Partner Showcase

A Technician’s Journey

Joe Domer, an awarding-winning ASE certified technician from Glendale, Wisc., recently shared thoughts about his career. Here are some highlights:

Like so many automotive technicians, Joe Domer had The Itch: “I always had an interest in mechanical systems, electricity and electronics as far back as I can remember.” This included wiring his parents’ basement and working on his older brother’s motorcycle. By age 16, Joe bought a VW engine that was in pieces and the fun really began: “I bought a technical manual, asked a lot of questions at the local machine shop and I eventually finished that engine. I later found an old donor Beetle to plant my new engine into. I read and learned hands-on about ignitions, charging and braking systems as I went through high school and felt a nice sense of accomplishment each time I repaired a system and it worked when I was finished.”

After this experience, rather than go into a training program, Joe headed straight to a VW dealership: “This led me to apply at a VW dealer where I learned as an apprentice from some very knowledgeable and helpful techs, many of whom were taught in schools in Germany. Some of these technicians had a strong influence on me and took their positions very seriously. Later I went through a factory training process for several other car companies.”

To this day, Joe sees value in his early apprenticeship: “I do believe it would have been fine to go through a comprehensive training school first, but I believe getting supervised hands-on experience first and then learning basic theory made the classroom a lot easier for me to grasp when you have something to relate it to.”

At that first dealership, Joe saw that “the more qualified technicians were taking ASE tests” and followed their example. “Passing all eight basic systems tests was one of the requirements to become a master tech for a lot of manufacturers. I took them all as I completed classes on each area of automotive service.”

Over the years, Joe has kept his ASE certifications current and sees value in recertifying: “I learn something new or can use what I've learned to fix a car that I'm working on now. To me that gives ASE certifications real value. Also, it's important to mention how ASE has kept pace with changing technology.”

Eventually Joe switched dealerships and has been with Lexus ever since. He cites their reputation for quality and the enthusiasm his coworkers share for the vehicles. He takes pleasure in helping the new generation of technicians: “I enjoy working with younger techs who share the enthusiasm for the job, but may need guidance to perfect their skills. I think it's important to encourage people starting out in this field.”

Joe concluded with no-nonsense advice: “I believe it's important to have a trusting relationship with your customers and always work to keep current with technical information.”

Named the Lexus/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year (2016), Joe Domer works at Safro Lexus North Shore. He and his wife have a daughter. In his spare time, Joe enjoys home carpentry, motorcycling, radio-controlled planes, and an occasional game of golf. He thanks his wife for supporting his many projects.”