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  • zaken1 04/17/09 10:23 pm PST

    The hourly labor rate varies greatly, in different parts of the U.S. It may be as low as $45 per hour in poor areas like West Virginia or some of the Southern States. But it is curently as much as $89.50 per hour in major shops in Northern California. There will also be some variation between shop labor rates within the same area; depending on the size of the shop, the volume they handle, and how greedy the owner is.

  • zaken1 04/17/09 11:39 pm PST

    My first answer was the amount the shop charges the public for labor. But, if you wanted to know how much the mechanic in that shop earns; it is a lot less than the shop labor charge. It will start below $20 per hour, for a new hire; but it may increase to double that amount; as the mechanic demonstrates his (or her) speed and skill. When a mechanic can match or beat the flat rate time estimate for jobs; that is when their wages really start to climb. But the downside of this situation is that speed is given so much priority in major shops, that attention to detail often suffers as a result. That is why I spent my career as a self employed mechanic. That way, I never felt pressured to cut corners or do sloppy work. I often took twice as long to do a job as the shops did; but my work turned out to be much more satisfying for both me and the customer. Because I became known for "doing things right," I never had to advertise, and always had loyal clients. There is no substitute for taking an appropriate amount of time to do good work. But you can't expect to work like that in a major shop. That just isn't the way they do things.

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