This article is part of an ongoing series to highlight and promote the technician career — demonstrating to kids, parents, and teachers how becoming a technician is a rewarding career path that can be lucrative and open the door to many opportunities within the industry. Are you a technician who would like to be spotlighted? Sign up!
Name: Brandon S.
Location: Greenville, SC
Job Title: Transmission Shop Foreman
Industry Experience: 7 years
Technician Spotlight: Brandon S.
How did you get started in the automotive industry?
When I decided the automotive industry was something I wanted to pursue, I was in college for computer technology systems. I realized I didn’t want to be sitting in front of a computer all day. However, my degree has helped me with newer technology in vehicles today. I found more joy in fixing things mechanically than I did with software and programming. Right out of college, I was working with heavy machinery. I got out of heavy machinery because it just wasn’t working out. Then, I went on to be a lube technician with more experience than an average lube technician. I did that for a couple months until I found a position at a Chevrolet dealership. I went from the Chevrolet dealership to another dealership in Florida because of a pay increase and stayed there for a year. I eventually moved back to South Carolina working for another dealership and got the position to be a main line transmission technician where I am today.
What is your favorite part of being a technician?
Being able to dive deeper into the resolution of a problem that occurs. That’s the enjoyment I get out of it. I also like having the opportunity to dig deeper and teach information back into the field. I like knowing there is going to be a different possibility or something new I can learn every day. My driving force is not having a normal daily routine, and it’s different everyday.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone looking to enter the industry?
If you are unsure this is an industry you want to get involved in, take some time getting to know the field before you make a full decision. If you’ve never worked at an independent shop or a dealership, it takes time to learn newer technology and how they operate. Don’t let it overwhelm or stress you out. Take your time, and keep an open mind.
What has being a technician taught you the most?/ What skills has your career given you?
I’ve learned diagnostics skills, customer service skills, and communication skills. I’ve learned in depth engineering and design which really expanded my knowledge. I’ve learned a lot about product development and how to make things better. I have the capability to take a product, redesign it, and make it work the way it was designed to work.
What do you wish more people, especially high schools, knew about the profession?
It is a very rewarding field to get into. If you are wanting to get into this field or eager to learn more about this field, take some basic fundamental classes. Do your research and interview the employers you are interested in working for. Not only are they there to interview you, you are interviewing them to see if this would be a shop you’d want to work for. Ask them about training, compensation, do their technicians have the opportunity to grow, and everything important to you when looking for a shop.
If you knew a kid that wanted to go into the industry, but his/her teachers were telling them to go into a four-year college, what would you tell the parents?
The same thing I told my dad, go for what you want to do, and don’t be forced into anything you don’t want to do. Allow kids to have a basic knowledge of the vehicles in today’s technology. This could lead them to a different degree or into a different interest altogether. Even getting a four-year degree in engineering or micromechanics would give them more understanding of the skills behind their degree and how they can use it.