In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Josh Arnold, Master Technician, Toyota of Corvallis. Josh walks us through a tool he created to track his hours, the importance of paving a career path, and advice for young technicians.
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Paving a Career Path
- There is money in this industry if you have a clear career path. Technicians can make $40,000 per year, $60,000 per year, and even $100,000 per year.
- It’s crucial for shops to paint a career path for their technicians and show them the potential of the industry and how cool it is.
- Technicians want career growth and a place that is going to allow them to grow. Give technicians opportunities in the shop to try different things and figure out what they like.
- The difference between school and actually working in a shop is huge. Anytime there are new techs right out of school, be direct with them. They have a lot of knowledge, but don’t know what it’s like working in a shop on a daily basis.
Advice to Young Technicians
- Once you feel comfortable in the skills you are doing, go do something that makes you uncomfortable. Pull an engine, pull a transmission, do a job that nobody else wants because if you get good at that, then you’re going to be making a lot of money.
- Take every job as a learning experience. Any job you’re scared of, jump on it like a live grenade and take it.
- Learning the skills needed in this industry comes at different lengths of time for everyone. If you have a good person, they have a great attitude and are a hard worker, give them patience. Give them time to grow and mature because that will pay off in the long run.
- Constantly set new goals and learn new skills. If you want to get ahead in the industry, this will help you progress in your career and bring in more money.
The Power of Video
- Create videos walking around the car and talking to the customers about the problems you see. This will make you a better technician, do a more thorough job, and bring in more money off the flat rate system.
- Start by introducing yourself and your job title in the video. At the end, close out by thanking the customer. If it’s a returning customer, mention that in the video so they know that we’ve acknowledged the fact they’re a returning customer.
- The best thing a technician can do is to be open and honest with the customer. We use our video tools to show what we’re recommending. If a customer’s brakes are low, take a picture of it so they can see for themselves. Using those tools helps build trust and relationships back in our industry.
Tracking Technicians’ Time
- For every vehicle that comes in, there is a repair order with a VIN. Josh bills out how many hours they have made on the repair order. Then, he uses a tool he created to track how many hours he’s expecting off of the job.
- Josh compiles how many repair orders he has based on the numbers punched in, how many hours per repair order, and also a percentage of warranty pay compared to customer pay. All the data really tells a story over a period of time. It may not show in a month what’s really happening, but over a few years, you see a lot.
- This tool shows the progression of a technician’s career. As they become more experienced, you should see an increase in their work. As a technician, you can see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved over the years.
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