Some people very foolishly think that all mechanic jobs are the same, they couldn’t be more wrong. The obvious stuff is what you are working on and where the job is but beyond that you need to consider:
- Manager Style
- The Team
- The Shop
- What You Are Working On
- Advancement Opportunities
- Type of Employment
- Type of Company
- Wage Range
There is no right or wrong answer for any of these, most of these are more of personal preference, you need to pick the job that fits best with what you need. The perfect job for you and your style might be terrible for someone else so give some thought about the below to figure out what is important for you.
1. Manager Style
Your manager, supervisor or boss makes a large impact on how happy you are going to be with your job. You need to be honest with yourself, what is your preference and what do you need?
A Technician friend of mine brought up a good point to me, he said that for the first 10 years he worked for a manager that was a real hard-ass, he pushed him hard and he always thought that his manager was asking for too much from him. He later took on a new role with a much more laid back manager. What I found interesting was that he said the first manager is who made him the tech that he is today, he said that if it was the opposite way around and he started with a laid back manager he may not have pushed himself as much and would not be as good a tech as he is now. Be honest with what your strengths are and pick a manager that will help you grow.
If you can, ask to meet some of the team you will be working with during the interview. Your co-workers do not have to be your best friends but you need to be able to get along with them. If the entire team is Wrestling fans that always want to talk about what happened on Raw and you happen to like books are you going to have a good time working with them?
Also, it is hard to tell in a quick interview but you also want to look out for tool thieves. Look around does everyone have big locks on their boxes or are their boxes open and everyone is openly sharing?
3. The Shop
This is often overlooked. Before you get hired take a shop tour, if they refuse to give you a shop tour it is most likely a disaster. Look for things like:
- How clean is the shop
- Are they equipped with the tools needed for the job
- Is it big enough or is everyone working on top of themselves
- Is it set up safely
I was working with a company one time (very briefly) where a mechanic went in and found out they had 3 air lines for 10 bays and they just had to share. He knew this was going to be a real pain so despite them offering a big wage he walked away from it.
If it is a field position get a look at the truck:
- Is it well equipped
- Do you take it how with you
- If so do you have space to park it at your home?
- What condition is it in
When it comes to benefits or medical insurance keep in mind, what do you need and what is the cost? I have been very fortunate with good health and have not required a lot from a benefits package and thus it has never been a big consideration for me but a colleague of mine needs regular chiropractor visits, has kids with health issues and a wife on prescription medication, for him a strong benefits plan is super important. You need a package that you can afford and covers what you need. If it doesn’t cover what you need what is the cost of independent coverage? Can you afford that?
5. What are you going to be working on
Start with type of vehicle (Cars, Diesel Trucks, Equipment, forklifts, generators, cranes etc.) are you qualified to work on these, do you like working on it etc. Next what brands do they work on. I have spoken to enough Diesel Mechanics to learn that some guys love working on Macks and some guys hate it. If it is a fleet of Mack trucks are you going to be happy with this.
Don’t forget, what is it used for? Garbage trucks by themselves aren’t so bad but they do get filled with garbage and they get nasty. If you have a weak stomach you are going to want to avoid these, as well as Vac Trucks. If it doesn’t bug you then these can be great opportunities as they typically pay well and are super stable, almost never any lay offs.
6. Advancement Opportunities
If you are looking for an opportunity to grow/advance in your career you need to put yourself in a position where this is possible. For a full read on how to advance in your career check out or recent article – https://www.rockstarmechanics.com/5-steps-to-getting-promoted/
7. Type of Employment
What is the working arrangement, will you be hired through the union, hired as a contractor or as an employee. There are pros and cons to each of these, if there is one that works best for you then you need a company that can accommodate that.
8. Type of Company
There are huge differences between working with a dealership vs. fleet vs. repair shop. One is not necessarily better than the other, there are perks to each, pick which one works best for you.
9. Wage Range
Money is the reason we all go to work but it is at the bottom of this list for a reason. It is the least important or all of them especially as there is such a good chance that the differences could end up being negligible when Over Time, Benefits Costs, Travel Times etc. are factored in. Base pay is a consideration and if everything else is equal then go with whoever is paying the most, otherwise go with the best overall fit.
There is a lot to consider when looking at a new job, keep this all in mind when going on an interview, ask questions pertaining to these. It is important to decide what is important to you and pick the job that fits for you.
One bonus thing to look at:
10) Online Reviews
Have a look at a companies Indeed and Glassdoor reviews. These are usually super biased so keep that in mind but they can give you a bit of insight into what a company is like. If they have bad reviews don’t write them off (these were likely written by a former employee who was terminated) but ask about them during the interview.
Techs are in high demand, you have choices, you do not have to pick the first job that comes available, pick the one that is best for you. If you need help finding a job that ticks all the boxes, give us a call at 1-833-937-3546 or check out our openings at www.rockstarmechanics.com/jobs