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December 15th, 2011, 08:37 AM #1
Is mechanic or diesel tech school worth it?
Hey everyone. Im 25 years old and as of right now, im working at Pepsi making $50 a year delivering cases. Lately ive thought about going to school to become a mechanic or a diesel mechanic. I was wondering, what was your 2cents about it. Is there any jobs out there? Will I make close or the same amount of $? My biggest problem right now is that pepsi takes up soo much of my time(12 hour days) that when im off, im drained and dont want to do anything but sleep. So I never get to see my family or spend time with the girlfriend. So is it worth it or whats ur 2cents?94 yj, d44(open), d60(detriot locked), 5.13 gears, 1.5 in lift RE SO springs, stock xj springs, new 37 inch BFG Muds, and its stretched
December 15th, 2011, 08:48 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Member #
Look at delivering spirits/wine/beer (heavy though). I know the Charmer Sunbelt distributor here on CO paid their drivers well.[SIZE=4]I don't even own a Jeep, oh wait I do and it is sick! [/SIZE]:P
December 15th, 2011, 08:51 AM #3
It depends on what your aim is.
You can make good to incredible money as a mechanic, especially diesel.
If you want the incredible money you will need to learn how to work on heavy equipment and likely work overseas, or in remote areas such as mines and other locations.
As with any other job, if you want the money, you are going to have to sacrifice time and location.
You can get jobs as a mechanic with regular hours 7-7 or so, but the pay will not be as good."Oh, no.... my beeeeeeer."
"I am much better as a spaz"
December 15th, 2011, 09:00 AM #4
Mechanics do not make what they used to hourly pay is down as well as the flat rate hours for the job. Can you make good money being a mechanic? Oh yea. The problem is getting there it takes time and experience. My customers make anywhere from $30,000.00-130,000.00, I have way more customers in that bottom end then the top.
So you have to go to school that cost I really do not know but let’s say $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 depending on where you go and for how long. Then you need tools, I was a mechanic off and on for 20 years and I have about $40,000.00 in tools in my garage. I have customers that have way more than that that and customers that have invested considerably less and get by. None the less it is an investment that has to be made if you are to be a professional mechanic.
As far as going to school it seems almost mandatory especially if you want to work with a dealer. There are independent shops that will take in a newbie and train them still, that his how I learned. It is not as common as it used to be.
Jobs are out there but that does not mean that you will be kept busy I have shops I go to that insist on keeping a tech in every bay whether there is work or not and if not you stand around and make next to nothing.Engage brain before engaging gears.
There is no substitution for shear ass Horse POWER!
December 15th, 2011, 12:57 PM #5
i think it can be worth it if you really want it. i went to wyotech for the ducati program. if i were to make the decision again, i wouldnt change a thing. i left the school with a ducati tech. certification, and also a triumph cert. though i cannot speak for auto or diesel, but the money will not be there at the start. most entry techs will make around $10 an hour, but raises come quickly. plus the benefits of working at a shop are pretty sweet.
depending on which school you choose you better be ready to be dedicated. wyotech ran a monday-friday 6:45am-4:00pm schedule. you were aloud 10 tardys, and a total of 24 hours of class missed in six week periods before getting kicked out. which isnt hard to do when your paying for something that expensive, and what your learning is super legit.
jobs are out there for sure. you just have to be flexable on where your able to move. good techs are always in need.
wyotech came to a grand total of about $30,000. steep...
snap on gives graduates a $600 credit towards their tools which is joke.. you buy a rachet, sockets, multimeter, torque wrench anddd its gone.
it really just depends on how badly you want it man. i graduated, was offered a few jobs in the florida area. i didnt want to stay down there so i left and decided to continue with my education in international business management so i can tie in my ducati training with an actual degree. so i guess what im saying is mechanics school opens a lot of doors, plus its a great knowledge to have in life.
December 15th, 2011, 10:17 PM #6
- Join Date
- May 2004
- Fruita, CO
- Member #
Firts things first.
