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10 Stories That Will Make You Want to Be a Technician

Jun 23, 2018 ·

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Have you ever considered a career as an auto technician or perhaps a technician in the diesel, motorcycle or marine industry?

If you haven’t, here’s a quick test to see if it could be a good fit for you:

  • Do you enjoy working with your hands?
  • Are you interested in mechanics?
  • Do you have a passion for cars, trucks, motorcycles or watercraft?
  • Do you hate your current job?
  • Do you want a better future for yourself? For your family?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, here’s ten inspiring stories that could inspire you to become a technician in one of these exciting fields.

UTI Graduate

1) Ignoring the Haters


When Brandon Davis researched mechanic schools and discovered UTI, he was working at what he considered a dead-end warehouse job in Ohio. He enrolled in the Diesel Technology program at the Avondale (Phoenix), AZ campus. It was a bold move, considering that he’d never done any mechanical work in his life.

“My education at UTI means everything right now,” Brandon said. “For someone that wants to pursue this goal, don’t allow negativity steer you away from doing what you actually want to do. I put my life on hold to learn what I wanted to, and it worked out in the long run.”6

2) Breaking Down Gender Barriers


Traditionally speaking, automotive careers are considered “manly”, but Alyssa Culver didn’t allow that stereotype to discourage her from researching auto mechanic schoolsand pursuing a career as a collision repair technician.

Sure, she was a bit worried on her first day of class, but her anxiety vanished when she met her instructors. The culture of acceptance that they help establish at UTI Houston made her instantly feel like an equal member of the team.

“My experience in the program overall was amazing! All the instructors were very willing to help and they always would put down everything they were doing just to help you do what you needed,” Alyssa said.

3) Who You Know is Important

Michael Steinkrauss hadn’t even changed a tire when he enrolled at UTI. But he had a positive attitude and work ethic.

After he graduated, he took full advantage of UTI’s industry relationships. In fact, the UTI Career Services team helped him get some exciting interviews.

“I learned everything I know now from UTI and that got me to this point. I went from nothing to a year and a half later working at a Mercedes-Benz dealership,” Michael said.

4) Taking Advantage of Veteran Benefits


As a military veteran, Ryan White enjoyed UTI’s education style. In fact, he likens it to his military training, stating that it’s hyper-focused, objective driven and detailed.

“You’re dedicated to one subject, three weeks at a time. You don’t have to worry about anything else other than what you’re focused on at that point,” Ryan said.

He used his veteran benefits to pursue his passion and moved on from his civilian job to a lifelong career.20

5) Overcoming Obstacles


What UTI instructor John Galambos enjoys the most about teaching at the Rancho Cucamonga, CA campus is working with students from diverse backgrounds and helping them all overcome obstacles.

“To see the struggles and the things they’ve overcome; some students have had to do everything all on their own,” Galambos said. “Some grew up in a broken family; others had a great family. We’ve got many young men and women that served our military, and now they’re here trying to better themselves through the programs we have.”

6) Mentoring the Next Generation


Jim Lahaise acquired his mechanical knowledge through decades of automotive work. He never expected to become an instructor, but when he was invited to teach at UTI Exton (PA) he soon realized how much he enjoyed helping the next generation of technicians.

“There was a girl, Heather, that went through the school and she was very timid at first. She didn’t know if she could fix cars. After 5 or 6 classes, she started getting in the rhythm, and then she turned into one of the best students that’s ever gone into UTI.”

7) That Lightbulb Moment


Marine Mechanics Institute instructor Billy Crosby wishes he had these programs when he entered the industry. He knows how difficult it can be to work your way from the bottom, and he tries to give his students every advantage so they can rise to the top in their careers.

“Whenever I watch students out here working and I’m able to see that moment whenever that light bulb goes off; where they actually understand, and what it was that they’ve just done maybe for the first time. Even if they’ve done it in other classes, now they’ve done it on their own, and that’s true knowledge and acknowledgment of their own ability for themselves.”

8) Holding the Door Open


When you achieve success in life, be sure to hold the door open for those behind you. For UTI Lisle (IL) instructor Sean Gagnon, that means sharing life lessons with the next generation of those who have the goal of becoming an automotive technician.

“I remember being even 10 or 11 years into the field still thinking about instructors that I’ve had when I was a student, and I wanted to be on the other side of that giving back in a sense, and putting my stamp on the new generation of technicians.”

9) Turning Trauma into Triumph


After suffering a near-fatal motorcycle accident in his youth, you’d think Motorcycle Mechanics Institute instructor David Dyck would have decided to ditch these dangerous machines.

Not only did he go out and buy a new street bike after his accident, he built his whole life around his love of motorcycles. His passion helps him connect with his students so he can show them how they can turn their love into a career.

“To communicate with the students is just [an] amazing opportunity to learn not only their passion, where they’re from, and what they’re into. Whether it’s cruisers, sport bikes, dirt bikes, and just to get to know them on a personal basis.”

10) You Never Stop Learning


As his students prepare for graduation, UTI Exton, PA, instructor Tom Brown issues a challenge:

“I tell these students here when they graduate, ‘You want to do something for me, in 5 years come back and tell me how you’re doing. If you’re now an A-tech in 5 years, or shop foreman, or have your own business, you know how much pride I’ll get from that? I challenge you to do so.”

For Brown, learning doesn’t start and stop at the classroom door. It’s a continuous process, and one he hopes to be a part of as his graduates work toward achieving their career goals.

Technician at work

How Universal Technical Institute Can Help You Become a Technician

Feeling inspired by these stories? Find out more about how UTI’s programs can help you pursue your passion. If you are wondering is being an auto mechanic is a good career for you, we can help you decide.

UTI Campuses That Offer Automotive Technician Training

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

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.

20) VA benefits may not be available at all campus locations.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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