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Automotive technicians chime in


Proven Member
Sep 28, 2010
El Paso, Texas
I'm currently attending school for auto technician/tuner. It's surprising how much this site has taught me as I've already known everything we cover from calculating cam specs, bearing clearances, afr, engine rebuilding... And the list goes on.

I'm here asking for input for what to expect once graduating.

Who makes a decent living off flat rate?

Annual earning if that's not too much of a personal question.

Where you work and why over any other place you have been previously employed?

Big thanks to tho website and all the active members. I've joined several forums for different platforms I've had and am surprised how much advanced our team is compared to most. Definetly hats off to our crew here on dsmtuners and member who know how to do work!


Proven Member
Feb 20, 2010
Kauai, Hawaii
What school you going to bro? Best thing to do is find a good shop and ask if they need help. Best thing for me was just doing the work. I had already worked 5-6 years at a shop before I went to Uti. :) if you can find a honest person to work for and you can do honest hard work, your all G. If not you can do like me and start your own shop ;). Shoot I used to charge $50-75 an hour doing work In my garage at home. Never had one complaint! People like when there care gets done right the first time and doesn't take weeks LOL.


Proven Member
Apr 2, 2012
st jacob, Illinois
I work for Firestone and know a handful of techs locally that clear 6 figures. Granted, it's not tuning and building race engiens. It's just flat rate mechanical repair.

CLEAR over 100k as a mechanic? Are you talking about guys that own or partially own their own shops or maybe work in highly specialized fields?
I'm a clinical engineer and gross right at that number. Wow we got mechanics knocking down 130k+ a year at firestone? Holy shit i picked the wrong field!
That would put them in the top 7% of earners, maybe higher.


Proven Member
Apr 28, 2008
sioux city, Iowa
Clearing 6 figures I find hard to believe, I've been doing this for 10yrs now this is my best year I've cleared 40k already this year. I take that back in a bigger metro area I can see 100k if the shop is busy. Ive only worked for dealerships started with Chrysler and now I'm at Ford been there for 4yrs. I love it working for ford is a million times better than Chrysler. We do do a lot of performance jobs recently I installed a whipple on a 15 mustang. But then there's the junk jobs to. But once your in and proven you write your own checks most days when the work is there .


15+ Year Contributor
Jul 12, 2006
murfreesboro, Tennessee
The people that clear 100 are lead technicians in some of the busiest Firestone's in the country. It's usually diagnostic, electrical, or emissions repair work. So nothing really specialized. And no, they do not have any ownership of the business. For perspective, a good store manager in my area can pull in close to 200k managing a 10 bay store. I'm a service manager (2nd in command) and brought home almost 80k last year. Not bad for 1 year of technical college and a high school diploma


Proven Member
Nov 8, 2002
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Definitely changes state to state and also depending on rural/city. I worked for a few dealerships before I started my own shop. Was constantly lied to and you had to fight for every dollar you earned. Made going to work miserable, just couldn't handle it anymore. The dealerships in this area, are known to kind of chew you up and spit you out. I have friends in other states who have found companies that treat them right and they can make an honest living. For me, I had to start my own shop in order to make a living. Now I have employees of my own and work everyday to help them make a living and enjoy life.

I would recommend you pay attention to your demeanor/attitude. Often have seen guys come out of school and just act like hot shots. Usually doesn't end up too well for them. Also just because you are finishing school, NEVER stop learning. Read all the time, get on IATN, subscribe to the free trade magazines in our industry. There are a lot of good ones, but just don't settle in. This industry is constantly changing and in order to be one of the best you have to continue exercising your brain. Good luck and hit me up if you ever have any questions.

I hated going to work at the dealership, I love going to work everyday now.

This is a video AC Delco did about me.
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