Thread: Good PWC Tech School & Advice
05-10-2009, 05:55 PM #1
Good PWC Tech School & Advice
Hey guys I have been a fan of PWCs and Boats since I was a little kid. I recently graduated college with a degree in accounting. After graduating I decided its not something I want to do with my life. I was always told to follow your dreams and crunching numbers at a desk all day isn't my dream job.
I have been looking into getting some training with PWCs and decided a tech school would be something I would definitely consider. I was told that AMI in Daytona offers a great 3 month course for PWCs, and you don't have to go through the other unrelated courses. Anyone have any feedback on the AMI course in Daytona, or any other courses that are mostly related to PWC tech?
As well, I wanted to ask if anyone knew if there is a good job outlook for PWC techs? Will this be a job that will exist in 40 years? And if I opened my own shop would I be able to make a sufficient living to support a family and live comfortably?
My main motivation to become a PWC tech is because I love watercrafts and I love the water. I have brought my ski in for repair and have met many shady mechanics who don't know their ass from their dicks, and rip hard working honest people off. I want to become on of the best in the field, and want people to respect my work. Anyone have good advice for me? Thanks for reading this long post
05-10-2009, 07:00 PM #2
as long as there are PWC's there will be a need for repair services...but, the market has dropped significantly for boating and PWC in the past year or so due to the economy.
05-10-2009, 07:22 PM #3
i'm just getting into the business as an owner of a waterfront PWC operation which i'm under contract with right now...
when i was in college, i started as a accounting CPA major. QUICKLY learned it was not for me and switched to a double business manangement and marketing and have since graduated with that business degree.
i worked for 2 years part-time in the industry and past 2 years full-time going from a yard bitch to prepping skis to being a mechanic and being a location service manager and mechanic learning ALOT about the business...
and here i am now about to finalize paperwork for aquiring a lease contract for a piece of property on the water and buying out an existing watercraft business in the BEST possible location on all of long island...
i never went to MMI or AMI or any such mechanic school. i learned skis on my own and through mentors. i learned skis by going to bed with a shop manual on my bedside and in the bathroom. i learned skis by asking an incredible mechanic a million questions while looking over his shoulders.
depending where you see your PWC business... and your area and demand and economics of your demographic area will determine if its neccessary for you to go to AMI or MMI...
i deal with people, i know ideas, business, presentation, marketing, generating new business, keeping business... and on top of those obligations come book-keeping, ordering parts, getting accounts, accounts receivable, billing, mailing, advertising....
now somehow in the midst of all the above-mentioned.... you need to work on skis and BILL a shitload of billable hours to cover your overhead, salaries, and enough for yourself...
will this be a one-man operation?... or are you in primetime watercraft haven and will be growing an explosive business with a huge name in your area?
these are questions that need to be answered before you go any further...
for me... put it this way. there's currently 118 skis on the property i'm about to call MY place of business. i have bulkhead with permits for docks and summer rentals of slips, massive space for winter storage and shrink wrap for nearly 130+ skis on the premises... in short... my business degree and my obligations as the President of my company, managing it day to day, dealing with phone calls, billing, computer work, estimates, bank runs, advertising, parts orders, inventory.... that's enough work for one person such that i'll be employing top-notch mechanics of my own with the neccessary certifications...
if you run your own business.... you dont turn the wrenches fulltime... ur watching your ass and liabilities and making sure you have trustworthy skilled people doing the work that generates the revenues while you deal with maintaining that customer base, chasing down collectible accounts, juggling suppliers and parts orders and everything else.
that's my opinion and advice.... i'm still learning and in the process. but i have high hopes and big plans, and i know my area warrants the endeavor, and i know my college education is what i need to RUN and OWN a business of my volume... not an AMI or MMI degree...
at the same time... you do NEED to know mechanics and make sure your workers know what they are doing. if u r clueless, u wont know if they are doing a good job or hack job... if you have mechanical background, know the basics of building a motor, measuring, cleanliness. know basics of electrical repair. know the flat rates of how long a certain job SHOULD take and how long your employees are actually taking... you need that knowledge. but dont need to knowledge of a master mechanic at the same time.
good luck! can't beat pursuing your dreams! and no better time to do it then while your young and have little to lose... after you have a wife, kids, and mortgage payment there's alot more at stake to take these kinds of gambles, none of which i have at the moment so it's a no brainer for me. get rich or die tryin
05-10-2009, 07:28 PM #4
and PS.... your accounting background will be invaluable if you go into business. so dont despise it, bc it will be very much a part of your everyday workday if you go into business... you'll just enjoy doing it when your doing financial reports each month and invoicing and collecting accounts that are part of your own business and industry you love.
i am lucky i got a very good taste of accounting before i dropped the major for manangement and marketing. i went several classes deep into it as well as a semester on federal taxation. those few classes of accounting I and II and taxation gave me just enough of a taste to be clued in on this business endeavor... you need it!
05-10-2009, 09:01 PM #5
Hey thanks for the replies so far guys. Really appreciate the advice shibby this has been something I've wanted to do for years but was stuck in college just trying to make my parents happy. Grats on the new shop and good luck with the future I'm sure you'll kick ass.
I graduated last week and I've been interviewing for accounting jobs and its just not something I feel like I am destined to do. I have basic knowledge of ski's and I really think a mechanic school will be a great way for me to gain more knowledge. I have another friend who is thrilled by my idea to get some watercraft schooling and opening our own shop eventually. So I will have my friend to help me along in our PWC mechanic journey. We have a garage right now with a bunch of tools, we figured after we graduate we would do jobs until we got enough capital to open our own place with enough storage and also be in a good location.
The area I live in we do have a pretty big need for a skilled pwc mechanic. Almost every shop I try to get work done on my watercrafts I usually have to wait 2-3 months to get it done, since they are backed up with work. The mechanics in my area have been really shitty and really shady and I think an ethical and hard working guy like me can change that image in my area.
05-10-2009, 09:41 PM #6
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