Joe Masterman


Joe Masterman was working in an aftermarket car repair shop when he decided he needed to go back to school. Unlike some of his coworkers, Masterman wasn’t satisfied knowing that a car part was broken; he wanted to know what caused it to break in the first place. He found these answers and more through the Hennepin Technical College Automotive Technology Program.

“[HTC] let me understand what I was seeing in the field,” Masterman says. “Once you understand fundamentals like what makes combustion and ignition possible, you can figure out more complex problems.”

Mike Rudolph was one of Masterman’s HTC instructors and he was continually impressed with Masterman’s skills.

“If Joe had a B as a final grade he was not happy. He was always one of the top scoring students in class,” Rudolph says.

Although Masterman worked full-time throughout his degree, he graduated in 2009 with nearly straight A’s. From there he got a job at a Honda dealership. The work paid the bills but, according to Mike Rudolph, didn’t use all of Masterman’s talents.  

After working for several years at the Honda dealership, a recruiter for Identifix, a Minnesota-based company that offers diagnostic support to automotive technicians across North America, offered Masterman a job. Masterman was ecstatic and intimidated.

“Identifix technicians are very good,” Masterman explains, “If they can’t fix a problem no one can. I thought that was really intimidating. I got in touch with Mike to see if he could help me get a more well-rounded base of knowledge on the different ways car companies do things.”

Joe Masterman

Rudolph was happy to hear from Masterman and incredibly proud of how far he had come. Rudolph teaches all of his students to strive for something better and Masterman had done that and more. “He’s a go-getter,” Rudolph laughs.

Now nearly a year into the job, Masterman is less intimidated but no less happy. Working on the Identifix Repair Hotline is all about talking other technicians through their most head-scratching problems. Some might find it frustrating but Masterman loves the intellectual challenge each hotline call provides. He credits that to Rudolph, too.

“[Rudolph] was the inspiration to turn an automotive career into something intellectual. He was a role model.”

Masterman considers himself lucky to have found a job he can happily do for the rest of his career at a place that invests in his talents. Through Identifix, he’s earned his Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Technician status, which complements the Master Honda Technician credential he previously earned. He’s honored to be working alongside some of the best technicians in the world at a place that many consider the absolute pinnacle of the field. A typical automotive technician might be satisfied with that, but Masterman has never been typical.

When asked what’s next, Masterman pauses. He’s been thinking about patenting a couple diagnostic tools he’s developed or maybe volunteering some of his time for charity.  Though he’s settled in at Identifix, it’s clear that Masterman won’t be slowing down. 

Last updated by jhanson : 2016-08-18 15:48:45