View Full Version : Who Pays for Repair Clinic?

03-31-2008, 23:45
Since I'm new to working in the dive industry, I'm still trying to figure this creature out.

One of my latest puzzles is who should pay for a repair clinic? The LDS that I work for asked me to go to a repair clinic to become a technician. That's great! That's one of the things I've been wanting to do. Then after I agreed they informed me that tuition, travel and room and board were on my own dime (sound of screeching breaks).

Is this how it's usually done for employees of a dive shop? I still want to go, but it's my employer who stands to make the greatest profit from me working on gear. Shouldn't they either pay for or supplement the cost of training?

I honestly don't know how this is normally handled, so if anyone KNOWS how it usually, works I would really appreciate your input.


03-31-2008, 23:55
I have seen it both ways. I would say that if the shop wants you to go to the clinic on your dime, then you need to negotiate a better deal on you cut of the fees for repairs. Around these parts, service costs $65-70/hour plus parts. If you are paying for the class yourself, you need to get a good deal I am figuring that your cost depending on wher eyou are and where the class is could be in the area of $1500 as a swag. That's a lot of cost for the shop to idly think that you will cover, especially if their going ot profit from it.

04-01-2008, 00:24
I have seen it both ways....the LDS I worked for had us pretty much cover the cost of of our pockets.

04-01-2008, 07:36

Thanks guys. Well, it's gonna cost me gas, a hotel, food and the tuition. I figure the whole ticket will be in the neighborhood of $600-800 dollars depending on where I can find a hotel. And, it's a couple of day of no paycheck to boot. It's a 5 hour drive for me to get to Houston, but that will still cost me a good $150 in gas by the time the trip is done.

I may still do it, but yesterday I planted the see in the owner/manager's head that I may not do it due to the cost. I'm hoping that will generate a bit of a scholarship on the shop's part. Right now there is no tech....that's right none. Everything that comes in, we have to send over to another store!

Thanks again.

04-01-2008, 08:52
What kind of class is it? There's no way I would pay that kind of money for a standard manufacturers repair class that mostly teaches how to replace parts.

If I was interested in reg repair anyway, I might pay that much for a comprehensive class like this one: One Spot Available in Upcoming Regulator Service Technician Course - ScubaBoard (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/regulators/221355-one-spot-available-upcoming-regulator-service-technician-course.html)

Your shop can send regs out for repair by professional techs who see tons of regs. Hopefully, they can already do minor troubleshooting and adjustments in house.

I wouldn't go into it expecting to make a ton of money (if much at all).


04-01-2008, 10:24
I would probably wait and attend the DEMA show. You can do quite a few seminars there, and the cost is low.

Plus, you will get to hang out in Vegas...


04-01-2008, 10:49
That your shop has no current tech gives you some leverage, maybe the owner will offer to pick up tuition if you cover travel expenses. But one thing to consider is that your cert belongs to you not the shop, and follows you wherever you go. A shop owner would not want to invest all that money only to see you decide you didn't like working on regs after a month or two, or worse, start working as a tech at a competing shop. Your working relationship and his trust that you'll be around for the long haul comes into play.

04-01-2008, 12:30
I don't know. My employer paid for my training in repairing electronics, the deal was that I would stick around for so many years afterwards. I've been there 24 years now.

The course mentioned on SB sound ideal and I like the book they're using. I've paged through it at one of the dive shops I frequent, the techs there let me in the door and use their stuff when I need it. I'm not sure I'd pay $500 for that course based on that book though, I'd buy the book but I have to wonder what they add on top of it. You're not authorized for a brand name regulator so it's a class that teaches what the book says.

The classes the manufacturers offer used to be more than just part change outs, can anybody who's done one lately confirm if it's now degenerated into a change the parts and go class? That book is no longer in production, rumors abound about it coming back. If you see one for sale buy it.

04-01-2008, 16:31
Wow. Unless I was in business for myself, no way I'd pay that kind of money out of my own pocket, all so I can earn more money for someone else.

04-02-2008, 15:36
It'd be stupid IMO to do it. Unless you had a job that paid tons of money it's a waste. Why spend what little money you make at a dive shop to make even less money?

04-03-2008, 08:58
Financially, it doesn't make a lot of sense in the short-term for me to pay the entire tab on this course. However, the fact that the certification will belong to me and not the dive shop has some appeal. If I pay and then Larry and Joe finally open their new shop in San Antonio, then I can always offer my services to them. Even if a shop is not an authorized dealer of a certain brand of gear, they can still offer repair services that is not covered under waranty.

I think if I owned the shop and I found a good candidate for a technician, I would try to entice that person to attend the course and then stay with the shop to get a return on the investment. However, I don't own the shop. These guys have an entirely different business model and some grossly divergent leadership techniques than I would employ. But, it is their shop.

I'm still not sure what I will do.....but thank you to everyone for your input.

04-03-2008, 09:12
well i don't work in the dive industry, but my company pays for everything... boots, uniforms, duffel bag, log books, licensing, certification, DOT physicals, safety council training, even the drinks we consume!

04-03-2008, 16:13

I do get the shops point, but consider this. How many weeks would you need to work for free to take the course, and will you make MORE money afterwards?

If it doesn't add up, don't do it. You've got to watch out for yourself, don't be gullible. If you do it for free without a pay raise or percentage of the work you do, you're giving it away for free.

Will they fire you if you don't take the course? If you want to do it, if they won't pay for it, see if they'll trade for it.

04-03-2008, 17:42
A view from the other side...

As a licensed Land Surveyor in California, my license renewal fee must be paid every other year. Most companies will pay it for their employees. One I worked for wouldn't.

His take: When I left, I took my license with me. Why should he pay for that any more than the calculator or book I took with me, too?

The next place i went wanted to control when and whre I used my license. My response: No. I pay for it; you don't. I decide when and where to use my license.

So...the trainning is something that you will be able to take with you. Right now, you earn $X. If they pay for your trainning, you would not be worth much more than $X as they are paying off yuour trainning.

If you go to another shop, they get the benfit of your trainning and you are now worthy $Y to that store.

04-03-2008, 23:54
Before I would pay for the class myself, I would do one of the following:

1) negotiate a percentage of the revenue for any service done while on the company clock.

2) contract with the shop to do the services on your own time and charge the shop a slightly better rate than they are paying the outside company they are sending equipment off to now.

3) Negotiate a plan where the shop reimburses you for your expense over a period of time to ensure you don't take the certification and run to another shop.

04-08-2008, 01:19
This is a little off subject but I'm curious. I know that one has to be a certain level of professional to attend the courses to service equipment. Why is that the case?

I understand that it may show a certain level of commitment but there's still a lot of flaky people out there and I don't necessarily think someone with a divemaster rating is automatically capable of the responsibilities of servicing equipment that will keep me alive by virtue of their dive
certification alone. And yes, I would love to learn to service gear for myself and others but am not a dm and likely won't become one.

04-08-2008, 07:02
I don't think you even need to be a diver to go to a service school. I'll bet that if you want to do it, all you'll find the requirements to be is an association with a dive shop. That's what I was told.

05-10-2008, 13:39
The classes the manufacturers offer used to be more than just part change outs, can anybody who's done one lately confirm if it's now degenerated into a change the parts and go class? That book is no longer in production, rumors abound about it coming back. If you see one for sale buy it.
I know that the Mares and Aqualung coarses that I've attended were "Replace parts only" coarses. Not a bad way to get a start in reg repair but a long way from makeing you a qualified reg tech. I think that the only reason for such coarses is the liability issue. I learned from an old school reg tech then later took the coarses for the piece of paper for the LDS wall