Location: Columbus, OH
Experience: 6 Years
Job Title: Automotive Technician

Here at WrenchWay, we are always working to think of new and creative ways to share the knowledge, skill level, and hard work it takes to be an automotive technician. This is why we started our technicians spotlight series. These articles are 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.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Trent M., Automotive Technician, Columbus, OH to discuss how he got started in the industry, his favorite things about the automotive industry, and the affects a great mentor can have on a new technicians career.

Trent’s Story

Trent’s love for the automotive industry began when he was 16-years-old. He had a Ford Escape, and something was wrong with the window motor, but he didn’t know this at the time. Not knowing much about cars, Trent took it to a shop. At the time, the cost to get it fixed was about a whole paycheck for Trent, so he decided to take it into his own hands.

“It occurred to me, why would I let someone else do it when I can do it myself? That kind of inspired me to get into this industry.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

Trent went to the library and found a Chilton for his car. From there, he proceeded to figure out what was wrong with his vehicle. After a full day of hard work and dedication, he was able to replace the window motor himself. That was the first time Trent had ever really held a tool in his hand, but knew from then on it wasn’t going to be the last.

“It is extremely beneficial being able to work on your own stuff. It saves you a lot of money, time, and it’s really convenient if you’re ever broken down on the side of the highway.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

From that moment on, Trent’s love for the industry continued to grow. He went to different shops to learn more about the industry and expand his skills, including learning how to do oil changes and change tires. He later got an apprenticeship at a Chevrolet dealership and continued to grow his knowledge. He now has been moving around to different shops continuing to gather experience and expand his skillset.

Passion for the Industry

A lot of technicians get into this industry because they are passionate and love working on cars. They get a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and thrill after finally figuring out a problem with a car. The passion Trent built for the industry led him to where he is today.

Trent’s favorite part about being a technician is learning and practicing diagnostics. Technicians have codes and scan tools, but that doesn’t tell you exactly what is wrong with the car. Trent enjoys the excitement that comes from finding a problem, fixing it, and getting the car to run properly. It makes him feel extremely proud of the work he is doing.

“I enjoy the diagnostics experience and the joy I get when I know I’m right and I fixed that part, replaced it, repaired it, and the car works correctly.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

A new challenge comes through the shop doors every day. Whether it’s ripping apart the interior, fixing wires all day, or handling a mechanical problem, Trent loves the challenge.

The Impact of a Mentor

Mentors have such a big impact on the future success of a young technician. This can be a challenging industry, so it is important young technicians have a role model and someone they can look up to. For Trent, it was his shop foreman, Jeff, that made a big impact on his career.

“I went into the shop as an average tech, maybe even below average. He taught me how to think about things. The biggest part was he taught me how to not get too stressed out.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

Being a technician can be a very overwhelming job. Trent’s mentor helped him break down big problems into small steps. There were many situations where Trent didn’t even know where to begin on a repair, and Jeff would remind him that it’s just nuts and bolts. The advice and skills Jeff taught Trent continue to affect his work today and make him a better technician.

“If you go into this industry and you don’t have any experience, you’re going to ask a lot of questions. You need someone who is going to understand there is no such thing as a stupid question.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

Understanding the Industry

Something Trent wishes more people knew about the industry is how much skill and knowledge it takes to be successful in the industry. Most people assume technicians are just turning wrenches, and they couldn’t be more wrong. Trent wants people to understand how complicated some repairs can be, and give technicians the credit they deserve.

“Cars are becoming way more advanced, even replacing a battery at this point is very complicated. This is a highly skilled industry and I feel it’s not quite treated as one.”
Trent M., Automotive Technician

Trent also wishes people understood that you can be successful in this industry and make very good money. The important thing is to get into a good shop that is going to treat you right. Trent is currently working for a shop that pays him a salary, and he loves it. There are many shops that pay technicians differently, so find out what pay plan works best for you, and you will be successful.

Watch the Full Interview

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