Editor’s Note: The following profile appeared in RV Executive Today Online.
Mitch Graska, owner/operator of Felton’s RV Service, Houston, is an RV technician pioneer. He was the first technician to become certified – actually, master certified – in the Houston market area after working hard to find the necessary training and education.
Graska got most of his technical training on the job and by using service manuals, which were mainly provided by RV suppliers. “When I first started working on RVs, there were no structured courses to learn the trade,” he says. Rising through the ranks, he found few sources of training, other than on-the-job and supplier manuals.
But help was on the horizon – a test and course were being developed for just such a purpose. “In 1994, the nationwide program asked me and all of the instructors in the country to help write the procedure manuals for the RV training program that they were developing,” Graska says, referring to the RVIA Service Manual Textbook series. He learned a lot in the process and realized the need for even more education and training.
He was also asked to work with the Houston Community College (HCC) on an RV technician training program under development. Because they insisted that all instructors have at least a two-year degree, Graska recalls, he went back to school and finished his associate degree at age 36 in RV technology.
Graska was first certified as a master technician in 1996. Since then, he has re-certified three times, most recently using the RVDA/RVIA Certification Test Preparation Course for his 40 hours of continued education requirement. Though he already had a job teaching RV repair, he got certified because “it puts you in the fast lane, even ahead of those with years of experience.
Certification brings not only personal and professional pride, it also can increase one’s income. “A certified technician can earn more per hour more than a non-certified tech, and a master certified tech can earn even more than that, plus bonuses,” Graska says. He highly recommends the Technician Certification Test Preparation Course to other technicians, both beginners and veterans.
For more information about the RVDA/RVIA Certification Test Preparation Course, visit www.rvlearningcenter.com.