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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 48 yo.
I've been in the car fixing biz for 28 years.
I've worked exclusively with Chrysler dealers for the last 24 years.
My strong skills are problem solving and diagnostics.
I communicate well and have had college level communication classes.
I mostly deal with electronic systems and body mechanical stuff.
I use a laptop more than a wrench.
My weakness
I have a short attention span.
This used to be a rather lucrative occupation but the last 8 years have been rough. It's not getting any better. I was taking home more 20 years ago than I am now.
So Any ideas or suggestions?
BTW: I live alone and my daughters are grown.
Thnks
 

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You sound ripe for a career in CNC machining. 6-axis mills sound fun.
 

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Is going to school an option? I'd imagine with your current skills there are numerous 1-2 year tech school programs that could put you in a new career.
 

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I hear TSA is hiring.
 

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A change of career, or a change of scenery? A good friend of mine was an auto mechanic for decades, much like you. He had risen to the "corporate" troubleshooter level where the manufacturer sent him to dealers to help mechanics fix really tough issues. Still, he wanted something different. So he found a job as an engine mechanic in the fracking fields working on huge engines with fuel lines measured in inches. That was a nice change of pace, but the fracking fields are a pretty desolate place to live. So he began looking again. Last fall he started as the chief engine mechanic on a drag racing team. This week we got 24 pictures and 4-5 videos on facebook. In each one he was sporting a huge grin...

Anyway, if you like what you do consider a career change in the same field.
 

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How do you feel about nights, weekends, and oncall?

What are your estimated income needs in the next 6 months, year, and 5 years?
 

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So he found a job as an engine mechanic in the fracking fields working on huge engines with fuel lines measured in inches. That was a nice change of pace, but the fracking fields are a pretty desolate place to live.
Fracking isn't as grand a job as it was. Lots and LOTS of layoffs. Half of the friends my DW went to school with worked the fields and most of them are now out of the job.

As for the OP...here's what I told a buddy of mine who was in the auto mechanic field working at a stealership (he was very annoyed w/ the business practice)...go out and do it on your own. It's not easy, but the work is out there for a good mechanic. He's had his own shop now for about 5 years and has 3 employees. He tells me that his only regret was not doing it sooner.
 

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Fracking isn't as grand a job as it was. Lots and LOTS of layoffs. Half of the friends my DW went to school with worked the fields and most of them are now out of the job.

As for the OP...here's what I told a buddy of mine who was in the auto mechanic field working at a stealership (he was very annoyed w/ the business practice)...go out and do it on your own. It's not easy, but the work is out there for a good mechanic. He's had his own shop now for about 5 years and has 3 employees. He tells me that his only regret was not doing it sooner.
X2.

It doesnt take long for word of mouth to spread about a trustworthy mechanic.
 

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X2.

It doesnt take long for word of mouth to spread about a trustworthy mechanic.
X3.

My sister-in-law has a mobile mechanic she uses regularly (who we've also used a few times) that is doing very, very well for himself doing it. He's got a nice commercial work truck totally kitted out with everything he needs for pre-sales inspections and any kind of work you can do without a full lift, and seems to be pretty happy with it.

And without a shred of a doubt, a trustworthy, competent mechanic who doesn't gouge customers on parts or labor is a valuable commodity, and it definitely does not take long for word to spread.
 

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Hemidoc, 23 year tech here. Have you considered leaving the stealerships for a management position at an independent? The way the industry is changing and technology is changing, only the strong are going to survive. There's independents out there who saw the writing on the wall a long time ago and got serious about tooling and information systems. They're the ones who will always need someone with your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the replies guys.
I often considered opening my own shop but the overhead kinda kept me away( Equipment, rent, insurance. taxes)
I started going back to tech school a few years ago (to get into the medical field)but found it was too much for me at the time. I had kids at home and a wife. Getting off at 6pm and driving to Athens from Conyers and back was tough.
I might could do some online classes but I don't feel they are the same live classes. I could be wrong.
I like the CNC idea not so much as an operator but as a repair and maintenance person. I've seen CNC operator positions on Monster. They start at about $13/hr.
I earn $25 per billable hour now but can hardly bill 25-30 hours a week.
I'll keep looking.
BTW: I am considering selling my house so relocating is a possibility.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys.
I often considered opening my own shop but the overhead kinda kept me away( Equipment, rent, insurance. taxes)
I started going back to tech school a few years ago (to get into the medical field)but found it was too much for me at the time. I had kids at home and a wife. Getting off at 6pm and driving to Athens from Conyers and back was tough.
I might could do some online classes but I don't feel they are the same live classes. I could be wrong.
I like the CNC idea not so much as an operator but as a repair and maintenance person. I've seen CNC operator positions on Monster. They start at about $13/hr.
I earn $25 per billable hour now but can hardly bill 25-30 hours a week.
I'll keep looking.

BTW: I am considering selling my house so relocating is a possibility.
You would be surprised at what some city/county/state positions pay. I have family members that earn over $30 per hour + full benefits.
 

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Where are you located?

I think the warranty company that I work for is looking for another few claims advisors.

Most of us are former techs or service advisors.
 

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Have you considered working on buses, ambulances, or fire trucks? Maybe a county job would be a nice change.
 

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Get an electronics or a mechincal degree at least a 2 year one and go to work at a defense contractor or an aerospace conpany. Pay is good and work is interesting. With your stills you should be able to work as either a mechanical or electrical tech. Finish the degree and become an engineer. After 33 years in the spacecraft industry I retired at 56. I started as a wireman and finished as an engineer.
 

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After 33 years in the spacecraft industry I retired at 56. I started as a wireman and finished as an engineer.
It's always a bit interesting to me that on another forum that I frequent (aimed at early retirees/retirement) that a very many of the participants were/are engineers. It must be something with the way their brains are wired....if I wasn't lazy and retired, I might write a book on it! :mrgreen:
 
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