How can I get hired to work on exotic cars?

mercury81mercury81 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Porsche

I am planning on going to college and getting my Associate Of Applied Science degree so I can get a job at a dealership or other repair shop. I was wondering if anyone knows what is required to be able to get a job working on Porsche or other exotic cars?

I know that Ford has the S.T.E.P program, and so on, but I could find nothing about exotics, save BMW, but does Porsche or Jaguar(Included in the S.T.E.P program?) and so on have a program or require specific training that I would need to get?

Any help would be appreciated,
Thank you


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You know what I'd do, and this is a bit radical but THINK about it at least.

    Instead of going to college, I would take out a loan and offer to pay a top notch Porsche garage a certain amount of tuition each month to teach you.

    This is similar to what used to be the apprentice program in Europe many years ago. Families paid the craftsman to teach their sons the "arts" of coachbuilding and higher scale mechanics.

    So if you can't get into a factory-sponsored apprentice program here in the US, I would offer this as an alternative. Of course, along with your training you will quality for certification as well through a trade organization. This will give you a piece of paper, but really, mere certification does not qualify you to work on Porsches or Ferraris.

    I figure $1,000 a month for a year should train you in the basics, and by that time you can ask the shop to start paying you--since you will be good for something by then.

    Most shops don't take apprentices they have to pay right off because for the first few months the apprentice costs the shop money, then the next few months the apprentice is a break-even proposition, and only after some time does the apprentice know enough to generate profit.

    So paying tuition makes sense for both teacher and trainee.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    To add to what Mr. Shiftright said,
    A degree is a good thing, companies like Cummins, Detroit Diesel and a few others prefer not to hire without a 2 year degree.
    Since you want to specialize, Mr Shiftright is right on target about contacting a Porsche shop.
    One thing I will tell you, it is extremely difficult to specialize like that when you are first starting out.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I agree, that's why I was suggesting doing something a bit out of the ordinary.

    I mean, you can pay big bucks for college tuition and not end up with any better a job than a first class mechanic in a prestige shop. And when you're too old to bend wrenches anymore, you can have your own shop and train new apprentices.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    I bought a long pattern 1/2 - 9/16 six point box wrench off the Vulcan truck (Remember them?) in 1975 or 76. It slipped though without the proper heat treatment, and bent the first time I encountered a tight bolt. When the truck came the next week, I asked the man how good was the warranty, and bent the wrench like a horse shoe holding the wrench out in front of him. I bent it back straight and gave it to him. He said he was going to walk into the next meeting and ask if they were making rubber wrenches while bending it back and forth. He tried and couldn't bend it. He wasn't a mechanic, because the two other guys I worked with could.

  • mercury81mercury81 Member Posts: 2

    That's one thing I hadn't really given much thought about. It's definately something that I am going to have to think about, since I am in a somewhat...precarious position--finacially.

    Although I'm sure I could get a loan to go to school, I am not sure if I could take out a regular loan. I haven't had much time to establish my credit and such.

    At the very least, I could contact a few shops and ask them what they look for when hiring, to give me a better idea.

    It's not absolutely necessary that I work on exotics, it's just that when I was younger a friend's father owned an exotic repair shop and I developed a love for the cars, and I also know that the money would be better.

    But, I really didn't think I'd be able to do it right off the bat, considering I don't even trust myself to mess with cars like that yet, much less expect someone else to.

    I have to say that I am leaning heavily towards the college, though. It takes two years, and it does give a degree, but the main reason is that part of the curriculum includes cooperative education, and that would give some actual "real world" experience that I could use towards getting a job once I've got the degree.

    I guess then I could work towards the exotics. This is going to require a lot of thought, however. As you mentioned, college isn't cheap and two years is a good length of time.

    Thanks again for all the input, though, it's given me a lot to think about, as well as expanded my options.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    A lot of it is timing, too. You could start school and start sniffing around various shops. I've seen shops take on apprentices, such as our local Porsche/Audi shop, but I will tell you that two things seem to be required. One, a real eagerness to learn, and Two, the willingness to do the grunt work until you have learned something. You'll get a lot of the crappy jobs at first, and you'll get yelled at too I bet.

    But I think the sooner you learn that nothing worthwhile comes to anybody without really hard work, the better you'll be. If you've ever met people who got everything handed to them, you also have met someone who has never been challenged and who carries that inside. It's not a great thing to have happen to you.

    I think if you do what you really love doing, everything else falls into place. Trick is figuring out what that thing is. Cars are great because they are so interesting. It's not just reading reports and following numbers on a screen. You get to see the tangible results of your skill almost every day when you are a really good tech. I never got rich with cars but man I had some great adventures and met really interesting people. Still do. Some of the smartest and most alive people you'll ever meet have a passion for the automobile.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Since performance is evidently an area you want to go int and you need student funding, then there is an option.

