I’m developing the Career and Mentor Kit (CAMKit) Program. We offer series of after-school workshops, career days, and vacation camps called Exploring Careers through Mentoring. These programs are for young women ages 11-16, so that they have information about careers before they have to make decisions in high school. I’d like to meet a woman who’s an auto mechanic in the Boston area. Does anyone know one in Massachusetts or New England? See our website www.camkit.info. If anyone would like to find out more about the project, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
After 35 years in the business I can say I never worked with a woman auto mechanic never trained in college with one,never knew one personally,never was told some one else knew one.
I was assigned to “mentor” a young woman that spent some time at our dealership but she was studying management styles.
I knew one woman Service Advisor, in my experience women become visible in the Servive Manager field. Just how it went in my life.
Truthfully auto mechanics is not a field I would want my son to take up. (I asked at work how many of the mechanics would want their sons to be mechanics,the answer ZERO.
My former mechanic (as he retired) has a daughter that worked with him, and is now an auto tech Teacher at a WI college. I can get the info if it is of interest to you.
You might want to contact:
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
41 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
They have a great full-time 2-year auto mechanics program with a fair number of students. I’m sure they can tell you if they had any female students in recent years and where those students are today.
I went to that school 35 years ago - and I understand it’s still as strong now as it was back then.
Gallup NM Ford dealer has one apprentice female tech now. She started at a Phoenix tech school and is now employed here back home.
Our dealer’s go-to independent locksmiths are sisters with two different shops.
Sounds like the issue might be that women have too much sense to go into auto mechanics.
I know a few fairly skilled female shade-tree mechanic types, but I’ve never run into a professional female mechanic. I’ve also heard of garages on the west coast that only employ female mechanics supposedly to make female customers more at ease.
I’m a college student considering a career as an auto mechanic, so i’m just curious, why wouldn’t you or other mechanics want their sons to be mechanics? Just curious so I can make a better career decision.
Don’t know any lady mechanics, but a few days ago a neice of mine, by marriage, told me she just put brakes on her Suzuki
I will try to put it in as few words as possible,I don’t want it to sound like a rant,and others will have a different view.
There are all levels (intelligence and ability) represented at the garage,for some the garage is the highest they can rise,if you have the ability to do really well,I mean really well at the auto mechanic profession you have the abilty to excell at a profession that will be much more rewarding in every aspect,you just need to figure out if a mechanic is your top level.
Now the rant,the job is very hard physically,it takes much dedication to get good,extreme stress levels dealing with your superiors,other mechanics (you are all competing against eachother)the job requires a extreme investment in tools,and you must fight the work,things are not so easy to diagnosis and repair.
To sum it up,if you can do this job well,you can really excell in a all around “better job”
Most, not all of “the best and brightest” leave this profession,not a place to make best use of your skills.
Thanks, I really appreciate a viewpoint from someone who is in the industry. I’m a freshmen in a four-year college so i’ve got some time to decide so i’m definitely gonna keep what you’ve said in mind for when I make my decision.
My plan was to get a four-year degree in Business Management/Entrepreneurship and then to go on to a two-year tech school to get trained as a mechanic. I was hoping that somewhere down the line I could eventually open my own shop.
I currently work at a quick-lube (yes they have a bad reputation, and frankly I think it is a well deserved one from what i’ve seen) and I do enjoy the work while the pay does suck.
Basically I think being an auto mechanic is the kind of job that I would love to do, but at the same time i’m just not sure what the future of the job will be like with the future of electric cars most likely requiring significantly less maintenance. For the most part, I just want to find something that I will love to do and at the same time, make enough money to live a comfortable life (key word is comfortable, not rich).
At least i’ve got some time to think about it, but the more insight I can get into what working in the auto repair industry is like, the more comfortable i’ll feel in making my decision.
Well isn’t this a coincidence after 35 years in the garage I am currently in school pursuing my BA in Business Administration.And I have worked the quick lube (you do what you have to when people depend on you)
Auto mechanics is a hard job,I have seen people retire from it.It hurt my back (maybe I would have developed back problems at some other job)I cannot make the time any more,I will be very close to 60 upon graduation(I will need more than four years to complete my education)who hires a 60 year old? I will keep trying,really I enjoy my classes,it’s fun.
Wow, well, it’s cool that you enjoy your classes. Hopefully everything works out with you finding a job. I’m most likely going to be getting the business degree either way which gives me 4 years to decide about the automotive field. Thanks for the info!
Oldschool’s given you some good advice, I’ll just add my reasons why I’m not a mechanic.
Most shops essentially work on a sharecropping system. The mechanics are ostensibly independent contractors, but since in most locales there’s a lot more fix-it guys with tools running around than there are shops that can deliver steady work, there’s almost always a massive imbalance of power between the shop and the mechanic. Usually the flat rates are set up in such a way that as a younger mechanic, you essentially make your own raises by getting better at doing things, but there is basically a wall you hit fairly early in your career where you just stop earning more. At each of the shops I worked at when I was younger, I had a very old co-worker that was doing essentially the same thing I was but wasn’t able to retire because they were basically only making a buck or two more than I was and their health problems were starting to slow them down. That’s when I decided that, as much as I really liked the work and the pay that was very good for me being so young, that it wasn’t the career for me.
