Automotive service technicians and mechanics essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $36,610
- 2011, number of jobs: 596,830
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 17 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Automotive service technicians and mechanics; what they do:
When your vehicle breaks down, leaving you feeling frustrated and lost, it is usually the automotive service technician or automotive service mechanic who saves the day and gets your vehicle running well once again.
Automotive service technicians and automotive service mechanics perform a wide variety of jobs on cars and light trucks, keeping them well maintained and correcting any existing problems.
Typical responsibilities of an automotive service technician and automotive service mechanic include testing parts and systems of vehicles and using diagnostic equipment when working on mechanical issues.
Automotive service technicians and mechanics conduct regular maintenance on vehicles, including oil changes, lubricating the engine, tune-ups, tire rotations and replacing parts such as brake pads and wheel bearings. The test all work performed to ensure full safety.
As automotive technology advances, automotive service technicians and mechanics must also learn to work on vehicles with numerous electronic parts and systems as well as vehicles running on alternative energy sources.
An automotive service technician career involves speaking directly with customers, explaining the work they performed and any issues they may have found.
Automotive service technicians may also chose to specialize as automotive air-conditioning repairers, break repairers, front-end mechanics, transmission technicians and rebuilders, or tune-up technicians.
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Automotive service technicians and mechanics job titles:
- Service Technician
- Service Tech
- Automotive Technician
- Automotive Mechanic
- Auto Mechanic
- Automotive Service Tech
- Automotive Repair Technician
- Auto Technician
- Auto Service Technicians
- Automotive Air-conditioning Repairers
- Brake Repairers
- Front-end Mechanics
- Transmission Technicians and Rebuilders
- Tune-up Technicians
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Education, Certification and License Requirements
A vocational or postsecondary training program in automotive service technology is the new standard for automotive technician and automotive mechanic entry-level jobs. Automotive service technology programs typically last six months to one year, although some schools offer a two-year Associate in Automotive Service Technology degree program. Automotive manufacturers and dealers sponsor many of the associate’s degree programs.
An automotive service technician career typically begins with on-the-job training, working under the instruction of an experienced technician for two to five years before being considered a fully qualified service technician. Automotive service technicians generally work another one to two years before becoming familiar with all types of repairs.
Automotive service technicians and mechanics programs cover subjects such as:
- Basic mathematics
- Automotive repair
- Customer service
Automotive service technicians working with refrigerant are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obtain a license in proper refrigerant handling.
A majority of employers require automotive service technicians to become certified from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. Automotive service technicians can become certified in any of the following: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, manual drive train and axles, or suspension and steering. A Master Automotive Technician has certification in all eight areas.
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Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Job Outlook
Forecast: 17 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for automotive service technicians and automotive service mechanics, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The increasing number of automobiles in use increases the demand for automotive service technicians and automotive service mechanics.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $36,610
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $48,230
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $27,150
- Automotive repair and maintenance
- Automobile dealers
- Automotive parts, accessories and tire stores
- Local government, excluding education and hospitals