    Universal Technical Institute It is an automotive trade tech school. I only know them by reputation, but the have student loan programs and placement programs. Anyway, it is an option.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    When you have the intelligence and ambition that qualifies you to work on exotic cars why not apply that gift towards a B.S. degree in some form of Engineering? Working your way through college can take more than four years, but the attainment of the goal is worth it. Look into Ceramic Engineering - no - it's not throwing pots.Good Luck
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Maybe fixing cars is what he really loves. That should come first don't you think? Sometimes engineers don't get to exercise their creativity even in a good job.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    Fulfilling your potential for the life span is forward thinking. Doing what feels good or you love at the time is short term and selfish. Each of us have an obligation to do our best over our life time, not just satisfying our short span desires. The 'flower children' preached "do what you love" and "if it feels good, do it". That mind set has not turned into mature and productive persons of this competitive world. The better educated one is the better qualified he is to compete in the long term and life span within our economy. This country needs fewer liberal socialists, not more.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Doing what feels good or you love at the time is short term and selfish.
    I beg to differ. That is a close minded attitude.
    I did what I wanted and enjoyed. I am now in a career that I do well financially and will retire from with no worries. Had I had that mindset, I would have been in a career I hated, wouldn't be happy and would have never taken any chances.
    I am a mechanic. And from the sounds of things, you consider being a mechanic a lowly profession and has not turned into mature and productive persons of this competitive world?

    The better educated one is the better qualified he is to compete in the long term and life span within our economy.
    So you are saying that if one does not have a college education, they are not able to compete in the long term of our economy? Ha ha, too funny.
    See, right now I make more money than some folks I work with, that have college educations.
    I deal with corporations on a regular basis and not one of them has ever questioned my intelligence, only my patience and tolerance. LOL!

    I am trying to understand how doing what makes you happy and dream of is condemnable.
    Without people fulfilling those dreams, we would not have computers, cars, planes or any of those luxuries. Had those people had the mindset you have, they would have been another drone in society. Yeah, follow what "The Man" tells you to do.
    People like Race car drivers, baseball players, artists, movie stars and all would never have came to be. You, nor I have the right to tell this person what he should or shouldn't do. He asked for opinions on how to achieve his goal.
    I, along with other mechanics have been in exactly the same shoes as he has and succeded. Which makes me more able to provide a more experienced viewpoint than you.
    As for mature, I view that word in the same context as stuffy and no fun.
    As for productive, you really believe a mechanic is not productive?
    I won't deny that having something to fall back onto as a career is a good idea, but at a time when the mechanic population is declining and vehicles are becoming more and more advanced, there is nothing wrong with being a mechanic.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    Why so defensive about being a mechanic? You have done the best you can do and that is fine. The purpose of my post was to encourage the young man to be more than he thinks he can be. Rather than be a nurse, be a doctor, rather than be a para legal, be an attorney, rather than be a pharmacy tech, be a pharmacist, rather than be a vet tech, be the veterinarian. Get it? Apparantly you equate money with success. There is much more to being successful than having money. I've never met a person who resented having a college degree, but I have met many folk who wished two things. (1) Their mother made them practice the piano and (2) they had a degree. Productivity is not measured by how much you make, but by how great you are in service to others. I agree with your last statement.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Productivity is not measured by how much you make, but by how great you are in service to others.
    If you are referring to me on that statement, then my history here at TH speaks for itself, along with the link on my profile.
    Apparantly you equate money with success.
    Of course I do. It would be foolish to consider yourself successful and be broke.
    I equate success with achieving my goals and money.
    Defensive about mechanics? Absolutely. It is what I do and I am very proud of what I do.
    I have a nice career, own a business on the side and have lots of time for my family. Why shouldn't I be proud and defensive of what I do?

    Realistically, I don't have to prove anything to you. You views are flawed and you can't see that.
    Again, I emphasize the fact that the person asked how to achieve the goal, not what you thought of it.
    Enough said, I am bored with this discussion.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    kinley---never postpone or defer happiness because 99 out of 100 people get stuck waiting for it just after working three more years at the post office or five more in this lousy job or until I just finish this big project, or as soon as I retire or once the kids are grown or when the stock hits 100 or after mom and dad are gone or...........etc.

    Doing what you love is NOT selfish, far from it. It's the best favor you can do for your family and friends I think.

    Let's compromise on this. Not everyone has this CHOICE in life, nor does everyone get the VISION early in life, I will grant that. But if you do, take it, take it and run with it!

