Bogi Lateiner, Tj Hunt, ChrisFix, EricTheCarGuy, TechForce Foundation and Universal Technical Institute engaged with the technicians of tomorrow by challenging perceptions of the industry and enlightening them on the benefits of an automotive technician career. These industry names shared everything from their day-to-day, what they wish they had known starting out in the industry, and the myths that bother them the most.
No two mechanic’s backgrounds are the same.
Just as the opportunities in the industry are endless, so are the paths to joining the industry. Eric shared he enrolled in a technical institute after practicing art but had always been fixing things for as long as he could remember. On the other hand, Chris started his fixing career in the second grade by repairing boats, which then turned into fixing cars. UTI and TechForce encouraged aspiring technicians to research educational programs to get their start, and Tj voiced that those who might be hesitant to jump into the industry should attend car meet-and-greets and other industry events.
Being a mechanic means more than changing a car battery.
As a mechanic, it’s important to have critical thinking skills, a desire to learn and passion for the industry. TechForce equated mechanics to STEM professionals by noting that today’s cars have more code than a Boeing 777, requiring mechanics to possess high-level technical skills. Jon Desrocher, tire specialist from Joe Gibbs Racing, shared his day-to-day requires him to understand mechanical, electrical and PCM problems. Meanwhile, Bogi’s parents weren’t always supportive of her mechanic career until they realized her job as a BMW tech gave her the means to buy a house at the age of 24 when her college friends couldn’t.
Changing with the future of the industry.
With electric cars on the rise, some might think mechanics will be out of work, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The experts discussed how all cars – even electric ones – will still break down. Tj emphasized the role social media will play in the future success of techs’ businesses as it provides a new way to reach and engage consumers. As technology changes and time passes, one thing is clear: A skilled mechanic will always be in demand, especially with the expected shortage in this field.
Without mechanics, it’d be hard for any of us to get from point A to point B. Interstate Batteries’ #ShiftTheMyth initiative is setting misconceptions straight by uniting the industry to champion those in it and aspiring younger generations to give this career path a green light.