Question for professional auto mechanics: working for dealerships, for chains, and for independents?

How does it compare, being a professional automobile repair mechanic, to work in the service department of an auto dealership, versus working for a big chain, versus working for an independent business? Or, for that matter, working for a fleet, or any other kind of business that includes auto repair?

I’ve been an indie mechanic, and known plenty of dealership wrenches (my dad and a bunch of others.)

my indie experience is that you have to be prepared to work on pretty much any brand and vintage of vehicle, within reason. your “training” is basically just experience and acquired knowledge, and having good shop/service manuals. down side is you get paid labor based on book time, so if something comes in and it takes you longer than the book says, too bad so sad. Plus, since you tend to work on older vehicles, you get some really filthy cars o’ skank. I remember one guy dropped his off, and apparently he’s the type who not only never cleaned it, but would just toss shit like food wrappers in the back seat and leave them. usually with bits of food still in them. on one summer day I went to pull it into a bay and when I opened the door the smell almost made me refund.

on the dealership side, much of the work is warranty/recall, with some customer pay jobs. the upside is that you’re usually working on a newer car, you’ve had training on just one brand of vehicle, you have factory service materials and diagnostic equipment on hand. The downside is the dealership is somewhat beholden to the manufacturer, and when you have a situation like what Daimler did to Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealers (only paying dealers a fraction of book time for labor on warranty repairs) you can get screwed.

I don’t know anything about this. If the manufacturer is screwing the dealerships, why should this fall on the individual mechanic? Why is it your problem and not the dealership’s owner?

you should have stopped there.