-Do you have any natural mechanical ability? I don't mean can you change your own oil and rotate tires. I mean, can you take something apart and remember how to put it back together?
-Can you look at something mechanical and determine how it works?
-Can and do you understand wireing diagrams and how vehicle electronics work?
A tech school can not teach you how to become a mechanic, it can only give you a piece of paper that says they taught you how to pass a test. Unless you go into the school with the ability to do the job, you will only leave thousands of dollars in debt and no better off. Here's some reading material to give you some other's opinions on wyotech (can apply to any tech school really): http://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthrea...hlight=wyotech
It has been mentioned already, but be prepared to invest a lot of your income in to tools. I've been a mechanic full time for close to 15years, have close to $30,000 in tools, that I only have access to when I'm at work, and still average $40 a week in tool payments.
On the subject of money, don't buy into the hype that you are going to make six figures straight out of school. In reality you are going to make between $20-25k straight out of school. If you are good at what you do your earning potential will go up, but unless you become a driveability expert for a high end dealership, don't expect to make anything more than $45-50k (providing you are one of the top earning techs in your shop).1980 Toyota....I scratched the paint!
December 16th, 2011, 07:50 AM #7Tire Sheister Extraordinaire!
December 16th, 2011, 08:22 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Member #
With all the great replies already, let me jump right on in here.
You work hard now from the sounds of it. Do you like Pepsi company? Is there room for advancement?
You are looking for a career change from reading your post. Have you concidered other options in mechanics?
-power plant, heavy machinery, refinery...etc.
-look into your local union/non-union apprenticeships for pipe fitting, electrical (instrumentation and control techs)
Might I suggest calling around and chatting with mechanics, even offer free labor to see if you really want to become a mechanic. The reason I say that, if you think your tired now...mechanics work hard. Some developed hand, shoulder & back problems in their career.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing injector swaps like crazy on some diesel trucks, and I did one yesterday again just for the hell of it. I do this to help out buddies or people that need a hand...but I wouldn't want to do this full time, I was tired. (especially since I did if for nothing)
Take some time to look around, maybe something else is best for you. When you do decide, picture yourself doing that at 55+ years old too.03 Rubicon TJ, needs work.
December 16th, 2011, 09:29 AM #9
You're gonna work just as much as a tech, its dirty and hard too. Don't do it.2003 Toyota Super Taco
He will just stay online here, hard to get punched in the face behind a keyboard - Chris Halvorson
December 16th, 2011, 09:44 AM #10
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
- helena ok
- Member #
I have ben a mechanic. now drive a truck made at best $45000 as mechanic this year as a driver $85000 home every night i do work lots of hours 70 a week but the pay is worth it. I still love to mechanic that is what i would like to do but easier to support family. I also have $20000 in tools sitting in gerage that i use on a regular bases working on friends and family stuff. But have heard where i am at north west oklahome that some of the big oil companies are paying $35 hr for good diesel mechanics. I was a mechanic in colorado. eather career you could make good money just as most have sed how hard do u wanna work and are u willing to move for a job or stay where u are at.66 FJ40 D60 D44 39.5 Irok's SBC, 465 trans, 205 twinsticked, 4 link front,Locked front and rear
2000 tj on 33's
December 16th, 2011, 06:25 PM #11
have you tried to transfer in to the Pepsi shop?
As a mechanic you are looked at as an expense by the bean counters and treated as such.
There is defenatly no shortage of work (drivers and operators see to that ) . Like any job there's good and bad sides I'm a service tech for a forklift company. Drive around in a company vehicle and fix stuff some calls are easy some aren't windshield time is a plus but then there is the weather even in a shop theirs road stuff dripping in your head.
I lost count of how much I have spent on tools but I have 4 sets 1 expensive one for a shop setting 3 craftsmen sets for the service truck the garage and the wheeln set.
buy craftsmen sockets you can blow um up and get a new one on the way home
and not have to wait a week for hunter to show up
snapon wrenches and ratchets are well worth the money
craftsmen has the best digital volt meter ever has a clamp on top for ac or dc amps ( i use it to test starter loads and the like) and its 50 bucks or less.
