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Technical Hot Rod Institute

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 440+6, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. 440+6
    Joined: Jul 28, 2015
    Posts: 36

    440+6
    Member
    from Illinois

    This will be my third time switching my major and I feel like this is the place for me. I started off college by going to a technical school for diesel, I didn't like, I then decided to go for history and I don't like writing papers nor am I good at writing them. As of now, I am looking to get back into cars, but more specifically hot rods. I am not looking for info on this place, but advice rather. I know they say never follow your passion because it doesn't mean you will be good at it or you will end up hating it. I know the same thing goes for a technical degree. With that said does anyone have some advice as to what I should do or how to not end up hating it. I also wasn't sure what group to put it in.
     
  2. gearheadbill
    Joined: Oct 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,302

    gearheadbill
    Member

    The best way to ruin a great hobby you love is to make a job/business out of it.
     
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,597

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    there are people that spend their whole day building/repairing cars for others - then can't wait to get home to work on their own, or do a side job for someone else - there are others that can't wait for the day to end and go home and not think about cars again until time to go to work again - not saying that it is not good to have some down time - but, even when on a mini-vacation can not stop thinking about what will be done to the next project - that is true passion - you can't make yourself like cars or learn it all from books- what you do with your time will help clarify who you are and what direction to go -
     
  4. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,733

    19Fordy
    Member

    Working in a hot rod shop" sounds glamorous but, is a long , hard grind when you walk in the door with no skills. Learning on the job is a slow process. Pay raises may be few, minimal and far between.

    I would suggest that you first apprentice in a trade that has a future and that will train you and give you the skills needed to earn a good living. You have to have knowledge and skills that will make you more valuable as an employee.

    You didn't say your age but, ask yourself, "What kind of life will I have when I am 30" ? Plan ahead as time really flies with age. Plus, life gets more complicated and makes it more difficult to start over.You don't want to be a 40 year old teenager living with mom and dad.:eek:

    Some folks in your position join the service and learn a transferable skill. You don't want a job. You do want a career.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  5. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,976

    Gman0046
    Member

    I'd highly recommend a career in aviation rather then in the automotive field. Get an Airframe and Powerplant License and work for a major airline. The pay is significantly higher and so are the benefits then anything in the automotive field. After having 20 years vested in the airlines pension program I retired and went to work for US Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Carrier Aviation Safety Inspector and retired again after another 20 years.Thats how I spent my intire career was able to provide well for my family and still able to play with my old cars. Have two retirements and great medical benefits.

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    HunterYJ, 40FORDPU, 440+6 and 5 others like this.
  6. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,956

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Hot Rods and performance cars are wainimg. Sorry, that's just how it is.

    Now.......
    Pop culture.... there may be something there. There is merit in the culture side and even recreating those great cars from the past but who knows how long that will last.

    I graduated HS in 1990. I really wanted to be a Battleship Sailor or steam
    locomotive engineer.

    Honestly that was not as far fetched as it sounds. Southern RR ran steam until 95. The Navy retired the Iowas in 1993.

    The truth is although both fields were technically still active in 1990, the writing was on the wall.

    I became a Firefighter/Paramedic.

    Do ....find what you are good at.... Although none of us have crystal balls....find something with a future.
     
    440+6 likes this.
  7. hemiboy
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 249

    hemiboy
    Member

    1. Go to your local community college.
    2. Ask a counselor to allow you to test for aptitude.
    3. Looks at the results carefully.
    4. If the answers seem too general, ask about tests that are specific to your areas of best aptitude.
    5. Then look for programs locally that can give you good, solid entry level skills.
    But. Big one. Ask to see evidence that there will be jobs in your area of study- what is the placement percentage. If placement is below 80%, keep looking.
    Also, make sure you understand your strengths and weaknesses. That’s why the aptitude tests. If you do not work well with others, you don’t want a job where you’ll be required to do so. We have an excellent tech/trade school in Yakima, WA. What amazes me is that there are so many areas of work that require focused training that takes so little time to train for- and that I never heard about as a kid. Take the time to look at the CCs catalog of offerings. Ask other students what they like/don’t like about the program.
    Remember: tech/trade school IS college, without all the “extras”, such as history, English....
     
