Ask the Experts | Wages for Each Technician Type

Question: What is a fair wage for each type of technician?

Gary Elekes; Founder, EPC Training:

Technician pay is a common question; I think the answer to that is: A fair wage is based on what they are able to produce.

I don’t think there’s a specific number you should attach to it. There’s probably a base wage you should establish for each position. Call that Maintenance Tech 1, Maintenance Tech 2, Maintenance Tech 3, Maintenance Tech 4; Service Tech 1 through 4. So you might have a floor against that, but I think what you want to establish is a runway for the technician based on productivity, and how they’re producing gross profit dollars per hour for the company, for the service department.

So I don’t think there should be a cap on that. The longer the employee has been with the company sometimes, oftentimes, what we do is say, “Well you’ve been with the company for 10 years or 15 years or 20 years,” whatever it’s been, “therefore you deserve something.” A newer person comes in who might be very productive and they’re not able to earn because that is the culture of the business.

I think you want to flip that around, as well. You certainly want to incent people from the standpoint of improving their term with the company and, if they’ve done well, you want to increase that lowest base wage, and maybe even some benefits: status, mentoring relationships, things along those lines. But I don’t think you should penalize people because they’re newer with the company if they’re performers.

So I think what you want is a combination of a floor with some kind of productivity system, and I think that’s the approach.

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