Jump to content

what is a realistic number of labor hours charged for a 40 hr per week tech

Recommended Posts

I have 2 great,hard working techs. Our car count is fairly consistent at about 45 cars per week. We use a worksheet to check out every vehicle that comes in and we sell a lot of recommended work from those inspections. We consistantly produce about 55 hours total per week. Is it really realistic to achieve 80 hours for these two techs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You didn't say what level techs these are. I have two A techs who consistently pull 45-55 hours per week each, but if the second tech is a general service guy doing oil changes and other loss-leader work, it will be difficult for him/her to earn the hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One tech is a veteran tech with about 30th years experience. While not a strong diagnostician, he has years of experience and does excellent with mechanical work like brakes, chassis, engine, transmission work. Our second tech has just graduated from Alfred tech, a great auto tech college. He's very intelligent but only has about 1 year work experience. Both techs have a great work ethic and really hustle every day. They are both paid hourly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you speak of production hours, there is a lot that goes into that. It depends on tech experience, the type of work you sell, are you billing properly (especially for diag testing) and the balance of your schedule.


With two techs, if they are doing a lot of oil services and minor services, you labor hours will not be as high as opposed to a tech that is strictly doing repair work.


A production tech (one that does only repair and diag work) must be able to produce more hours than he works. So, again, it depends on a few variables.


Take a look at the work you do and your appointment schedule, have a balance of service, repair and diag. Make sure you are getting enough labor hours too.


As far as Tech classification, that also depends on the type of work and the shop. Typically, a C tech is entry level, a B tech is a production tech, but may lack in advanced diagnostics, an A tech is a Master Level and is expected to perform just about anything you give him/her.


I hope this helps. Great question!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification of tech levels. With that i would classify them as B and C techs. I have no doubt that our C tech will eventually be an A tech. Our B tech will likely always stay a B. Would you recommend hiring a C tech to do the oil changes and tires and keep the current techs doing repairs ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now you have touched on the mystery of shop management. Having the right labor mix for the work you can reasonably expect to bring in is probably the biggest challenge we all face. Assuming you are paying your techs on some kind of incentive plan based on hours earned, you probably feel pressure to feed them as many hours as possible, so you hesitate to bring in additional techs and water down the available hours. If you are short on labor, overtime can destroy your labor margins if not carefully managed. Let's say your successful in increasing car count and your SWs are selling work, when is the right time to bring in another tech? And will you be able to find a great tech? Techs leave, and the ones you hire after great deliberation turn our to be, well, not great. You don't ever solve this one - you attempt to manage it on a continuing basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is always a mix of work to be done on every vehicle that comes in the shop. Since we only have these two great techs, who are happy to do the mix, perhaps it might be best to not complicate our processes by changing things up right now. I have been considering an incentive for improving billed hours. Any advice on incentives would be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your technicians are as good as you say they are and also you are selling a lot of work maybe the problem is you are not selling the work at its full value. You could easily bump your numbers up by selling the proper time on each job and also selling your diagnostic time for proper value. Something I learned recently that I am still working on.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We believe that ALL employees should end up on a pay plan that rewards them for meeting and exceeding performance goals, whatever those goals may be. We spent months with our ATI coach working on technician pay matrices that


1. increase pay scale for obtaining additional professional certifications

2. Reward production (hourly pay for the week increases as they achieve production thresholds)

3. Insure that we are paying time and a half for overtime

4. Tell us when we can let a tech work OT and preserve our labor margins


If you have a tech who has turned 20 labor hours by Friday and he ends up working 45 hours, your labor margins are probably taking a beating. If your techs are not on an incentive plan, what motivates them to pull that last car in at 4:30 in the afternoon and do a through courtesy check on it? Because they're nice guys? Because they really like you? I want them to do it because we ALL materially benefit from it.


