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Very good article Joe,  Over the years I have been working on cars I have seen so much change except for pay.. I am one of those working 50 hours a week, and done so for a very long time.. I am also flat rate. It use to be years ago I was able to put money away now I make money just to pay my bills.. Unfortunately I think it is going to have to get much worse before people start to notice and things start to change.. I would love to see a six figure pay or even close to it, I think that kind of pay is far and in between. I don't see that happening till things really start to get bad in the industry.

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Joe,  This topic has been an issue as long as i can remember. And that is why so many shops complain about no being able to hire quality techs. We pay our techs a base pay and then flat rate on top of that. It works out to about 50-55% base pay, and 45-50% flat rate. It provides a more consistent pay for them if there is a slow week. It also balances the burden of making sure there are cars to work on. My techs make from 50-75k, Our payroll numbers are good, we are averaging 17% net for the year, and everyone is happy.

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The tech shortage isn’t all about money. I think it’s a lot harder to do this work compared to 22 yrs ago when I started. Well, at least if you want to make good money. Knowledge wise, it’s way more demanding and physically it’s way more demanding. To make good money in this industry, you have to be an intelligent person nowadays, not just moderately skilled. A lot of young guys come into this industry and realize it’s not easy. On top of this we are talking about the snowflake generation. There is definitely a different mentality today with young people. They think they should instantly be able to work thier way to the top and be rich. I had a kid right out of high school with no experience what so ever tell me he wanted $12 per hr to start. That was the end of our chat.

 

Minimum wage in my area is $7.35. I start lube techs at 10-12 an hr. Its a good starting point. I try to get guys from oil change places or tire stores. A person that shows promise will not be in a lube tech position for too long. I will usually pay them $5 extra per hour commission done on small repairs.

 

 

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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