Erik Sanchez
Lead Diagnostic Technician
HCS Auto Repair
Springdale, AR

What is your position in the industry?

Lead Diagnostic Technician

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

I was given my first car at the age of 16 and immediately fell in love tinkering and repairing problems myself. My father would help me with the bigger problems but I wanted to be able to do it all myself. It wasn’t till later on in life that I chose to pursue a career as a technician. I started as a lube tech at a small oil change shop and quickly moved up from there. I went on to work at a bigger facility where they did pretty much everything. I haven’t looked back ever since. Eventually I landed a job where they required me to get ASE certified. I had 4 ASE certifications at the time but eventually had to leave one job for another. I ended up at a dealership that did not require ASE certification. Fast forward to now, I now have 7 of the 8 ASE certifications to be a Master tech and I was also able to get my L1 certification. This allowed me to pretty much work wherever I wanted.

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

To be honest I am self taught. I dive head first into any problem and I don’t give up. I also used whatever resources were available to me. Some shops would offer training others wouldn’t. I did not let that stop me from learning and on my free time I watch videos, read forums, join groups of like minded individuals who help me continue to grow and learn.

How long have you worked as a service professional?

I have been in the industry for over 15 years.

What role has being ASE Certified played in your journey?

It has allowed me to show employers that I am serious about my career and that I have the understanding and skill to be able to perform the work required to do the job right the first time. It has also given me confidence in my abilities.

What ASE Certifications do you currently hold?

A1, A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8 and L1

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

I think the top challenge was finding the right shop that would grow me as a technician. There are a lot of shops out there that don’t send any of their technicians to training and expect them to know everything. I overcame those challenges by investing in myself and my continuing education.

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

I would say to find someone to mentor you. The problem with seasoned professionals is that some see it as “I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at why should I help someone else” and that is the wrong mentality. We as the service professionals need to grow the industry and it starts with how we leave it behind. If we just let new techs flop until they either quit or change careers there will no one left in the industry to repair the vehicles.

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

It will sound silly but I like being the “Hero” in a sense. I like to be the one who figures out the problem and solve it, at the same time I like to help other people and lift them up with me.