RM85rider123

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Oct 28, 2007
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Well I have been thinking where I want to go to college (getting closer and closer to highschool graduation). I chose MMI just because they are corresponding with motorcycles and nothing else. I will probably take the sport class involving honda, yamaha, etc. sport bikes, dirtbikes, atv, utv's. What I would like to know if anyone has had experience with this place? If so, could you give me an estimate of how much it costs? Man, I can't wait for college ;)

-Also, how are people's opinions on this institute?
 

_JOE_

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May 10, 2007
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If you're looking to work in the local powersports dealer's garage MMI "MIGHT" help you get a foot in the door. Chances are you will start out at very low wages. You might be better off to go ask them if you can get a part time job for the summer/after school and take advantage of the things some of the more experienced techs can show you.
 

_JOE_

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If you think it will get you a high paying job with a national MX team or something, keep dreaming.
 

RM85rider123

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_JOE_ said:
If you're looking to work in the local powersports dealer's garage MMI "MIGHT" help you get a foot in the door. Chances are you will start out at very low wages. You might be better off to go ask them if you can get a part time job for the summer/after school and take advantage of the things some of the more experienced techs can show you.


That would be a good idea about the summer job and everything, but most of the shops around where I live are "stuck up" if you know what I mean, and I most likely will not be able to get a job due to the economy. BUT, I do know a person that owns a private harley shop, that I might get into. The only problem I would not get payed though. I would just do it to get higher education, like you said. But in the long run, I would want to go higher than a regular joe shop mechanic. My grandfather strives me to go far, and that is what I want to do.
 

RM85rider123

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_JOE_ said:
If you think it will get you a high paying job with a national MX team or something, keep dreaming.


Yeah, I know what you mean. :think:
But like I said, I want to go farther than a regular joe mechanic.
 

Patman

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How much further? Perhaps you might be better served with a different route if you have higher ambitions. Engineering , Business, PR, .... Really sit back and think about just what you are wanting to do and it might seem like a real PITA to invest the time and $$ in to a more extensive education now but it's a heck of a lot easier than trying to do it after life gets in the way.

I seriously considered going to a technical school for auto mechanics when I was in HS. So my mom arranged for me to spend a few days shadowing a local mechanic. After my sweat equity time with him he told me and my mom that I should NOT go to the technical school and should instead focus on an engineering degree because I had a better grasp of mechanical concepts than all but one of the other guys in his shop. This was sort of heartbreaking because I really enjoy mechanics. Well long story short, I sort of followed the advice, and still have a good time working on things. I just get to spend most of my time earning my keep in an air conditioned office or truck and then spending my free time working on the things I want to work on and do it on my schedule. As an added bonus I make a pretty nice living and can afford to give my wife and son a good life.

On the flip side I can understand the desire to get in and out of school quickly and do something you see as fun. If you really spend the time reading the links Rich posted though I think will have some good food for thought on just how much effort it will take and how big the "payout" (could be different things to different people) really is.
 

Bodge

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Oct 4, 2003
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I work in a dealership that is primarly MMI grads, they make $2 an hour more than I do and im the summer help that delivers the bikes. That place is a scam school at best.
 

RM85rider123

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Oct 28, 2007
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Patman said:
How much further? Perhaps you might be better served with a different route if you have higher ambitions. Engineering , Business, PR, .... Really sit back and think about just what you are wanting to do and it might seem like a real PITA to invest the time and $$ in to a more extensive education now but it's a heck of a lot easier than trying to do it after life gets in the way.

I seriously considered going to a technical school for auto mechanics when I was in HS. So my mom arranged for me to spend a few days shadowing a local mechanic. After my sweat equity time with him he told me and my mom that I should NOT go to the technical school and should instead focus on an engineering degree because I had a better grasp of mechanical concepts than all but one of the other guys in his shop. This was sort of heartbreaking because I really enjoy mechanics. Well long story short, I sort of followed the advice, and still have a good time working on things. I just get to spend most of my time earning my keep in an air conditioned office or truck and then spending my free time working on the things I want to work on and do it on my schedule. As an added bonus I make a pretty nice living and can afford to give my wife and son a good life.