    This kid likes exotic cars, really loves them, that's what he should do. Nothing bad will come of it with that attitude. He can change careers when he's 25, but not so easy at 55.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    however, after being raised in the Depression and WWII when first we couldn't afford it and second - it wasn't available, delayed gratification was learned. Advanced education is much more difficult to achieve at 55 than 25. Without the wife, kids, mortgage and other demands the young man is ripe for furthering his education now. At first he would be an Apprentice and for how long?Then, a Craftsman and for how long before he's considered to be a Master at his trade? Check out the April 15th issue of "U.S. News". Average starting salaries of Stanford Business School graduates last year was $124,740 which is not too bad for a 23 year old man. The U of WA graduate placed 49th at $81,528, still very good.
    If the Stanford student stays at the same income for 40 years of productivity, his lifetime income will approximate $5,000,000. This is all about what can happen when practicing delayed gratification & obtaining a college degree vs the income of a Craftsman. The above is not intended to degrade the craftsmen, but to make aware the advantages of further education. Timing is of prime importance during the life and IMO youth is the best time for advanced education.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would like to see the medical and therapy records for all those Stanford graduates ten years from now as well as salary levels, however.

    Many exhaustive surveys have shown that the type of education you get has very little to do with your overall success in life. This is one of the most stubborn yet most unprovable myths in American culture. You don't have to go to a good school. In fact, you may be totally screwed if you do (depending on who you are).

    Same with getting rich. Far fewer wealthy people than you'd ever think started out with the intention of "getting rich". They started out doing what interested them and what they loved to do. Richness came rather accidentally.

    I got a couple rich friends...I mean RICH...and one (who I knew long before he ever made a dime) had this to say:

    "Nobody get out of here alive. Don't play it safe and don't try to get it right, because there is no sense in that given the eventual outcome of being born".

    I wish I had listened to that advice earlier on myself, but I'm pretty satisfied how it turned out. And I never used my degrees either. I majored in what people told me to major in, and it turned out to be useless for me. (except I did learn to read and write and calculate very well).

    You cant imagine how much more interesting a Ferrari is than a course in Economics.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    After Econ 101, Price Theory, and Statistics I changed my Minor from Econ to Music as the entire staff of Econ Profs were Commies who thought open free competition was the worst. Con law was very interesting to me as was Insurance, my major. Yes, even a Crosley before Econ. No major regrets.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There is no such thing as open free competition. Your commie profs should have known at least that. We've got to raise the hiring standards!

    Well, no matter. Pretty soon nobody is going to fix cars. They'll just be used and thrown away like TV sets. So any kid who wants to fix them had better start soon is my advice.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Your major was Insurance?
    Ha ha, I just looked at your profile.
    That is a "productive" profession? Not likely.
    Get real. What exactly does the insurance industry produce, besides headaches.
    Every person I have seen that owns an insurance company has been some fat chump, who only wants to raise rates to keep his lifestyle the way he has it.

    Explain to me how insurance is more productive than mechanics.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, they paid to get my car fixed when it was hit by a boat! (true story, it happened in a windstorm--but AAA did HASSLE me for a while--LOL!)

    Please, opatience, don't yank on kinley's chain. If you guys can keep it off the personal level fine, but really let each man choose and enjoy his profession and feed his family as he wishes or needs to do.

    If anything, I'd like to suggest we bend the direction of this talk toward why there is so little respect for and prestige in the profession of auto mechanics, and how this cultural bias as possibly led to a crisis of talent in this area.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    goods and services including mechanics. If there wasn't insurance, not a ship would leave the port, not a home would be mortgaged, and who would indemnify the widow? When in the business, I was a four agency owner & commission only paid. Being self employed caused me to look after my own retirement system so I invested my savings and some of the profits in the stock market over 40 years ago. My education enabled me to take advantage of the market so I did.
    Not being a company man I have also met some "fat" "chumps" as you say, but all have proven to be very generous gentlemen, great to work for according to their underwriters and claims managers. Some of the best in the industry are located in McMinnville. One of them restored a 66 Mustang himself in his spare time which illustrates he can do what you can do as well as what he does.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah but a '66 Mustang is a primitive thing and easy to work on. You can't equate restoring a car like that with the skill it takes to repair a modern automobile I don't think. Difference between pulling a ten-penny nail and pulling an impacted wisdom tooth.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    "If there wasn't insurance, not a ship would leave the port, not a home would be mortgaged, and who would indemnify the widow?"

    A skewed perspective, given that without all those underachieving mechanics the ships wouldn't sail, the truckloads of building supplies wouldn't run, the widow's cheques wouldn't get delivered.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Columbus didn't have insurance, did he? How about the Apollo missions?

    (just kidding, you don't have to answer).
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