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kmaysob 08-26-2004 06:34 PM

i know this isnt diesel related but..
i was wondering if there are any other certification tests kinda like the 609 tes but for brakes,suspension ect.... i have already looked into ase certifications but i need 2 years experience in a shop for that. im hoping to get a few small ones to start out with so a shop will hire me. any info would be appreciated

kip Foss 08-27-2004 12:58 AM

Papers, and BS, are important in many jobs but in the end you have to be able to produce. When I started working in Germany in 1970 I BS'ed my way into many jobs and because I had a good self taught background in mechanics and welding and was a good and willing worker I was able to keep the jobs. The trick was to learn enough so that when the boss realizes that you don't really know what you are doing you know more than the next guy standing out side so it isn't worth firing you.

If I were you I would go to 5 or 10 local garages and ask the shop foreman what qualifications you need to start and what kind of job you could get with the qualifications and experience you have. The local MB shop here in Corpus Christi, Tx. has an apprentice program. You might look into that. Check with the local junior college and see what programs they offer and what kind of placement service they offer. Del Mar here in Corpus has an excellent 2 year Diesel engine program and apparently a good placement service when it is over.

Go to someone like Stewart and Stevenson in Houston and ask them about schlorships. See if they have some sort of apprentice program. Try national truck repair companies, or rental equipment agencies. Any one that deals in Diesel engines. From what I have heard there is a real need for mechanics. I read that a good auto mechanic working for a large dealership can make upwards of $100K a year.

good luck

TwitchKitty 08-27-2004 08:15 AM

Find a busy, well run shop where you want to work. Put in an application and show up at opening time every morning with donuts for two weeks straight. Use your imagination to modify the above approach as necessary. Repeat as necessary. Be willing to take what is offered, don't expect much until you prove yourself. If you can't pass a drug screen don't bother to apply. Valid driver license is necessary, CDL is a plus. You only get one chance to make a first impression, if you look like a freak you are swimming upstream.

If you are willing to work hard and learn you don't need certifications to get your first job. Work hard means show up on time and stay busy until the job is finished. Learn means do your own research and homework. Ask before you screw-up anything. Comebacks are far too costly today and a couple can get you canned.

The industry is having a hard time recruiting young people. The average age of an automobile mechanic is climbing. If you have car skills and people skills you can take your choice of jobs.

The skills you learn diagnosing mechanical problems are basically the same as you use diagnosing other problems. I got my first mechanical job in a motorcycle shop at age 14 or 15. Went on to college for a degree in computer science and found my diagnostic skills much more developed than those of my classmates.

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