewhat low cost, low tax area and here an RN nurse can make $55,000 to $90,000 a year as soon as they pass their test right out of school, and make that working 12 hrs a shift 3-4 ways a week. As a tech you'll often work as many hours but work 6 days a week for half the money or less. But if you end up hating it either job is not worth it.
With my job a government contract helicopter mechanic I make about 1/3 more than an auto tech but you never real sure how long the job might last. To sum it up you must really want to do what ever job field that you go into.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:57 PM
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Since working with cars is all I've ever done, I'll say that it's a tough living. If I were to spend the kind of money that places like Wyotech or UTI are asking, I would head directly for a real college first. (There are women in real Colleges, but probably scarce at Wyotech!)

A great percentage of young men in high school want to work on cars because it is glamourized on tv shows like American Hotrodder, etc.

Don't get me wrong, you can make a living working on cars, but that's all you're going to do.

You are young, leave yourself open try a few things before you make a strong financial commitment to any one school.

Brian
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:57 PM
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Don't base your carreer choice on money, base it on what you love to do, it has to be a passion that you dont mind working on all day. Not a HOBBY that you love to do in your spare time. I personally woldnt want to work on cars, because I only like working on my stuff (and friends).

Allthough money is very important, its not everything. If you love what your doing and making just enough to get by, I'd bet your happy.

If your doing job that is just that....a job...that you cant wait for the weekends and count down the clock from noon to 5pm...or in some cases 9am , but are making a nice chunk of change doing it, I woulnt want that.
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIRB
Since working with cars is all I've ever done, I'll say that it's a tough living. If I were to spend the kind of money that places like Wyotech or UTI are asking, I would head directly for a real college first. (There are women in real Colleges, but probably scarce at Wyotech!)

A great percentage of young men in high school want to work on cars because it is glamourized on tv shows like American Hotrodder, etc.

Don't get me wrong, you can make a living working on cars, but that's all you're going to do.

You are young, leave yourself open try a few things before you make a strong financial commitment to any one school.

Brian
I agree 100%
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:07 PM
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Im in California and the guy from Wyotech said a starting auto tech can average around $55K-$70K a year.

Thats just what I heard, Personally for the money it takes to get into a Voc. school im going to let the U.S. Army pay for it.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeveman
Don't base your carreer choice on money, base it on what you love to do, it has to be a passion that you dont mind working on all day. Not a HOBBY that you love to do in your spare time. I personally woldnt want to work on cars, because I only like working on my stuff (and friends).

Allthough money is very important, its not everything. If you love what your doing and making just enough to get by, I'd bet your happy.

If your doing job that is just that....a job...that you cant wait for the weekends and count down the clock from noon to 5pm...or in some cases 9am , but are making a nice chunk of change doing it, I woulnt want that.
My philosophy is exactly the opposite. No matter what you do for a living eventually, it becomes work again. Go for what makes the money. After work you can do what you love to do. Go for the easiest way to make the most money. It needs to be something that you can tolerate, not something you love.

I played music in bands for years. It shouldn't be considered a job because it didn't pay squat. After a while it felt like work, and with all the blood, sweat, and tears it was work. I loved doing it, but not enough to eat into my bread winning career.

Money isn't everything, but it usually makes everything easier. People that say money doesn't matter are the same poeple that say beauty is on the inside. Be realistic.

The older you get the harder it is to catch up to where you should have been if you would have taken the right path. There is no time in life to make avoidable mistakes.
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Old 04-04-2005, 01:02 AM
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it all depends on what kind of mind you have. I feel like I've done every type of job on this planet. Worked in a factory, worked on cars, got paid as a musician for a while, scrubbed crappers, food service, health care, and all this on three different continents. I'm not super successful, and I'm not ultra good at any one thing, but I've made a lot of observations along the way. I've seen both folks who make a living of what they really love to do and don't mind working 8, 10 or 12 hour days, and I've seen folks who I ask "if you had it all to do over again, would you have done this?" Most of them say "no" and count the minutes until 5pm and have 0 sick days left at the end of the year. My advice is to do what you feel is right, don't hinder yourself with debt and put your money into mutual funds as soon as you can do it. THe one thing I've seen that makes folks more unhappy than any other thing in this world is debt that makes them tied to a job they don't want to be in. It disables them from going back to school or to adapt their changing lifestyle to do what they love. Life is not the 8 hours a day between sleep and doing what you have to do for somebody else to get paid, its an experience, and the only thing that will keep you from living it the way you want is fear. Fear that you can't make your car, house or boat payment or fear that you're not where "you should be" for your age group. Its all BS, do it your way.

In short, if you want to get involved in the automotive field, find out what it has to offer you. Being a mechanic is not the only way to make money in this field....


K
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:32 AM
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Lifes tough enough and time to do what you enjoy in life is short. If you can make money doin something you have a passion for do it. I truely believe that saying that nothin worth doin is always easy. Even if your doin somethin ya love your gonna have rough times. Times where it feels like just a job but they will be offset more by times when you feel like you've accomplished something worth while. Lovin and being passionate about what you do is what carries you through and shortens those times when it feels like just a job.

Doc
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:25 PM
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