Now, I think that you can make a very good living for yourself running your own shop, but you need the business skills in order to make a good living with your mechanical skills, so finishing your business degree would be an excellent decision. If you can find a shop maybe one step up from the quick change place to work while you’re in school, it’s generally good pay for a college job and you can be learning all day!
I don’t know anyone in Boston, but I have met a working mechanic at a dealership in Ohio. I suspect there are very few. Too bad.
I’m a college student considering a career as an auto mechanic,
so i’m just curious, why wouldn’t you or other mechanics want
their sons to be mechanics?
Here’s some of what led me to change my career:
I pumped gas for four years as a teenager, always yearning to learn more about fixing cars. Then I went to Franklin Institute of Boston’s 2-year Auto Mechanics program. I couldn’t believe how much I learned at that school.
I moved to Colorado and started working in a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. I was certain I had just begun my life career. After working there for two years, I realized I was making enough money to pay for my social life, but I learned from the older mechanics I worked with that they barely had enough to raise a family and pay the bills. Hearing them constantly complain about the profession made me realize I was still young and single and could do something about it.
I moved back east to my parent’s house and started in school at a local technical community college (studying long hours). I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my schooling, but from working as a mechanic, I sure knew what I didn’t want to do - and that gave me the serious motivation to study that I never ever had. I eventually earned a couple of engineering degrees (from some pretty good colleges) in the computer field which have served me well.
Looking back, I am very thankful for all the mechanical skills I learned. The have helped me considerably over the past 35 years with all kinds of problem solving.
Ironically, about 5 years ago, a coworker told me of an NPR show he heard where
they said the best engineers are ones who worked as auto mechanics in an earlier life!
On that four year business degree, if you want employment in that field, other than starting your own business, I urge you to go to a place which employs that degree, and see what is there.
Is there anyone there like you? Whether you are male; female; Anglo; minority; tall; short; whatever.
This is not a political forum, so I am not going to explain. Just go look.
A lot of people are getting traditional degrees such as Bus. Admin; accounting; then find they are not employable no matter how good their grades were, and end up working construction while paying off their useless college loans.
Ditto for other possible diplomas.
I have been involved in discussions like this on forums which do discuss political issues. The man who fixes my a/c in Texas, when I am there, charges $85/hour, and his training was tech school. He makes more than some college professors, definitely more than most people with four year diplomas.
My son-in-law paid $400 to have his a/c system cleaned, the guy with no college diploma, took less then 3 hours to do it.
This sort of work does require people skills and business sense, though it may not need a bus.admin. degree.
I realize this is a car URL, but things like a/c can be a lot better than auto mechanics.
Another alternative to automotive mechanics is electronics trade school. For those who are good at it, one can get a job as production technician or lab technician for a contract defense plant or avionics plant, and in two years make $40,000 a year, except in places like California more than that, and also more for those who want over-time. The only problem is cutbacks when defense spending is cut. But, life is much easier than the mechanics describe here. Mostly inside work; clean conditions; hourly pay for production jobs.
That sort of work is definitely equal opportunity. Most are men, because for whatever reason more men choose electronics, but qualified women are hired with enthusiasm. Our recruiters had to travel the width and breadth of the country to hire new techs. They came from Florida; Wisconsin; Texas; and Minnesota, so anyone who qualifies is welcomed with open arms. (Note: in my factory, most women who could have been electronic technicians went to engineering school which is definitely higher status; I cannot say it’s that way everywhere. We got the cream of the crop.)
The Master Mechanic who used to fix my cars before I retired, told me he had trouble getting new mechanics, because what he needed on modern cars was electronic techs like me, and he couldn’t pay what the defense plants paid. He said he could teach them to replace parts; he needed knowledge of electronics.
Note that from 1974 to 1997 my specialty was embedded computer systems, which is like a cousin to the modern car computer system.
I think the goal here is to expose young women to as many careers as possible including those they might not normally be exposed to like auto mechanics. I think it sounds like a great program.
There’s a shop in Manchester NH called “Mom’s Garage” that was founded by women some years back. You’ll have to look them up, but they might be interested in helping.
I think I have mentioned what I am going to do after I graduate, I am going to be a Service Advisor, I want to see if I can cut it in the academic world and get my degree, I also want to prove a man can move from the garage to the drive and be sucessful,I am not looking to make a lot of money, I am set with the house and things, just need maintiance money,It’s a prove I can do it thing.None of the Dealers I spoke to wanted a person with a degree,they just wanted someone who could sell.
Since my injury is job related (lucky they decided that way, It could have gone either way) I won’t have the big loan thing going after I graduate.
Don’t really know how the health will hold out, I am also dealing with Crohns disease,so I am just going one day at a time,if I finish so be it.
I also want to prove a man can move from the garage to the
drive and be sucessful
I’ve seen this demonstrated several times. All the best to you.