  8. Tim_with_a_T
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,005

    Tim_with_a_T
    Member

    Speaking from experience here, don't enroll in a school if you don't know what you want to do. That is an extremely frustrating and very expensive experiment. You are much better off learning a trade or something similar (as already mentioned) while you figure things out (getting paid while learning valuable skillsets you can take anywhere). Each one of us has different skills and passions, but you shouldn't have to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to find out what yours are.

    The amount of options available to young people today (I'm 32) is completely overwhelming, and the education system will gladly take your money until you have no more. I changed my major three times, changed schools three times, dropped out twice, and ten years later got a degree in what I started studying in the first place. Go figure. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big proponent of higher education, but if I could do it over again, I'd probably go into the medical field or something completely unrelated to my passions.

    Ideally you get a job that is in high demand and will be needed for a long time. You want a career. You want to set yourself up for success so you can build hot rods!
     
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  9. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,931

    oldolds
    Member

    Working on a hot rod or working on a daily driver is the basically same thing. That head gasket doesn't know what kind of car it is in. The only thing different is that most specialty car people seem to worry more about how much things cost. They are always worried about return on investment.

    The above mention of aviation is a good one. I have a couple of friends that did that. There was always a car in the shop for some tinkering.
     
    440+6 likes this.
  10. .................Just for the record, he's 19.:)
     
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  11. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,733

    19Fordy
    Member

    If you like helping people the medical field is booming and will continue to do so.
    Lots of opportunities and growth. Have you taken the ASVAB test? It's free.
     
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  12. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,956

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    I really have a passion for 18 th Century KentuckyRifles. I like to study and build them.
    I apprenticed for a while under a master builder, I learned a lot.

    Here is the main thing I learned.

    I like working on my stuff. I do not like working on other people's stuff.

    I could build a rifle I like and then sell it. As far as taking an order and building to another's vision...... or using thier parts or repairing thier guns..... nope.

    I hope see my point. My passion for these is a personal thing..... not a business model.
     
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  13. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,733

    19Fordy
    Member

    Three more points.
    1. Do not get married or have any parental responsibilities until after you get your education/training
    and land a solid job in your career choice.
    2. Don't be afraid to move away from home to where the good job openings are.
    3. Save as much money as possible.
     
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  14. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,853

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Wise fella! Yes, yes, and yep!
     
  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,462

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I have never done anything else but build cars.
    Not even fast food
    Now I teach it
    I have worked very few days in the past 30 years
    Only you know what you want to do. Building hot rods and race cars is a very consuming occupation. Meaning it consumes so much of your life. Makes it tough to have a family. This is the main reason I started teaching
    If it’s money you are searching for,you may want to do something else. If it’s an internal happiness you seek you have to find what makes you happy. Only you can figure that out
    There are some good apprenticeship programs that a tech school can open a door for you. Manufacturers are screaming for techs.
    Collision, aviation, welding, electrical, maintenance......... the list goes on

    our school has had electrical students land very good high paying jobs straight out of HS
    I have students at very good body shops working up the ladder very quick. One is headed to Mercedes repair school paid for by his employer

    We have had welding students that passed their cents get killer jobs with zero college involved

    Look at current auto trends. Electrical and computer components are everywhere. This is a good indicator for a direction in the auto industry

    All these careers will demand you have good math skills at the very least.
     
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  16. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,144

    Shamus
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NC

    Community colleges are great places to start. Do what U love, be the best U can be at it & you'll do fine. I have played with olds cars for years & love it, but I tried all aspects from welding to paint, to upholstery & sucked at most but turning wrenches. I would have hated doing it for a living (I was a soldier for 27+ years & loved it, too.).
     
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  17. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,050

    Chappy444
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Maryland HAMBers

    The electric grid in the US is one of the oldest in the world and the guys that built it and maintained it are retired. There is a big need in this field.
    A solid career with good benefits will allow you to pursue your hot rod passion.
    Do something that engages you and that you enjoy for a living.
    But I dont recommend trying to make your hobby your only source of income.
    Good luck
    Chappy
     
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  18. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,308

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^A young man I know just went to lineman school and got a nice paying job with a rural power company out of town.
     
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,308

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ill add that if I was 19 again, I'd join the military and serve my country while I learned a skill and let them pay for school afterward if you desire. They'll teach you to be a mechanic if that is what you want and you don't have to take out student loans.
     
    40FORDPU, tb33anda3rd, 440+6 and 3 others like this.
  20. Some really good advice in this thread. I'm 30, and while I'm happy with my life, I can absolutely look back over the past 10+ years and note things I'd do different.

