Join Now
International Automotive Technicians Network
License or not License
Posted to Industry Issues Forum on 7/15/2013 32 Replies

This is a very hot topic and again this morning I am reading about technician licensing. ASE is not the solution, they are still a business that provides some sort of certification and someone stating that you know what you are doing on paper. I have been testing for 29 years and in the industry for 35 years and when you look around the room at the testing centers you can see who is struggling and who is not. We have guys who can ace tests ( certified master test takers) and are lucky to know which end of a screw driver is down and good techs who struggle with the testing. We don't have a uniformed standard for technicians. It should be paper and hands on. I have worked for dealers, independent repair shops and as a trainer and the training between the two is light years apart. Dealers are product specific and independents cover a broader range cause of what we have to deal with. I have seen first hand the dealers are about the bottom line (aren't we all) and it seems they have forgotten about pride and quality of service. why pay a top flight tech who will fix it right the first time when you can hire two to three tech grads for $10 an hour with minimum experience for the same price and not even come close to the experience level of the master tech. How many times have we seen an inexperienced tech put 12 volts to a PCM ground or injector driver and let the smoke out of the computer? Oops $1000 mistake. That directly affects the quality of service giving us a bad name, they don't get it. Same goes for the shyster independent, but for him and we have all seen it, he can close up shop and open up in a new location under a new name and continue to offer the same low standard of service as he was doing before with relatively low to no consequences. That is the guy I want to put out of the industry cause he gives us all a bad name. Trade schools are another issue, I have sat on and advisory counsel for a major trade school and like everything else it is still a business. These students who pay 25-35k for a quality education they just are not getting it. Look at the credentials of the instructor, unlike public schools teachers have to have a college education with a masters ( yes they have there problems) to be able to teach in the classroom and they will make 100k plus a year. Trade schools offer 40% less compensation with a few ASE requirements and they are in. Don't get me wrong there are some talented instructors but the schools need to be 100% but these are the instructors teaching our future techs. As silly as it sounds part stores are also part of the problem. Roll into the part store with your CEL light on, have him plug into the car, sell you the part for the code listed and the car is fixed! Not really, that kind of diagnostic skill from a minimum wage counter person that was putting pickles on a shelf the week earlier shows that anyone can do what we do. we all know that is not the case especially when the CEL light comes back on three days later with a possible high dollar part that did not fix the car. At that point what is the value of a highly trained professional and who is that guy? With that said we see what is being turned out and I have seen this personally. With technology going in the direction it is going, top flight techs need to receive top compensation. These are the guys who will tutor and mentor our future techs. If licensing was to happen it would have to be stringent. The plus would be the motoring public would feel confident that the techs have gone through rigorous training to get the job done right as long as this does not put a heavy financial burden on the technician. There also has to be enforcement! Without enforcement it is a waste of time and money. In the state of Newyork shops are required to registered, what does that mean? Not a whole lot. Customers have to file a complaint DMV and in most cases they won't. Shops cannot file a complaint of shotty workmanship or ripping off a customer, it has to come from the customer. Once again lack of enforcement. So should there be licensing? i would have to agree only if it can be managed correctly that includes Technicians being assessed correctly for there level of ability..This is just my opinion on some of the issues at hand that need to be looked into and there are many. This has to be addressed, who is that guy? What organization is it ? Why not use something that is already in place and amend it to adapt to the needs of the industry? I am sure if something was put up as a viable option it would be accepted, not just licensing but an association that the consumer can look into for someone to service there needs? This is just my opinion on some of the issues at hand that need to be addressed cause the true motor head is retiring within the next 10-15 years if something is not done soon our industry along with the motoring public will be screwed........

Additional note, when a doctor comes in, let him know that the human body has not changed in a million years and our industry changes every six months. So when that six figure car that he drive comes in broken remind him if it was not for guys like us he could not get to where he needs to go. And if he argues with the price make him walk. He will appreciate you then....... I did ��

Ron from New York

32 Replies Received (View Replies)