Why did it take us so long? First, it's a difficult concept to absorb, it takes a while to actually develop the individual pay matrices, we're not "strongarm" managers (we're wimps), and we were taking people off of pay plans they were comfortable with and moving them to a challenging new pay plan that rewards them for performance.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have an average hours per ticket of 0.81 hrs per car, that is low. You should be up around 1.5 hrs per car where you would be looking at 67.5 hrs. Which would be 84-85% efficiency. You have a good car count coming through your shop but you aren't selling enough hours per ticket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Your per vehicle average is low. I suggest you should be averaging about 2.0 hours per vehicle as an initial goal. Along with that, an equivilent amount of parts. The actual ratio is .80 parts to 1.00 labor. For your shop, 45 cars with an average of 2.0hrs per r.o., you will have 90 hours of production for those two technicians. That would be about 110% productive. This is a realistic goal, and can be achieved with some good processes in place. There needs to be a graduated pay scale to create incentive to find and do the work, I know with the numbers you mention, you are leaving work on the table. This is a particular concern because your customers count on you to let them know what is going on with their car. If you miss something during their last visit, they may wind up at another shop that will show them everything that is wrong with their car. However if you document and prioritize all the concerns, you will develop loyalty with your clients. I call it "we report, you decide". Give them what needs repaired first, then things in the near future, then recommended services, etc. They will be happy, you will also make more money, which means a brighter future, all because you are doing it right. I love this part of the business. You have good car count....now you need to make the cars count.

Edited by Shopcat
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Ruben Van Zenden
      Today, we simply cannot ignore social media, everyone is using it whether you are a fan or not. Personally, I think it has its negative and positive sides. 
      I have been looking at 100+ car repair shops and noticed that only a hand full are using social media marketing, for example, Facebook advertising. 
      Why are so few car repair shops making use of this, in my opinion, great opportunity to increase car count? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      As an "old timer" who got his start during the muscle car era, this is hard to accept. Am I too sensitive? 
      The Associated Press covered some of the driveway mechanics and enthusiasts who are converting classic cars into electric restomods.
      This includes some business owners like Sean Moudry, co-owner of InspireEV near Denver. He recently restored a 1965 Ford Mustang with an electric powertrain. The project cost upwards of $100,000.
      Read the article in Ratchet and Wrench:
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Auto Repair Shops Are Making Techs Pay For What?!?
    • By carmcapriotto
      Erich and Lauralee Schmidt went to a 4 day work week during COVID and haven't looked back. They also have an app for their shop with benefits to customers.
      Erich and Lauralee Schmidt, Schmidt Auto Care, Springboro, OH    Show Notes:  
      4 day work week- exhaustion during COVID, started cutting Fridays with three day weekends. Prefaced it as summer hours and would go back to 5 days in the fall. They never went back to 5 day work week. Revenue, productivity, and efficiency increased. 8-7 pm work hours. The check-in process includes 4 day work week schedule.  40 hours of training a year minimum- observing efficiency, open communication, partnering with employees with their training. Training is a requirement when hiring employees. “Where are your interests?” Service Advisor=Serice Specialist  Free Schmidt Auto Care App- started 6 years, App Fueled is a customizable garage for clients and a bevy of services outside of just communication. Special pricing, birthday specials, loyalty touch points. 30% of the customer base has the app.  Had ADAS for 3 years, one of the first in the area to get it. Program and calibration.
      Thanks to our Partner, Dorman Products. Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
      Connect with the Podcast:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Intro; Being the auto repair shop for fleet customers requires a different way of marketing. You’re not going to gain fleet customers doing the same marketing you do for retail customers. In this episode, we share real-life marketing tips and strategies to help you land those fleet customers you want!
      Talking Points
      This is ALL about the relationship Develop your customer avatar for fleet customers Make your Dream 25 List Create a series of steps you want to take to create and nurture those relationships Where are their watering holes? Go there. Become a regular. What traditional marketing should you do for fleets?  
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Book: Giftology - https://www.amazon.com/Giftology-Increase-Referrals-Strengthen-Retention/dp/1619614332   
      How To Get In Touch
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected]
      Thanks to our partner, RepairPal. Visit the Web HERE
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...