Automotive Service Technician

What Does an Automotive Service Technician Do?
An automotive service technician inspects, diagnoses and repairs problems in cars and trucks. Technicians perform general care maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, brake checks and service other complex problems that damage the vehicle. Automotive service technicians have been trained to consult with customers, find the problem, diagnose the cause and fix it. They are extremely knowledgeable in various car parts and how they work separately and together to make the car run efficiently. They also have to be up to date on different
car makes and models so that they use the right fluids and parts and follow manufacturers’ instructions. Most technicians use computerized shop equipment and electronic tools when finding and fixing a problem, which makes their work more efficient and less strenuous. In addition, automobile technicians use electronic diagnostic equipment to speed up the process and use digital manuals or reference materials to refresh their memory on a certain procedure or problem. Essentially, automotive service technicians keep cars working properly, help you get your money’s worth and protect drivers and passengers.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for an Automotive Service Technician?
The employment outlook for automotive service technicians should be stable, with an estimated five percent increase in jobs between 2008 and 2018. Although the growth is slower than average, technician jobs will continue to be filled as experienced technicians retire or switch careers. More qualified automotive service technicians will be hired to repair and maintain the growing number of vehicles being used in the U.S. Entry-level workers will be hired to do basic maintenance services, such as oil changes and replacing tires and worn brakes. In addition, the average life of vehicles is growing, which increases the demand for maintenance and repairs, especially after warranties expire. The salary outlook is also expected to be satisfactory for automotive service technicians over the next ten years. Automotive service technicians made $16.88, including commission, in average hourly wages during 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest levels of employment for technicians were in automotive repair and maintenance, automobile dealerships and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores. For more details on automotive technicians’ wage estimates and industry profiles, check out the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics.

How Can I Become an Automotive Service Technician?
Before entering the challenging field of automotive repairs, you should consider completing a postsecondary automotive training program to acquire industry-specific skills and gain hands-on experience. Most automotive service technicians earn an associate degree at a vocational school or community college to learn the most update techniques and specialized skills. Within those two years of formal education, you will learn how to do basic maintenance services, as well as find, diagnose and fix common and rare car problems. Once you’ve completed a basic automotive training program, you will be ready to start an entry-level job as a technician or mechanic, gaining valuable skills and experience that will help you advance within the field. For job listings, career information and industry resources for automotive service technicians, visit Automotive Careers Today.