On the flip side I can understand the desire to get in and out of school quickly and do something you see as fun. If you really spend the time reading the links Rich posted though I think will have some good food for thought on just how much effort it will take and how big the "payout" (could be different things to different people) really is.


That is exactly what I thought about last night. If I were to go into regular college, I would try to become an engineer/architect.
 

Patman

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Well that's amusing because I went to school for architecture.... and now do civil engineerig :laugh:

Why? Well grasshopper for some reason architecture has this notion that newbies need to put in their time as a low paid grunt "learning" from the person(s) with their name on the door. All that really means is that you are cheap labor so the name on the door can make more doing less. Sure that's similar to many jobs but it seems to be abused in this profession IMO. No the flip side in engineering where many of those guys are the math based nerds from HS. The problem there is that they generally are very linear thinkers with no creative side. Everything is all cookie cutter number crunching to get a "solution". BUT do not dispair! place a creative mind in to this bland field and you can go places many of the pocket protectors types will never see. Plus the starting out pay is better than in architecture :laugh:
 

jsantapau

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Nov 10, 2008
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Patman has some very good points to ponder. As a mechanic for a living sometimes I wish I had listened to my father when he used to tell me to get a good education,avoid anything with a handle, and the only tool you want to use is a pencil.

That being said the truest form of success is to be happy who you are,enjoy what you do , and be content living within your means. Having a great paying job doesn't mean much if you spend your off time having 4 martinis destressing while kicking your dog. By the same token having a great hobby for a profession isn't that great if your kids aren't getting fed well because you are getting very little pay.

My thinking is that if you want to be a mechanic you may be better off sweeping floors in a shop getting paid minumum wage for a year,watching ,listening and paying attention to the good mechanics where you work than paying someone to teach you . Still ending up with a beginner's job assmbling and oil changes at the shop. If you are good you will advance whether or not you have a MMI degree. Meanwhile go to a community college that will transfer credits to the local state college or university.

so after 8 years of full time work /part time school or 4 years part time work full time school you will have a better idea of what it is like to be in a shop plus you will have a degree which will open up more opportunities you can pursue.

Any how some points that I ponder when I occasionally drift into that "what if" mood
 

RM85rider123

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Oct 28, 2007
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Patman said:
Well that's amusing because I went to school for architecture.... and now do civil engineerig :laugh:

Why? Well grasshopper for some reason architecture has this notion that newbies need to put in their time as a low paid grunt "learning" from the person(s) with their name on the door. All that really means is that you are cheap labor so the name on the door can make more doing less. Sure that's similar to many jobs but it seems to be abused in this profession IMO. No the flip side in engineering where many of those guys are the math based nerds from HS. The problem there is that they generally are very linear thinkers with no creative side. Everything is all cookie cutter number crunching to get a "solution". BUT do not dispair! place a creative mind in to this bland field and you can go places many of the pocket protectors types will never see. Plus the starting out pay is better than in architecture :laugh:


so.... what do you do in civil engineering? I am not a 100% new to engineering, because my dad is a surveying engineer. This is why I would like to try to pursue in engineering, and I kind of like the stuff he is involved with.
 

Uchytil

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Jun 29, 2003
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Go to a College or maybe a military academy. I was career military for 30 years going from mechanic to engineer. On the other hand my son went to college and is now an engineer after (about) 7 years of college (and internship). He's making good dinero. My friend went to MMI, spec'd in Harley, worked for a few years at low pay, got layed off, and now drives a Fedex truck. Times are tough and I would say a basic mechanic must love what he does because it's not for the money, at least not when you start out.
 

_JOE_

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May 10, 2007
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Uchytil is right, wrenching doesn't pay well until can prove yourself as a long term high producer with good work ethic and quality. Even then you need to find that good job, which in these times is even harder.
 

Patman

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RM85rider123 said:
so.... what do you do in civil engineering?
Land development projects, everything from small lot subdivisions to towers downtown that take up a block or two.
 

