The Gold Meister: This Service Tech’s Passion for Cars led to Porsche’s Top Certification

Porsche employee

In the 1950s, Porsche 356 sports car drivers had a motto: “Race on Sunday, drive on Monday.” That meant that the Porsche 356 could “be a winner on the race track at the weekend and then go back to being a reliable everyday car again,” according to the Porsche website.

Porsche Gold Meister Certified Technician Todd Parker seems to have a similar motto in life: have fun on the weekends and work hard during the week. “We do a lot of mountain activities,” Parker said in his NADA video. The married father with three daughters lists camping and off-roading as his favorite ways to spend his time off. “We just like getting out in nature, that’s one of our big things.”

Parker has a 2004 Cayenne Turbo equipped with an off-road package to help him conquer Colorado’s mountain ranges, complete with sway bars and all-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case. “That’s kind of a cool, unique thing, not many people see that going off-road,” Parker said.  

Porsche’s “Intelligent Performance” Put to Work

During the week, Parker, who has been with Porsche since 2010, is doing in-depth diagnostics at Porsche of Colorado Springs. “That’s one of the things we use now is technician instead of mechanic,” Parker explained. “Especially for people working on newer vehicles because I spend almost half of my time on a computer.” As cars have gotten more technical, so have the technicians working on them, he said. “There are multiple networks in the cars, so it’s not just nuts and bolts anymore. It’s understanding how all of these systems and components work together.”

Like many service technicians, Parker discovered his career through his passion for cars. “In the late 1990s, me and my buddies were into the street racing scene that had become popular at that point. You know we did turbo upgrades and tunings and all that silly stuff and it really got me thinking, ‘Hey, this is something I really want to do.’”

Parker is a graduate of the Porsche Technician Apprentice program and achieved Gold Meister Certification in 2016. The Porsche Technician training program ensures technicians get regular training on brand new, late model, and even vintage Porsche vehicles. The program is rigorous – technicians go through multiple levels of courses, as well as theory and practical exams and their knowledge is certified through successive levels of qualification – first bronze, then silver, and finally gold.

The Gold Meister test is a hands on practical test conducted at Porsche training headquarters once a year. It is a pass fail test that includes product knowledge and proper repair documentation. After achieving the Gold Meister standard, the technician has to maintain certification quarterly and attend at least 40 hours of hands on training at Porsche training in Atlanta annually.

Porsche Perks: Good Pay, Long Career

Becoming a Porsche technician comes with a level of job security and can lead to a successful and very long career. Just ask Larry Moulton of Porsche Salt Lake City. Moulton, who has been servicing cars since 1962, was recently honored as the longest-tenured technician in the U.S. by Porsche Cars North America (PCNA). In fact, according to PCNA, 126 of the more than 1,300 current Porsche technicians in the U.S. have been with the company 20 years or more. “The 190 independently owned and operated U.S. Porsche dealerships have some of the industry’s most experienced hands taking care of cars for customers,” the company said.

Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA added, “About 70 percent of all Porsche cars ever made are still on the road today. The high-quality work of our technicians helps keep them going.”

Being a Porsche-trained technician certainly has its benefits: starting salaries are between $25,000 and $35,000. Progression to master mechanic can yield a salary of between $60,000 to $100,000, according to salary statistics compiled by Sapling.com. Another salary website, Paysa, puts the average salary for a Porsche technician at $71,022 per year.

Beyond the generous pay and time off, there’s another perk that comes with being a Porsche service technician, according to Parker. “At the end of the day, I get to drive a Porsche around. After I’ve fixed it and test it out and make sure it’s good. It definitely puts a smile on your face, that’s for sure.”