What does an automotive service technician do?
Automotive service technicians work on many different automobiles that run on gasoline, alternative fuels, or electricity. They understand how the complex components work and interact with each other. When automotive problems occur, they get a description of the problem from the owner and then locate the problem. They use computerized equipment, a variety of tools, and electronic diagnostic equipment. They also complete routine service inspections and test engines and other major parts. They follow a checklist to ensure they check every important component. They often check brake and fuel systems, hoses, belts, plugs, and other items that can cause potential problems.
What kind of training does an automotive service technician need?
Automotive service technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers seek applicants with formal training in automotive service technology. Many vocational and technical schools and community colleges offer automotive service training. Automotive service technicians often complete courses in automotive repair, physics, English, chemistry, electronics, mathematics, and computers. Many aspiring automotive service technicians complete internships to gain practical experience. Most employers provide new automotive service technicians with intensive on the job training.
Many automotive service technicians gain the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification to become competitive in the field, especially in large urban areas. Automotive service technicians can become certified in many different areas such as engine repair, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, brake systems, and suspension and steering. Certification usually requires work experience and passing an examination.
What are the prospects for a career as an automotive service technician?
Employment of automotive service technicians is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing number of motor vehicles and growth in driving age population will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be very good especially for automotive service technicians with ASE certification. Many job opportunities will also stem from the need to replace automotive service technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.
How much do automotive service technicians make?
As of October 2009, automotive service technicians with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $20,800 and $40,000. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $23,186 and $40,463 (2).
A career as an automotive service technician is an excellent choice for people that have a strong passion for automotive vehicles. Automotive service technicians must have good problem solving skills and be able quickly recognize the source of problems. Strong analytical skills, communication skills, and manual dexterity are necessary characteristics. Automotive service technicians must also have mechanical aptitude and have a thorough understanding of how automobiles operate.