Its just a job so you can go out and play that's my rambling thoughts.97 tj 4 inch procomp/sky jacker longarm sye 4.10s trash lock in rear 35-12.50-15
December 16th, 2011, 08:09 PM #12
I spent seven years as a tech in a dealer service department. Before that I worked my way up to it by being lot kid, a detailer, and lube tech. After that I was promoted to service advisor and warranty admin.
I can only think of one good thing to say about it, and that is the skills you take with you that you can use anywhere. I spent many hours under a car dripping snow, slush, and ice cold water down your neck in the winter while I fixed whatever, and also many hours under the dash of a 140F car in the summertime doing likewise. I can't count on all my fingers the number of guys who quit the business due to debilitating injuries. One guy went on full disability for the rest of his life due to back and knee injuries. He literally can hardly walk. I cannot understate the sheer physicality of the job and it's detriment to your body.
It takes a long time to begin to earn the kind of money that justifies the work, in my opinion. Flat rate is quirky in that if you beat it you can make bank, but at the same time if you have a car that takes three days to diagnose, that time's gone.
When I was promoted to service advisor, I also found it difficult to fight the entrenched notion the public have about auto mechanics being untrustworthy. I got sick of customers second-guessing me and accusing me of ripping them off all the time.
In my opinion, the industry is also very steeped in the male culture of the "good-ol' boys club", despite this being the 21st century. I witnessed a lot of sexual harassment that was essentially swept under the rug, especially if the perpetrator was a tech flagging 120hrs or whatever in a pay period. We had a dedicated employee who was a "safety coordinator". Although he singlehandedly reduced the dealership's insurance premiums by some 75%, he ended up quitting because of this.
As others have said, there is a large investment in tools and training. I think everything else has been covered, so this is just my .02.
I would consider the issue very carefully before you jump."Someone else says the alien didn't die in the crash. It survived and drank whiskey and played poker with the locals until the Texas Rangers got wind of it and shot it dead." ---'98 XJ, 2" lift, all open, 31's.
December 16th, 2011, 08:27 PM #13
Its not all bad and a lot of times how much you make is really dependent with who is selling it. Independent shops are sometimes easier to work for. You don't have to spend 50k or 75k in tools. You also don't have to buy every tool upfront before you start. Just like you will have start in an entry level position. It is hard on your body, but I can't imagine moving bottles around every day is easy either.
December 17th, 2011, 07:16 PM #14
oh yea and computer skills. the on board computers control everything.
I had a supervisor who would let you barrow tools " If you keep borrowing it you should buy it" was his thought.
Last edited by Juzzme; December 17th, 2011 at 07:18 PM.
December 17th, 2011, 08:42 PM #15
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- Dec 2001
- Fort Collins
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December 18th, 2011, 12:13 AM #16
- Join Date
- May 2004
- Roatan, HN
- Member #
Since your already driving here is something to consider Link pay will be comp with Pepsi but better hours. You will need haz mat and depending on which branch the job can be good or not so much also if your managment material the possibilities are wide open. We currently have an Exec Vp of sales who started as a driver and several Division VP's and Branch Managers who all started as drivers.
Just another option Good luckJeff
December 18th, 2011, 08:19 PM #17
December 19th, 2011, 11:34 AM #18
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Member #
If you are interested in something different, you might consider looking into
Instrumentation and Controls technology.
oil/gas, power plants, water plants all use this technology and there is always a demand for those that have it. I know techs fresh out of school making $25-$35 and hour starting out and the opportunites can be good for advancement.
just my .02
December 27th, 2011, 10:11 AM #19
Thanks everyone for the .02 all the advice really helps. I was a lube tech before, so I got a taste of the industry. But I wanted to see what u guys thought and if youd say go for it. Im gonna check out some of the sites you posted, look into diesel tech, and look into some of the other recomendations for jobs. So I got some deciding to do I think. Thanks again everyone, and if you have anything else to add, let me me know.