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Ever wondered how to become a technician at a luxury car dealership?
At just 23 years old, UTI graduate Patrick Sellers is a Porsche technician at Blue Grass Motorsport, where he routinely performs repairs in excess of $5,000. He is a silver-level Porsche technician and is on pace to be a gold tech next year, which will make him a 24-year-old Master Porsche tech!
Patrick’s success didn’t come overnight, though—while earning his education from Universal Technical Institute, his hard work, dedication and commitment to going above and beyond are what really made him shine. Keep reading to find out how Patrick landed a career working as a technician for Porsche—an iconic brand with a reputation for designing and developing some of the world’s most sought-after sports cars.
Becoming a technician wasn’t something on Patrick’s radar growing up—he actually got his start in music! He spent nearly 8 years playing his instrument because he thought he was going to pursue music performance as a career. While this was his talent, he knew deep down that this wasn’t what he wanted to dedicate his life to.
When Patrick would come home from high school, he watched the Velocity channel (now known as Motor Trend). He would often see UTI commercials, which sparked his interest in a career in the automotive industry. By the time his senior year rolled around, he reached out to an admissions representative to explore what a future at UTI could look like.
As Patrick considered this new career path, his admissions representative encouraged him to spend some time working in the field to gain hands-on experience and determine if this was the right fit. Patrick worked at a local Pep Boys for 6 months and soon after graduating from Silver Creek High School, enrolled in the Automotive Technology Program at UTI Lisle.
Patrick completed UTI’s automotive program as well as the Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) program. According to him, his experience at UTI was exactly what his admissions representative described. “Everything that we did in the classroom under the bookwork, we knew we would go out into the shop and learn straight away,” he says.
Patrick’s favorite memory from training at UTI was when he took his first electrical course—a concept he briefly learned while in high school but never fully understood. “The first week of being in my first electronics course, everything finally clicked,” he says. This defining moment got him excited about completing the rest of his program and preparing for a career in the field.
After completing his core automotive program and Ford training at UTI, Patrick traveled to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for 6 months of Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) training. He spent his mornings learning about Porsche vehicles and his afternoons working at a local Honda dealership.
Once he finished his training, Patrick traveled back to his hometown of Sellersburg, Indiana. He started working at Blue Grass Motorsport, a luxury car dealership in Louisville, Kentucky, located about 20-25 minutes from his home. Ever since, he’s been doing what he hopes to do for the rest of his career.
“It was easy to come into the dealership,” Patrick says. “I had to learn how to do their part of the paperwork, but I already knew how to work through the online technical menus and was already comfortable with the cars. I had been doing exactly what they expected me to do for the past 6 months.”
Patrick’s training allowed him to hit the ground running when starting his career—he already knew how to do many of the services he was required to do on the job, including tire changes, alignments, navigating the workshop manuals and more.
According to Patrick, every day on the job is different. He’s a bumper-to-bumper tech, meaning he doesn’t specialize in just one area. He might start the day with a simple oil change, then complete a tire alignment, diagnose a check engine light, diagnose a fuel problem, and do it all over again. “Whatever comes through the door is what we’re doing,” he says. “I’ve had a chance to do just about everything that’s offered in the industry since I’ve been here for about 2 years.”
At just 23 years old, Patrick has already accomplished incredible things in his career. He recently had the opportunity to assist with a repair on a Porsche Carrera GT 2005—a car valued at $1 million! Patrick helped with completing an oil change and removing an underbody panel worth $36,000. After completing the repair, the owner even allowed him to drive the car!
Patrick’s hard work, dedication and commitment have taken him a long way in his career. When asked what advice he would give to aspiring technicians, Patrick shared that it’s important to pursue your passion. If this is a field you’re interested in, gain some hands-on experience, such as by working at a tire shop like he did, to get a feel for the basics and ensure this is what you really want to do.
If working in the automotive industry is your passion, UTI has the training you need. According to Patrick, the training you receive from UTI in 1-2 years can easily take 4-5 years if you acquire it working for a manufacturer.
When Patrick isn’t busy working on Porsche vehicles, he can be found working on projects of his own. He’s currently building a custom motorcycle for himself! “I can’t do ‘nothing’ anymore,” he says. He loves his work so much that it’s also his hobby!
Patrick’s story shows that if you have a passion for what you do and are willing to put in the hard work, there’s no telling where you can go.
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It only takes a few minutes to learn about technician training opportunities.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
6) UTI graduates' achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
10) Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
12) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017. The projected number of annual job openings, by job classification is: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 75,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 28,300; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 17,200. Job openings include openings due to growth and net replacements.
15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI’s Custom Training Group on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved to operate by the Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.