To the Editor:
I am writing about "Think 'great money,' not 'grease monkey'" in your Feb. 3 issue.
After high school and a year at an automotive training facility, I looked for a job.
Everybody wanted experience. I finally had to settle for employment at a Firestone store for $4 per hour. I received the experience I needed, but I was also starving.
After two years, I was eligible for Automotive Service Excellence certification. I then was able to obtain employment at a General Motors dealership. It was the most money I had ever made, but it came with a price.
Every week, I had to buy more tools to keep up with the ever changing technology.
In the seven years I worked there, I was a GM master technician for four years. I never came close to the $70,000 a year mentioned in your story.
I moved to another state and spent the next six years at a GM dealership. I was a master technician, and I have had more than 125 GM training classes. Once again, I was never close to your $70,000-$100,000.
Today, I am a claims administrator for an automobile extended service contract company, and I am approaching the wage you mentioned. I would never allow my children to follow the path I took.
I love working on cars, but it has taken its toll on my body. My hands are scarred; my back hurts; and I'm still unsure what all the chemicals I used have done to me - not to mention the $15,000 in tools I now have at home.
My point is, you are painting a rosy picture that is full of thorns. You fail to mention all the tools you will need and the politics involved in the automobile repair industry.