Jacob Mueller
Production Automotive Technician
Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers

What is your position in the industry?

Production Automotive Technician at Hartland Location

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

I originally went to school for engineering and graduated with a mechanical design degree and worked for a couple of months behind a desk in a cubicle. I quickly realized it wasn't for me. I couldn't sit still in my desk, the money was great however I never woke up happy to go to work I love tinkering and fixing things so I made the choice to go back to school and become a automotive technician. I have never regretted my choice. I love going to work everyday.

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

I went to Waukesha County Technical College(WCTC) and graduated with an Associates degree in Automotive. I also learned a lot from being self taught in the garage tinkering with my own car and motorcycles. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience by working under a senior level technician at my current company.

How long have you worked as a service professional?

I have been working in the automotive field for about 2 years; 1 full year as full time, the first year was part time while attending automotive school.

What role has being ASE Certified played in your journey?

ASE Certifications have helped not only increase my pay but mentally help create a sense of pride and success to see my accomplishment of being tested and proving that I have that knowledge. It is a great sense of achievement for the hard work and dedication put in. ASE certifications also stand out to others as well as future/possible employers looking to hire.

What ASE Certifications do you currently hold?

A1 thru A6 & A8. I am currently studying for A7-HVAC and Air conditioning to complete the A series. I plan to work towards L1,L2, & L3 in the future.

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

Some of the top challenges were diagnosing vehicles without having a more advanced service professional in the building for direct help. But our company is family oriented and allows for shop to shop collaboration so we can digitally work together from each location to help solve the issue at hand. Not only does this help, but perseverance and slowing down to speed up helps diagnose the problem the first time around.

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

**Slow down to speed up** - I myself was quick to fix things to get the job billed out and make time, however that's when mistakes can happen. Once learned to slow down and do it correctly the first time and slowly work towards speed, it will get faster and faster and make time more while also not dropping the ball on fixing it the first time.

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

I work in a independent shop so we see anything and everything, I love that every day Is a new puzzle to solve and we always get to see someone's special car. I love to tinker and see cars going down the way and point out hey I helped fix this on that car. The satisfaction of helping repair/diagnose someone's "baby" (car) always puts a smile on my face.

Are there any additional comments you would like to add?

I started by going to school for engineering, I worked in the engineering field for a couple of months and couldn't sit still at a desk. I made the difficult choice to go back to school and enter the automotive field. Not only did I take a major initial pay cut, I also lost some relationships from those who think automotive field is a poor choice in job. Well let me tell ya, I have never regretted that choice. The pay will catch up - believe me - but I wake up happy to go to work, I stay late at work because I love what I do. And as far as the people who may resent you, they will turn around when you show them the knowledge you learn and have, and someday help them when their automobile needs help.
 So, if you are second guessing choosing the automotive field due to the "push for 4 year degrees" nowadays, give them a curveball and make that choice! You will not regret it! But always do what makes you happy, because then that "job" will never feel like "just a job."