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  #1  
Old 02-06-2001, 01:06 AM
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Are MB Technicians Paid Enough?

Are Mercedes-Benz Certified Technicians Paid enough?
Techs: What are you guys pulling in per year (approx.)?
What does it take to become a MB tech?
Techs: What percentage of the labour rate charged at the dealership are you taking home?

Is reform needed?

THANK YOU,
MIKE MCKINNEY

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  #2  
Old 02-06-2001, 01:20 AM
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according to MotorWerks of Barrington,IL they do. they charge $95 an hour for labor!! i hope there good. i can't afford them.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2001, 01:25 AM
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I'm wondering if the techs are tied to charge hours "by the book"

Flat rate shops should pay higher $/per hour and possibly might give better service?
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2001, 06:22 AM
glmoy
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A friend at work say's his brother in law is a Tech. Gets
23.00 hr at the dealership based on book rate, however
if it goes over book rate then he eats the difference and
only gets book rate. I would guess that a good Tech would
beat book rate and would finish the job in 2/3 the time.
Now to get him to do anything after work is another question. He would rather enjoy family life than work on
his buddy's Benz. Who can blame him!!!!!
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2001, 06:36 AM
glmoy
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Shyne,
Probably Not; considering their investment in schooling. I
understand it has to be updated on a annual basis. And their
tools of course. Has any one priced Snap-On tools lately???
Many items are allmost double the price of what I paid for
seven years ago. Based on what the
Dealer shop rate is it looks like their underpaid. I can
only afford to take my car in every 4 to 5 years due to
the Dealer shop rate.

Not a tech, but wish I knew more about working on my car.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2001, 08:24 AM
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Touchy subject most places I go! I am going to make some guesses to answer your question. They are based on my observations and do not fit the projections of the dept of labor.

At every good dealership there is at least one tech making 70 to 100k maybe more in large metropolitan dealers. The bulk of the techs there are making 30-50k. At the dealers they probably get health insurance at independents a large majority would (if they are working at shops working on Mercedes). This is the exception not the rule in the overall technical labor pool.

In the independent field I would say there are many techs making 60k but I would say there are many more making 25-30k with no benefits. All the techs at our shop make between 35-55k with full PPO health coverage (including family - Blue Cross/Blues Shield). We are in the rural South so that level could double at major independents in Major cities.

Believe me when I say that I would seriously discourage anyone from seeking this as a career. My daughter got a two year degree in nursing near ten years ago and came out the door and went right to work making as much as my techs were at the time. No investment in tools, no experience other than labs.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2001, 09:14 AM
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Believe me, if I won the lottery I would still be fixin cars. The only difference is I would be the customer.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2001, 12:50 PM
LarryBible
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Steve,

You never cease to amaze me. I thought the question of how much, what percentage, etc. was very nosy. It takes a very open individual to respond. My hat's off to you.

Everyone,

I understand that these days it is not uncommon for a tech to ultimately pay the Snap On man about $45K. I think the good ones do it because they love it. My Granddad once told me that "if you can find a job you love, you'll never have to work another day in your life". He was a rancher and loved the outdoors and the independence. He worked like crazy daylight to dark, but by his definition he never worked a single day.

Have a great day,
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2001, 02:21 PM
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Steve:
I'm very appreciative and sincerly thank you for answering my question. I asked it due to my friend who is considering the trade. I would consider it myself if I could get a reputable dealer to apprentice me!!! Any tips or pointers for people who love to work on cars and are considering applying into the trade? Many people seem to be discouraging in a wide range of trades and careers that I come across. I've been told it's not worth the time or money for not enough in return. Any words of advice?

More than anything in life I would like a job I get excited about from the moment I wake up and enjoy doing. I pray to the Lord I do not end up rotting away in some cubicle!!!!!!

Steve THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO OFFER ANY ADVICE TO ANYONE LIKE MYSELF AND MY FRIEND JASON WHO ARE CONSIDERING THE FIELD!!!!!!

RESPECT.
MIKE MCKINNEY
JASON SCHNEIDER
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2001, 03:55 PM
Stevegman
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Sorry about the long winded response.

Interesting topic. I have not researched this but one of the local independent shops owners told me he couldn’t find help. He said a few years ago he would just tell the Snap-On guy he was looking and in a few weeks he would have applicants. He said today the Snap-On guy gets $2000 from the competition if they find a tech. There are no applicants. He said he will hire and train a Tech School Grad but they want a ton of money ($20+/hr.) and “can’t even use an oscilloscope”. Today the systems are so complex and the diagnostic equipment so expensive and make/model exclusive that it costs a fortune to have access to the information. Then you need someone who can use it. Training slows down the shop owner and if the trainee leaves the shop has really lost a lot.

