I heard you can make good money as a certified mechanic. If anything I'd go further than just being a mechanic.
you heard? from where? someone's lying...
ok. let's talk industry:
- you suddenly are "ducati certified" and went to a school. unfortunately, this means that you were shown a bike in a lab and you took at apart. opps, no actually, (i heard from a graduate) you didn't even split the cases. so you don't realize or know that this takes 5 or so tries to get the preload just right. same as with other AMI/MMI grads, you got some schooling, but you don't have any experience. this gets you $8/hour (maybe 10) at a SoCal dealership with benefits. or you can work under the table ( or "contracting" ) for commission and not get health, etc.
- ok, so you open your own shop. this takes at least $10k in working capitol. we're talking after the shop is up and running. now. the shop is about YOU. so when the phone rings, the people want to talk to YOU. every minute you're not turning a wrench on a bike on the lift, you're losing money. same as when you talk to a customer to educate them about the work you're about to do or just completed. so this time away from working is required to nurture business. now, what about the bike with $3000 in aftermarket parts (that you paid for) is sitting around while the customer lags... ? hehehe.
based on my observation and experience, a shop with 2~3 mechanics will basically break even. the make money and actually earn something as a living, you need to run a shop with 5 wrenches working almost full time.
charm is nice, but most of the shop owners i've seen with charm ended up liberating whole bikes or parts from customers. in the japanese bike world, you can use up a town and move away. in the ducati industry, you'll need to move someplace where they don't speak english, cos those people you screw over will hunt you down and make sure everyone knows what's up.
imho, ducati owners appreciate almost brutal honesty. ducati SpA handcuffs dealers, so they can't talk to the customer about "known" problems.
- the thought of being a bigger part than just a wrench takes timing or money. most of all, it takes reputation. after being in the moto industry for 10 years ... and into ducatis for 6 or so, i have gotten a couple of invitations like this. they didn't seem perfect, so i respectfully declined them. sometime, somthing bigger than what i've got will happen.
and what i always say: the motorcycle industry is about passion, not about making money.
anyhow, all that above text is my own personal opinion after being in the biz for a while. i'm sure (as usual) that it's not completely sensitive to everyone's feelings or needs, nor is it 100% accurate.
feel free to bug me sometime and i'll gladly gab about my beloved industry.