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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2006, 03:14 PM
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Finish your degrees and remember that EVERYTHING in the new vehicles is computer controlled....... Even in the heavy duty trucks there are at least 5 different computers. Engine, Transmission, brakes, heating and air conditioning, and the main one that makes them all work together. I've been ASE certified as a Heavy Duty Truck Tech, I've worked on smaller trucks and cars, lawnmowers, excavators,tractors,and they are all getting computerized.
I work for a town DPW now and after you've spent $100,000 plus on tools you make $20 something $$ per hour. I got out of the dealership rat race in the late 80's and at that time I was averaging $60 per week to the tool men out of my $250 take home every week. My base pay is 46,000 a year.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2006, 12:45 AM
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I got my 2 years in at a city college and then went to work for the next 30 years, most of the time at a Lincoln/Mercury dealership. My additional training was thru testing certifications (ASE, smog, Ford master tech programs). Now I am certified in all areas and do body and paint, welding, computer, electronic, electrical, multiplex systems, yes a true do it all, bumper to bumper tech. Then I injured my back and I cant work at that pace anymore. They dont want me back because of my injuries and no one will hire me to do full time or even part time work because of insurance liabilities. Im not complaining or whining here. I loved what I did and was always eager to get into a job that was difficult, I took the jobs that were the nightmares and thrived on them, something about the "hunt" I enjoyed. Dealership jobs are good because they offer cutting edge diagnostic equipment. There will be a great demand for techs working on the latest technologies, like hydrogen and hybrid systems, it just that the dealers are there to make the big bucks... not you. Please, get your degree then go into cars it you want to. I enjoyed the work, just not the people and pressure of making the "big bucks" for the corporate bottom line. Yea there are some techs out there making 100,000 grand but they are far and few between. Todays techs are making far less the those with a degree and working harder then those the got a tech job in another industry. You can always have a hobby car or two if you need a place to exercise your need for speed.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2006, 11:09 PM
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Schooling for everything

How come nobody is mentioning Tool & Die work.
Maybe the biz has changed this century, but
fortunes are made in machine shops. (ask Howard Hughes)
(Well, maybe they used to be).
It treated me very well, learning how to build (tooling) cars.

Get into tooling, manufacturing engineering, robotics programming, CNC,
applied physics and applied science

I went to a (now defunct) tech school in Detroit
"Detroit College of Applied Science" which made it possible to learn how EVERYTHING is made. Tool & Die is the basis of everything that exists.
The tech world of today would not happen without this trade.

Still not physically or mentally burnt out after all these years.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2006, 01:56 AM
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How come nobody is mentioning Tool & Die work.
It seems like it is a thing of the past, or at least the title is. I've been in Tool & Die for the last 25 years and I see people that call theirselves a toolmaker that would not make a halfazz machinist. The old, great tool & die makers are a vanishing breed. Most young people nowadays would rather sit behind a desk and design on the computer than actually taking steel from a raw state and be able to develop, make tooling, and a final finished product.
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:22 AM
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vanishing Breed

The old, great tool & die makers are a vanishing breed
My father is now 91yrs old and still dreams about machining.
I went into the Biz in 1968 and have seen the change.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2006, 07:32 AM
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Well, most tool and die work is now accomplished via computers. Design it in CAD, send the work to a CNC machine, and it spits out a prototype part. There are systems that work in plastic that literally do just that now! Then once you have a workable part in 3-D, usually in a smaller scale, it's off to making a large scale prototype in steel -- again witha CNC machine. Who needs a good machinist anymore? I say that with irony, but it's a fact that computers and CNC mahines have taken the place of most hand work. When the part fails you need a machinist to look at it and fix it, and maybe fine tune a finished part, but that's about it. Some companies do still use machinists to make the initial part, then use that to program a CNC machine, but it's pretty much a lost art.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2006, 01:43 PM
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Well, I am currently taking automotive classes at my local community college and couldn't be happier. Don't know about your local ComCol but ours offers 4 different auto programs (Gm, Ford-ASSET,John deere diesel, and general)

the GM and FORD programs offer 5 weeks each semester of classes and then 5 weeks of co-op training working at a local dealership. You get paid and learn at the same time and are pretty much guarateed a job upon graduation. they call it a "sponsorship". Then after 2 years at a dealership or full service garage you can take the ASE tests and become certified on top of the associate in applied science degree you already earned.( you can take the ASE tests before then but you will not receive your certification until you spend 2 years "in the field")

If you go with the generic option, you learn the exact same things but for lots of different makes...but no co-op work. Same associates degree but no guarantee of a job. you do, however, have the opton of working if you can find a sponsor but it doesn't count towards your degree.

master certification takes quite awhile though. Only one of the professors at our college is master certified in everything and he is still taking tests and courses.

Just remember this, automotive repair isn't a stagnant field to work in. new technologies are always coming and there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

And you will have to spend alot of cash on the proper tools....ALOT of cash...but most schools have programs through the well known tool vendors (snapon, matco, etc.) and students get pretty decent discounts.

Be careful about some of the schools they advertise on TV though. Make damned sure they have an accredited program or you may waste several thousand bucks on a worthless piece of paper.

Community college is a realatively cheap and simple way of acquiring a useful degree and the knowledge you will need.
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