    @19Fordy summed up some real knowledge in his post. I wasn't married and didn't have parental responsibilities when I was in my late teens, early 20s, but I did have a project car. Great, a project car. A big anchor that restricted me from moving somewhere else, ate up all my money, and kept me leashed.
    If I did my late teens, early 20s again, I wouldn't have any commitments (girls, kids, cars, etc.) I'd learn everything I could, say yes to every opportunity, and worry about material things later.
     
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  21. My military career didn't help me per se, 19D Scout. Did teach me leadership through the years but there is no real skill for a trigger puller in the civilian world. No matter what you do try to do something that you like with your life. I liked destroying things and got to blow a lot of things up and shoot them up.
     
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  22. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    czuch
    Member
    from vail az

    Don't go into the Navy as a Photographers mate.
    I did cool stuff, went to cool places, now drive a truck.
    Don't get me wrong, I like it. Just that, all I have is stories. Most people don't want to hear.
    As said above, educate 20 years out.
    Engineering is always looking, Electrical is always looking, Medical is always looking.
     
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  23. ccain
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 262

    ccain
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Have you looked into McPherson College in Kansas? I've heard they have a pretty decent program.

    https://www.mcpherson.edu/autorestoration/admissions/

    As for the other thing... these old junkers get in your blood. If during the course of your life, you don't both love it -AND- hate it, you're not doing it right. ;)
     
    440+6 and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  24. bcook07
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 141

    bcook07
    Member
    from Illinois

    If you want to get into the automotive field, this is an excellent time to do so. The need for technicians is increasing everyday. Many techs in the field retiring. I teach auto at a community college and we cant supply enough graduates to keep up with the demand of employers.

    Many people do not like working every day on cars then trying to do it at home. I was one of those people. I found out working in the field that I had to find the balance. There are many automotive related jobs out there that will allow you to work around cars but not be so burned out you don't want to do your own stuff.

    For most people, the money in the field can be made working on modern vehicles as a tech or working in the auto industry in another capacity. We have many grads that work in shops and many that go on to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. They have one of the top rated bachelor degrees in automotive in the country. Many of their grads go on to work for major companies. Something to look into.

    I may be biased by I hate to see students go to tech schools and rack up huge tuition bills. From what I have seen places like Wyotech and UTI dont offer any better training than many community college programs but cost astronomically more.

    There are guys that make a great living working on hot rods, and that is great. But there is nothing wrong with getting a good paying job in the automotive industry and working on hot rods on the side. Find the balance and then do as much work for yourself or others as you want while having a steady income, insurance, and retirement.
     
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  25. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,733

    19Fordy
    Member

    Not trying to be "Debbie Downer" but, do not get involved in drugs
    or any other criminal activity. Having a "record" closes the doors to lots of
    good jobs, greatly limiting your potential, future.and earning power.
    In today's computer world nothing stays hidden.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  26. 440+6
    Joined: Jul 28, 2015
    Posts: 36

    440+6
    Member
    from Illinois

    I have and I did apply there, they do require a lot to be in that program and only allow 40 people to get into the program.
     
  27. 440+6
    Joined: Jul 28, 2015
    Posts: 36

    440+6
    Member
    from Illinois


    I would like to thank everyone for the advice on this thread, all of you have given me a lot to think about.
     
  28. Sparked
    Joined: Oct 23, 2016
    Posts: 63

    Sparked
    Member

    If you want to get a trade, the two I would have a serious look at are plumbing and electrical. These are jobs that are not easily offshored, and will always be in demand. They are also ones that once you have the skill set the initial cost for you to start your own company is low. All you need is a van and your tools. If you get into sprinkler fitting or HVAC work it’s even better.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    czuch likes this.
  29. All I wanted to do as a kid was work on cars, got a 2 year degree in automotive and diesel engineering when I was 20. Just in time for the auto industry to crap the bed, fuel crisis, piss-poor economy. Most shop owners were pricks, all they wanted was the $$ and screw the customer. I came across a machine shop training program in early 1981 and jumped on it. BEST thing I have ever done. I was good with math and numbers in general and it all made sense. Parlayed that into 2 more college degrees along the way, got my last degree in 2006 at age 51.
     
  30. Most important thing: leave home and live life. Your life will be as interesting and rewarding as you make it.



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
    goldmountain likes this.

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