4.) Required Vast Knowledge
This is a career that is ever changing. You need some sort of schooling. It doesn't have to be a college of sorts, could even be a computer based courses offered by your employer. You will need schooling. Actually, I do not recommend going to a college for this unless it is a manufacturer supplied program like Ford Asset. It's more like an internship of sorts. I graduated from Lincoln College of Technology near the top of my class. For the price tag of 30K in student loans, I didn't learn much. I learned more from hands-on experience while working and dealer supplied educational classes. Find a good employer, or dealer, and get them to pay for proper training. You will need to constantly update yourself with technology and stay current.
I acquired a associate degree and several ASE Certifications. My previous job even paid for the ASE tests, but there was no benefit to me passing them. I did not get a pay raise. It's only a pretty mark on a resume` and that is about it. OEM dealers really don't even look at ASE and consider them anything special. The only reason to even have them is for shopping around for employers.
As I developed in this career field, there was a technician I worked with that I really looked up to. His name was Steve. He was very good at what he did but I think he really specialized more as a brute force suspension and exhaust man. Either way, I looked up to him not because of what he could do but his general opinion and mindset. Anyway, that part doesn't much matter but he told me about a conversation he had with a customer that happened to be a doctor.
Steve says he should be paid more than the doctor. The doctor becomes enraged. Goes on and on about how he "had to go to school for 8 years to study the body!"
Steve's response is "There are only two models of a human body, male and female. There are several models and brands of a car, all with completely different parts that look, function, and are positioned differently."
The doctor mouths off and says "I save lives. If I make a mistake, someone can die."
Steve's response is priceless; he says "Sure, you make a mistake and one person may die. If I mess up, it may kill you, your wife, your kids, and the family in the car you just plowed through."
Knowledge in this field is everything. It's like they say "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". The knowledge of knowing common issues will save you lots of time, but the knowledge on how to actually diagnose the concern will be your saving grace. The best thing a teacher ever told was "Work Smart, Not hard." If you need to be so knowledgeable then you should likely get paid a bunch, right?