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Old 05-09-2017, 01:05 PM   #1
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Thoughts from the Auto Mechanic World

Someone posted this article on Facebook, stating that it is extremely difficult to make a living at a dealership, and that this is why it's hard to find skilled labor in the US.

I know many mechanics making a comfortable living, but don't really know anyone at dealerships. I know in my trade (roofing), with no formal schooling but years of experience guys are making that and more - not to mention I can't find enough people who are legal, driver's license, decent backgrounds to hire (if you know anyone!)

mechanic.https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/2...pair-jobs.html

What are your thoughts? I know we have some dealer mechanics here.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:10 PM   #2
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Lots of variables in earning potential in dealerships. Lube techs start at around $10-12. Pay scales vary by shill level (A,B,C tech). not to mention the link to productivity. Some skilled techs can book mega hours per day because they're fast. Others are slower and may only make their base rate. A lot also depends on the volume of business the dealership turns over in a day/week.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:31 PM   #3
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First off, that article is a lot to read. Second, $125 for labor is CHEAP. Im at $140


But anyway, Jensend is correct. A dealership is "You get what you put in" mostly. Granted, your going to be held back sometimes by amount of work coming in, dispatch, level, ect. But I have a few techs in my shop that make $12-$13 an hour. With that being said, 2 of them make good money. There always making hours and always get good work that they can up sell. The other few that make the same amount per hour meet the 40 hours MAYBE once a month. Those few people are the same people that complain about the work there getting all day. The guys that make the hours dont stand around and compain about getting a 5k Service(Oil change), instead of complaining, they bring in the next car to work on while the oil is getting sucked out of the first car. So they are getting paid for 2 cars at once. All while checking over the car and getting quotes for additional work that may be needed. The other guys who complain will sit there and be lazy and do one car at once and wait to be fed a more work. If you want to make money in a dealership, you can. But you cant be lazy and a complainer.

Granted its a lot of money to supply your own tools for the techs just starting out. But a lot of the schools(UTI, Wyotech, Lincoln Tech, ect) all have programs that get up to 60% off and still allow you to pay it at low weekely rate. And as far as schooling goes, i know we(Audi) have programs at a couple tech schools that place kids directly at dealers. Some with certification before even working at a dealer.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:52 PM   #4
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Meanwhile, I'm sitting here looking at my friends at NJ dealers buying houses & dropping tens of thousands of dollars on their hobbies. I get 100-hour week pictures a few times a year. Heck, I had one friend turn 36 hours in a single day last week. These are guys making $25-$35/hr base, before performance bonuses.

I'm not sure how difficult it is for techs to make a living at most dealers, but the aforementioned friends also have a minimum/guarantee of a certain number of weekly hours, in the event of low volume/traffic. The ability to produce is prevalent enough that these guys complain loudly the few times a year they turn 40 hours or less.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:20 PM   #5
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Former tech here from two GM dealerships. It really comes down to flat rate or hourly. If hourly, you may top off at $20/hr, very slim, but possible. We're talking you can do anything like a flat rater, but you're better at turning oil changes around with a huge added sales during the inspection (worked with a guy they brought in just to flip oil changes and make big lists, he was bringing in a good portion of profits, and generally making work for flat raters.)
Flat rate is it's own animal, basically sink or swim. I know techs that were fast, and did a great job, I knew many guys that cut corners (and would come back to bite them) and guys who couldn't make the hours. Luckily, I never experienced flat rate before jumping ship and going to a township position. ****tiest thing about flat rate is you could have 5 cars for 8 techs that day.... meaning you could be standing there for the day and not make a dime, which really should be illegal, some sort of compensation amount should be given.
You can make a living at a shop, but iys what you sell and how you hustle.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:25 AM   #6
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My brother is flat rate at a dealership and he does pretty well. He's a go getter tho, and always has a sidework lined up. He just moved into the diesel department for an increase in pay and they are paying for his training. Sounds like there's room to grow but you have to be patient.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:59 AM   #7
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So basically, my thought was correct in that just like any skilled trade it's what you put into it whether it's an OK living or you excel.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti_Rice_Guy View Post
I know many mechanics making a comfortable living, but don't really know anyone at dealerships.
On the flip side of the coin, I know exactly 1 person who is working at a private shop & making good money. The rest? Not so much.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:27 AM   #9
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As a service advisor for the last 7 years(still out of work from the accident in July) I can chime in too.

Dealerships can be hit or miss. Car makes can be hit or miss. Domestic techs may make more and hour but "generally" turn less hours while import techs make less an hour but turn crazy flat rate hours because the customers are programmed to do a ton of scheduled maintenance.

A lot has to do with the service advisor being able to sell, the location of the dealership along with the income level of the customer base. My experience is primarily GM with a short stint with Infiniti. My GM techs, some would turn 60hrs a week but they were busting their asses. Other techs, who either sucked or were whiny bitches would turn 25-30 because they weren't hungry or had a sense of entitlement. I certainly wouldn't want to be a flat rate tech but part of it is definitely getting out what you put in. You work hard you "should" make a decent living...but there are also a lot of other factors involved too.