I know the local owner makes around $100,000 but he works a lot of hours to keep the customers happy. He can’t get help and won’t turn down the work because he says the customers may not come back. It is not an easy business.

I am so fascinated by automotive repair that I considered a career change but the dollars would be hard to recover and heck, I don’t know how long it would take for me to “get it”. Automotive repair is becoming my hobby. I always enjoyed it but with a gray market with intermittent problems it has become a necessity.

If you love it and are considering the field, just go for it. There are all kinds of advice. My father was a doctor and complained about the school, internship, and residency. He said he would never push anyone into medicine, but his partners are doing quite well. Lots of people complain about their careers. Everything can be tough or enjoyable. It all depends on the person and their attitude. Best luck to all.

Steve
’85 500SL (Euro)
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2001, 04:43 PM
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Sorry I got windy

I cant speak for MB techs, but I know the other end. I have been in the field for twenty years I would not trade it for the world. I'm in the fleet end of the buisness and it's been to many years since I have worked on commision to comment on the pay aspect of automotive repair so I will leave that to outstanding people like Steve and Benzmac. But as far as the tools so long as you dont loose them Snap On tools will last just about forever, so pay now or pay several times later. A lot of the hand tools I have are about 20 years old so they are surely worth the price for the proffesional tech. I'm sure Steve will attest to this that bending over fenders and crawling around the shop floor for 8 to 10 hour's day for a living is tough work. When it takes the first ten steps after getting out of the recliner to stand up straight youve been at this almost to long. From a mentally challlenging stand point I would highly recommend this proffesion. As far as the Physical punishment that you endur for the amount of money FIND another job. There is a reason there are no new people coming into the field! Just my humble opinion
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2001, 05:08 PM
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I put myself through Engineering school working on cars and saw many jobs I really didn't want (worked for Boeing in Seattle as a draftsman after my first year of JC). I wound up staying with cars. If I had become as successful at some engineering private business enterprise as I now have become as an independent shop owner/technician, I would probably have become rich. I can't say that I would have been as happy doing anything else though. From that standpoint, I would say the future is bright for a bright technician. But, it is limited and costly.

I spent 5 years in engineering school (over about eight years) and passed my NAISE Masters Certification six months before I graduated from UofF in 1974. I worked for 6 years in dealers for very little pay doing OJT. I was unmarried and could afford not to MAKE a living. From some stand-points I have more time in training than a PHD or MD. I would really advise staying in school and going for a high tech automotive career. Anything from a race team to a chassis designer for GM, MB or whoever. You can have the challenge of seeing a project/hypothesis come to completion before your eyes; one of the true rewards of the diagnostic technician.

But do it for someone other than the public, they can't afford it. The industry is not designed to compensate a talented individual within the competative, non-regulated industry that exists.
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2001, 05:22 PM
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I dont think so..

Good Mechanics are hard to find and no I dont think they are overpaid. I spent two hours on the old MB the other day and I had cut fingers and my back felt like it was broke for bending over under the hood so long. I dont know too many mechanics that live in the rich part of town.....
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2001, 05:35 PM
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are MB techinicians paid enough.

I dont know about most of the but the ones of them that help us on this site are pricless.Michael
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2001, 09:21 PM
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I started doing this because I really did love the work. After a while, I discovered that there were very few techs that were 'natural' at their work. I mean, some of the things I am asked as a lead tech are not even a thought process for me, I just know it.

I look at mechanical systems and can disect them in an instant. This took me really far really quick. I was the shop foreman in less than a year and had 5 techs that were older than me by 7 years or more UNDER me.

The problems in the job came for me after that. I felt that I had reached a ceiling in where I could go on the independent level...I was the foreman, and I was at the top pay. From there on out, it was to be small raises and little gratification.

Then came MercedesShop.com. I thought of this and proceeded with it. Now I found something that I could do when I want and get instant gratification out of it.

Now Bill and I are building a shop...I can't wait. I will be doing some things other than the routine services...like High Performance work!




I think the whole meaning of this rambling is that some of us really love the job, but need to stay interested in what we do somehow. How? I don't really know as of yet, but that is up to the managers and owners of the buisness.


PS, in our shop, the techs range from 40k to 75k.

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