THA 019: Where Will We Find Our Future Automotive Instructors?

Learn from your industry peers in a round-table forum. Get new ideas, perspectives, trends, insights, best-practices and expertise from aftermarket professionals.

Watch like a DOCUMENTARY … Learn like a SEMINAR.

Helping automotive aftermarket professionals improve; one lesson at a time.

Academy Panel:

  • Professor Scott Norman an instructor and the program coordinator for the four-year bachelor’s program in Automotive Technology at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS. He has also been a Technical Training Instructor with Chrysler Corporation. He is also Chairman of the National Automotive Service Technology Committee for Skills USA. Listen to Scott in our episode on his role at Pittsburg State 152 and with his role at Skills USA and WorldSkills in episode 164.
  • We also have Rick Escalambre. Although he is a retired instructor at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA, after 31 years Rick shows no signs of slowing down and continues to teach in an adjunct role. He is also a contract trainer throughout the industry.  Rick is on the Vision Educator Think Tank and can always be counted on to make some important and profound contributions to the forum. Hear Rick in his own episode 218.
  • Ryan Kooiman the Director of Training at Standard Motor Products. When he joined Standard Motor Products he was a Technician Training Developer. Previously he was the lead tech/driveability specialist at a 20-bay independent shop in Michigan.  Ryan oversees the operations of the SMP Corporate Training Center in Irving, TX; and oversees the operations and development of the Pro Training group. Hear Rick in his own episode 98 and in the ASE Test Uncovered episode 122.
  • Tim Dwyer is an automotive education specialist at ConsuLab, a manufacturer, and provider of automotive training aids.  After 25 years of ownership, he sold his business Superwrench Import Auto in Tulsa, OK to pursue a teaching career at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. There he helped start and instruct the Pro-Tech Automotive Internship program for 12 years. Hear Rick in his own episode 184.

Talking points:

  • Most instructors have migrated from industry.
  • Not many current students of automotive technology consider a career as an instructor.
  • The technician shortage predicates an instructor shortage in the future.
  • Scott Norman is asked all the time if he can help find instructors for other schools.
  • Retiring instructors need replacements. There are not many in the pipeline; therefore some programs are shutting down.
  • An instructor automotive technology challenges:
    • Pay
    • Certifications: Meeting education requirements.
  • There are aftermarket opportunities for trainers as suggested by Ryan Kooiman.
  • Becoming a full-time automotive instructor is a viable career path for working technicians.
  • As an instructor, you are not handed a script. You need to create your own lessons.
  • You may have the technical ability but also need presentation skills.
    • Mentoring and finding the future leaders/instructors will be necessary.
  • There is more to engaging students than just having the experience.
  • You can learn to teach … your experience is the valuable asset.
  • Teaching is a definite career change. The subject matter is the same but the job description is totally different.
  • The money is a big factor in the teacher role. They will want to take a pay cut to become an educator. There are benefits. Days not as long. Time off in Summer.


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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