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Joe Marconi

More Issues with Flat Rate

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There has been a lot of controversy recently with flat rate pay plans.  Below is a link to an article about a technician's strike that was held in Chicago. Although the strike and issues in the article centered around dealerships, the article brought up good points about flat rate pay, and the low hourly pay many techs receive.  It points to reasons why many techs are unhappy, leaving the industry and why we have issues attracting quality people to our industry. 

I don't want to start a firestorm, and there are many forms of flat rate pay...but, is it time to rethink flat rate pay plans?  And also, we really need to compensate our employees at a standard that is in line with the training, the tools that are required and skills needed these days. 

I think it is worth your while to read the article and start a conversation on this topic.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20171023/RETAIL05/171029996/

 

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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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