I will say this, watching the new batch of "techs" is a little concerning. Most just graduated school and have this attitude of "I'm here, I have this piece of people that says I'm smart, pay me $20/hr with a 40hr guarantee". A lot I've dealt with don't want to pay their dues, do the grunt work...the sense of entitlement is ridiculous.

Anyway, it's still a crappy industry to work in at times, companies like GM are an absolute joke when it comes to paying warranty times, the technical support is....well...hit or miss. With that said a good tech that's hungry in a good dealership with the proper advisors can make some damn good $$$.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #10
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I wouldn't says it's extremely difficult but it can be done. With the right training going down the correct paths and just not being lazy its possible. I've been a tech at my dealer for 7 years. I'm 28, master tech for BMW. I am a team leader with an apprentice working under me. I truly believe I am doing very well for my age and career. There are a handful of techs at my dealer (25ish at my dealer) making over 6 figures. We have had two techs over the past 4 years gross 200k+.. long story behind that but

Now on the other side we have other guys who do the bare minimum and have poor attitudes that will never get to the same position.

Besides what you put into it. Your attitude I think is even more important. I have seen very skilled techs bounce from dealer to dealer because they are just a sad human being that will never reach a good living.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:38 PM   #11
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Sucks that dealers push ******** work and use scare tactics to sell work. Not all are guilty, but I hear stories all too often.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:29 PM   #12
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Sucks that dealers push ******** work and use scare tactics to sell work. Not all are guilty, but I hear stories all too often.
The biggest crime I see coming out of my dealer is not really "scaring" people into work, but pushing people on flushes and crap. The writers make BANK of them($20 each flush; techs $5 each) so they sell them whenever they can. I don't really like any of those flushes myself, but no matter how you feel on them. A 2016 car with 5,000 miles doesn't need a coolant flush
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:25 PM   #13
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The worst was techs lying about brake jobs. I saw it all the time. Selling brakes on a car that had 6mm-7mm of pad left.

Flatrate is ****** because you only make money if the dealership makes money. I started off as a lube tech and I tried to upsell whatever was needed. Problem was, I'd get all the $20 coupon LOFs that require everything to be checked, while I get .3 of an hour. I'd check everything, get prices on what was needed, wait, and be told "just oil change". No way to make money on that.

Meanwhile, guy next to me gets 90k Tbelt, 4 wheel brakes, etc. all day, doesn't have to upsell anything. Oh, he also can't diagnose **** and keeps having come-backs.

I also had a writer sell a 90K on a car that needed NOTHING. Plugs were good, fluids clean, air filter was even ****ing clean. He said "I sold it, do it". I felt disgusting replacing the things. I kept the old parts because they were like brand new. Hated that writer with a passion.

It was a very hostile industry which is why I left it for IT
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:43 AM   #14
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Its how you hustle and figure out how to work smarter. You can make bank picking up dog poppy. My shop is slammed. I hustle to get things done. I need another one or 2 of me to keep up. Complaining isn't productive. Find problem and execute a proper plan to remedy it. This is universal for all fields.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:13 PM   #15
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The biggest crime I see coming out of my dealer is not really "scaring" people into work, but pushing people on flushes and crap. The writers make BANK of them($20 each flush; techs $5 each) so they sell them whenever they can. I don't really like any of those flushes myself, but no matter how you feel on them. A 2016 car with 5,000 miles doesn't need a coolant flush
Holy ****, what dealership gives the advisor $20 per flush? I need to work there when I'm able to work again lmao. The most I've seen is $5/flush.

ANY and I mean ANY advisor(or tech for that matter) that pushes that **** on a newer car isn't a good one at all.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:55 PM   #16
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Holy ****, what dealership gives the advisor $20 per flush? I need to work there when I'm able to work again lmao. The most I've seen is $5/flush.

ANY and I mean ANY advisor(or tech for that matter) that pushes that **** on a newer car isn't a good one at all.
i remember BG used to give some BS "BG" bucks for every flush you sold. The techs would get some chip that was in the flush can and it was like a reward system. 10 chips gets you something or whatever. what a ****ing joke
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:02 PM   #17
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Holy ****, what dealership gives the advisor $20 per flush? I need to work there when I'm able to work again lmao. The most I've seen is $5/flush.

ANY and I mean ANY advisor(or tech for that matter) that pushes that **** on a newer car isn't a good one at all.
The flush company(valvoline) gives $10 and our service manager matches that. So they end up with $20.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:10 AM   #18
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i remember BG used to give some BS "BG" bucks for every flush you sold. The techs would get some chip that was in the flush can and it was like a reward system. 10 chips gets you something or whatever. what a ****ing joke
Yeah I remember the BG stuff, I don't remember there being a reward system though, only remember the stickers being $2 each.

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The flush company(valvoline) gives $10 and our service manager matches that. So they end up with $20.
That's awesome, definitely a good program there(but dangerous lol).
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