World Class Technicians: Chad Cassidy
Ratchet+Wrench continues its weekly series looking at 2018’s World Class Technician recipients, including a brief bio of their career, and their thoughts on the industry. This week’s feature is on Chad Cassidy, a member of the U.S. Air Force since 2009.
There are an estimated 879,000 technicians in the United States, with more than 300,000 of them holding ASE certification. Nearly 2,000 technicians have earned the status of “World Class Technician” since its inception over 30 years ago.
To earn World Class status, a technician must achieve certification in 22 specialty areas during the 2017 certification test administered by ASE.
Can you give a brief bio on your career journey?
I’ve been active in the Air Force since 2009 as a logistic planner, and before that I used to be a vehicle mechanic. I graduated high school in 2006, moved to Ohio in the end of 2006, and started working at Valvoline. After that, I worked at a local franchise called Conrad Local Car Care, and spent maybe a year there. I picked up work at a Honda dealership, and I worked there for two and a half years. In 2009 I wanted a more stable paycheck, so I came down here.
What’s your favorite part about working in the repair industry?
I would definitely say finding out how each company does their management for the engine software. What extensions they use, and how they get to that. You have to learn how each thing works. It’s no longer the vague terms of the ‘60s and ‘70s. It definitely keeps you on your toes, and forces you to be well-informed.
What are your thoughts on the technician shortage currently facing the industry? What are some ways shops can get people more like yourself involved and passionate about auto repair?
A lot of techs come out thinking they’re going to make a huge paycheck right away. People want stuff to be more modular work, like that’s the code, that needs to be replaced. They don’t want to think about the theory, they want more of a straightforward answer. I think sometimes they want the easy way. In terms of an incentive to draw individuals in, you have a lot of techs that aren’t willing to take the plunge with a $10,000 deficit on tools. So maybe shops and dealerships could offer more of a central tool kit for the guys starting out.