I am writing in response to "Wanted: Top-dollar Techs" (Jan. 26). I have a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and I am an ASE certified master automobile technician.
What I do not have is any desire to work for any automotive dealership.
I work for an independent family-owned shop. I am paid an hourly rate. I do not mean "flat-rate." I know quite a few ASE certified automobile technicians who would be great additions to any dealership. But they will not work under the flat-rate system.
I realize that your article was mostly about attracting young people into the profession, but even experienced and educated journeymen techs eschew the idea of working for a dealership.
Who wants to work under a system whose main tenet is getting the job done as fast as you can?
Who wants to do the same thing every single day (i.e., who wants to be the dealership's brake expert and just do brakes all day)?
If the car manufacturers want to attract qualified new talent, they must pay their techs a fair, guaranteed salary.
Today's auto techs are not grease monkeys; they should be treated like professionals.
Until the manufacturers realize that, why would any intelligent young tech want to work for a dealership?
Until the image of an auto tech is professionalized, I think there will be a dearth of qualified techs.
The flip side for master techs like myself is that the cost for our services will go up. Now that I think about it, that's not such a bad thing.