A knowledgeable, hard working mechanic should be able to earn a comfortable living in most areas of the country for many years and with a good understanding of personal finances the future could be quite comfortable, also. And, with a basic education in business finance it should be an easy transition into supervisory/management/owner if/when the aches and pains of working many years wakes you before the alarm clock.
Should I continue my education with an AA degree after earning two autotech certs from my school?
Sorry for the late reply everyone and thanks for the opinions. I had to make an emergency trip out to PA and completely forgot about this board. I’m back now. I see many great points on this board. Iv heard dealership techs do get warn out. Maybe I should go into the independent shop trade instead? I liked the mechanist idea. The head teacher at my school has the same degree. I guess expanding my education is always a good idea too. So, I’ll take these ideas away from this discussion- always expand my education, work hard at the dealership, and stay out of shop “politics”. I decided to make an appointment with the service manager at the dealership. He and I discussed this issue. I would be the only tech with an AA degree from a community college, but that would mean I could rise through the ranks a bit more easily. I might be considered for sales position too. He also told me the AA degree would help me in the long run and make my resume look a bit more professional. It also might give me higher pay. His thoughts on the degree combined with your comments has made up my mind. So, yes, I will be getting the AA degree afterall. Thanks to everyone who replied; I appreciate your input and you gave a few great ideas.
If things don’t work out for you at a particular BMW dealership and there is another nearby or if your skills can readily transfer to another brand, ok. Otherwise you might want to review your dedication to BMW. As an example, there are four Cadillac dealerships within a reasonable commuting distance from my house here in SE WI and two BMW dealerships. It would be interesting to know if the economic pressure to do repairs in a timely manner is a little less intense with a luxury brand where there might be a little more money to play with.
A class to consider as part of your AA degree - writing. I took both basic and technical writing courses. They were the most valuable courses I took, by a long shot. It’ll help in the long run.
An AA will expand your future opportunities without compromising your ability to acquire ASE certification. And if you select your electives well, you may even be able to get some business knowledge along the way…which will help if you ever decide to open your own shop. Chances are that your best chance to get the AA is right now.
If you do decide against proceeding right now, contact other state colleges to see which will accept transfer credits from your school, and ask what their requirements are (under 5 years old, or whatever). That way you can formulate a backup plan.
Sincere best. You’re thinking properly. Keep it up and you’ll have a great future.
Independent shops have their own set of problems and if you move into the service sales or administrative end of things at a dealership you may find the proprietary to the position problems that exist may not be to your liking.
Best of luck, but you need to take anything a service manager tells you with a grain of salt. This one may be one of few good ones on the planet. Of that I have no idea.
Most should be wearing a plaid jacket while selling crusher escapee heaps from a corner BHPH lot and the odds of your staying out of the politics are just about zero.
I once worked at a low paying job in the agriculture business. When I started, the boss gave me a speech about the possibility of moving onto some sort of associate position with him. I found out later he told all new employees that, but he ran that business for many decades, and no one ever moved up. Talk is cheap.