Andrew Sutton
Engineering Technician
Milford, MI

What is your position in the industry?

I am an engineering technician at GM.

Tell us about yourself. What made you decide to become a service professional?

My dad was an electrical engineer at the General Motors Proving grounds in Milford, Michigan and also at the Tech Center in Warren, Mi. I have always had a love of cars, tinkering with them at an early age. However, my original plan was to attend college, and become a journalist. When an opportunity came about to work and learn hands on in a repair shop, I jumped at the chance.

Where/How did you get your training to get the knowledge you have today?

Mostly from mentors along my journey, hands on work, seminars sponsored by employers.

How long have you worked as a service professional?

I have worked as an automotive technician since 1994. I was hired apprentice at Midas Mufflers and brakes in Livonia, Mi., and worked there over 16 years. In 2011, I received a call from a contract house for a job at the GM Milford Proving Grounds. This opened the door to become hired directly by General Motors. Prayers and my ASE master certification opened this door of opportunity.

What role has being ASE Certified played in your journey?

ASE has played a huge role in my journey. I gained hands on experience and studied hard to gain knowledge in each area of automotive repair, diagnostics, and maintenance.

What ASE Certifications do you currently hold?

I currently have the following ASE certifications, and also the corresponding state of Michigan certifications:

A1 Engine Repair
A2 Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
A3 Manual Drive Train & Axles
A4 Suspension & Steering
A5 Brakes
A6 Electrical/Electronic Systems
A7 Heating & Air Conditioning
A8 Engine Performance

What are some of the top challenges you do/did face as a service professional and how do/did you overcome them?

In the beginning, it was fixing a customer's car right the first time. No guessing, but using sound diagnostic strategies to perform an effective repair. With gained knowledge, and the testing of your knowledge through ASE testing these challenges can be overcome. Staying current with changing technologies in today's cars and trucks will always present a challenge to repair technicians. Attending seminars and reading current publications help tremendously.

Do you have any advice for today’s students who might be thinking about entering the automotive industry or becoming a service professional?

Learn, Learn Learn! Be a voracious reader! The landscape has been changing and continues to change for the repair technician. It's more geared towards diagnostics and sound strategies for automotive repair technicians.

What do you like most about being an automotive service professional?

I love the hands on, the problem solving. There is a satisfaction of diagnosing a repairing a customer's concern to get them back on the road. Especially knowing a family depends on their vehicle to get them to work, kids to school, and to appointments. Not to mention safe vacation and holiday travel.

Do you have any other comments you would like to share?

I am a full supporter of ASE certification, bringing awareness to people about the certified automotive professionals in the community. There is a pride in displaying the ASE credentials!