RM85rider123

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Patman said:
Land development projects, everything from small lot subdivisions to towers downtown that take up a block or two.


Well I have decided that I am 100% sure about going into engineering, and I think I will try to go for civil engineering or nuclear engineering.
 

SpeedyManiac

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Be weary about engineering. I'm a mechanical engineer, and while it's a cool profession, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Most engineers spend all of their time at a desk in an office or cubicle, crunching numbers and doing some less than glamorous work. As a guy who likes working with his hands (machining, wrenching, etc) it drives me nuts. That said, the pay cheque is nice and lets me afford bikes, racing including racing the ISDE the past few years in South America and Europe.

All that said, chances are I will be moving on in the next 1-2 years to greener pastures. Specifically, a job in the industry I want (I'm in the mining/smelting industry right now, I want to be involved with bikes).

Yes, a pay cheque is nice. But if you're spending 40+ hours a week doing something you hate, the money sure doesn't seem worth it.
 

Patman

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Like any job, it's only what you make it or what you make out of it. Perfect example is a family member who is a mechanical engineer. Stepped in to a job with GM out of MIT and then stepped up when there was limited takers for a tough suspension design project. That project launched him at GM but it then became a management position pushing papers that he didn't enjoy. He raced shifter karts in his spare time and was at the track one day doing some testing and setup when a guy came over and asked if he would come to his RV to meet somebody. So off he goes, they make small talk and then Paul Newman steps out and offers him an engineering position on his race team. Yes he took it and it went other places from there. Gone are the days of getting hired and then putting in your time until retirement at the same company. This is not a bad thing because it forces people to learn more and be more active in their work.
 

RM85rider123

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Patman said:
Like any job, it's only what you make it or what you make out of it. Perfect example is a family member who is a mechanical engineer. Stepped in to a job with GM out of MIT and then stepped up when there was limited takers for a tough suspension design project. That project launched him at GM but it then became a management position pushing papers that he didn't enjoy. He raced shifter karts in his spare time and was at the track one day doing some testing and setup when a guy came over and asked if he would come to his RV to meet somebody. So off he goes, they make small talk and then Paul Newman steps out and offers him an engineering position on his race team. Yes he took it and it went other places from there. Gone are the days of getting hired and then putting in your time until retirement at the same company. This is not a bad thing because it forces people to learn more and be more active in their work.

Wow, those are some pretty scary words in bold, but I guess it is becoming more and more true. :|
 

Patman

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Well the sad not scary part to me is that people actually EXPECTED to be taken care of by a company instead of planning for the future themselves! If you want security and retirement go work for Uncle Sam, the pay might not be as good but the long term benifits are better.

People are generally willing to let somebody else worry about their future because it's too much work for them to think about it. These are the same people that seem suprised when their version of the future and the entity they assumed was going to do it for them is vastly different.

Find something you enjoy doing, continue to improve yourself, plan for your future. Do those three things and you will be miles ahead of most folks that are in a dead end job, doing the same thing every day and complaining about it and crying they have no retirement.
 

jsantapau

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Patman said:
Well the sad not scary part to me is that people actually EXPECTED to be taken care of by a company instead of planning for the future themselves! If you want security and retirement go work for Uncle Sam, the pay might not be as good but the long term benifits are better.

People are generally willing to let somebody else worry about their future because it's too much work for them to think about it. These are the same people that seem suprised when their version of the future and the entity they assumed was going to do it for them is vastly different.

Find something you enjoy doing, continue to improve yourself, plan for your future. Do those three things and you will be miles ahead of most folks that are in a dead end job, doing the same thing every day and complaining about it and crying they have no retirement.


Amen except for one thing getting a government job used to mean lower pay, excellent benefits, but where I am at they usually get paid better than the average joe in the private sector getting paid by the hour.

