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Episode 2: Training Johnny New Guy—Becoming a Mechanic

May 2019 | By Paul Watley

When it comes to new techs, shop owners need to rethink the process of becoming a mechanic, every step of the way.



It hurts your heart. Literally. You see new mechanics coming in, and they’re so charged up to finally get a chance to do what they love: work on cars. But slowly, over time, that enthusiasm fades. In this episode, our new and old-school mechanics talk shop about how becoming a mechanic means never losing your love for the work.

Rethink every step.It starts with building a cool shop and pairing new techs with the best mentors, says Charles Sanville, mechanic and video blogger, Humble Mechanic. The certified Volkswagen technician started out in a dealership and watched the most enthusiastic mechanics lose heart. Good mentorship saved him.

Manage conflict. If you have a new tech starting in your garage, team meetings can quiet conflicts that might be happening under the radar, says Audra Fordin, a fourth-generation mechanic and the founder of Women Auto Know. Chances are, the problem isn’t an isolated one, and the team needs an open, honest conversation about it.

Your best mentor isn’t always your best tech. Pairing up the right mentor with the right new tech means passing on the love and passion for the craft, says Ralph Parente, who started working in an auto shop at 16 years old. But that doesn’t always mean your best mechanic. Stay opened-minded about which seasoned techs in your shop can be the best mentors.

Up next: Think of it this way — customers are newbies, too. Teach them well. Watch Shop Goals Episode 3: Talking Customers.


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