Flat rate side work is the real money in mechanics if you are fortunate enough to have a place to do it
 

Cabot

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Sep 3, 2007
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I started out at one of those broom pushing minimum wage jobs at the local honda dealer. Quickly moved up to oil changes, tire changes, etc. I've been there for about a year and a half now, and I'm making more then minimum wage, graduated high school, and am working full time there. I am now a 'service tech' and my boss (service manager) gives me most of the easier to medium level stuff (mopeds, oil, tires, etc), but I've also shown him I can handle bigger projects (fork seals on goldwings, four wheeler electric shift problems, top end jobs on bikes). I have never been to a motorcycle school. Never even took an engine class in high school. (because I was homeschooled for the most part) Last summer I put out more work with much fewer comebacks then another guy they hired about a year before me, who had just graduated from MMI, even though I was only working 32 hour weeks. I'm not dissing the school at all, but my boss told me that the kind of education I am getting now, in his opinion, is alot better then a school. The only downside to this, is I do not have a piece of paper showing I passed a class, which some people look down upon, I geuss. The other techs there have been great, always helping me when I need it, giving me tips, lending me tools that I don't have, etc.

I have learned ALOT. For me, this is a perfect job, right now.

I would never want to do this for the rest of my life, though.
When I work on motorcycles all day and come home, it is alot less enjoyable to me to work on my own bike. I used to enjoy it, but now it is almost just a chore.
The small paychecks, and the difficulty of going anywhere besides an average-joe mechanic turns me off of it. Also, I like the work now, but when I'm 40, 50, 60 I do not think I would still like to be wrenching.


This September I am going to Michigan Tech to major in Chemical Engineering, although I have never taken an AP chemistry course, or any calculous. I am naturally good at math though, and I don't mind doing it. I was undecided between chemical and mechanical, but the first year classes are the same so I can easily switch before my second year.

The place I work at now said they would be more then happy to hire me again next summer, so I will see what happens.
 

kawraper

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Being a mechanic is tough. I can tell you any trade school you go to will probably be a big waste of money. Shops dont care what school you went to or how many certs you have if you have no experience to back it.

I started as a oil/tire changer when i graduated. I liked cars, enjoyed working on them and I kept my eyes and ears open and was very observant to what was going on around me starting with the techs and all the way up to the owners.

I am now 26 full ase certs, and own my own auto repair shop. Ive never taken an auto repair or business class in my life. Its not easy, its not always fun, but it is mine. I make the hours, I call the shots, and I dont think I could every work for someone else.

Im learning on my own bikes how to rebuild engines do suspension and all other work to bikes and is something I would like to add to my business in the near future.

So moral of the story.......If you want to work as a mechanic dont go to school for it. Its a waste of time and money. Find a tech who will take you under his wing and soak it up......you can pay for school, you can pay for tools but you cant buy experience.
 
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Patman when i first read that you were a Civil engineer all i could hear was all of my uncles saying "just remember**** FLOWS DOWNHILL!" to my cousin who decided to major in civil engineering.
 

_JOE_

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kawraper said:
Being a mechanic is tough. I can tell you any trade school you go to will probably be a big waste of money. Shops dont care what school you went to or how many certs you have if you have no experience to back it.

I started as a oil/tire changer when i graduated. I liked cars, enjoyed working on them and I kept my eyes and ears open and was very observant to what was going on around me starting with the techs and all the way up to the owners.

I am now 26 full ase certs, and own my own auto repair shop. Ive never taken an auto repair or business class in my life. Its not easy, its not always fun, but it is mine. I make the hours, I call the shots, and I dont think I could every work for someone else.

Im learning on my own bikes how to rebuild engines do suspension and all other work to bikes and is something I would like to add to my business in the near future.

So moral of the story.......If you want to work as a mechanic dont go to school for it. Its a waste of time and money. Find a tech who will take you under his wing and soak it up......you can pay for school, you can pay for tools but you cant buy experience.


Very wierd. I can say all the same except I did some tech school training through high school and I have no interest in owning my own business. I'm a 26 year old ASE master tech that started out busting tires 10 years ago in the same shop I work in now.



Shadowing a technician in the feild is definately the best way to learn, assuming that tech knows what they're doing. They will look most likely see it as a win win as they will get you to do some of the b!tch work and you will get to learn while being paid. Rather than spending money you will be earning it. It might not be much, but it's better than paying for it.
 
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