Job description

Automotive service technicians perform basic maintenance services on vehicles. Their work consists of checking fluid levels, rotating tyres, changing oil and providing tune-ups. They also repair or replace worn out parts, like brake pads and wheel bearings, while a key part of their job is to explain to clients about the problems associated with the vehicle.

Duties

    • Perform routine maintenance work for automobiles to ensure functionality and longevity
    • Inspect engine and mechanical elements to correctly diagnose a car’s problems
    • Determine if the vehicle’s computer and electronic systems are working properly
    • Follow a checklist to make sure everything has been checked
    • Utilise on-board or plug-in diagnostics to locate issues and come up with solutions
    • Test, disassemble and reassemble parts
    • Access testing equipment to make certain that parts are working sufficiently
    • Give customers an estimate of the work that needs to be done, in addition to pricing
    • Explain in layman’s terms about what is wrong with the vehicle
    • Observe the behaviour of the vehicle by sight and smell
    • Submit orders for specific parts that the shop does not have and ones that serve as remedies
    • Use a wide range of tools, equipment and hazardous solvents
    • Contact the manufacturer for some issues that require additional assistance
    • Schedule future maintenance sessions and extend advice for best vehicle usage

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Attention to detail
Communication
Physical stamina
Problem-solving
Customer service
Technical aptitude
Analytical
Tech savviness
Independence
Teamwork
Coordination
Leadership

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

Overtime occasionally

Automotive service technicians work in a wide array of car service settings, including gas stations, full-service repair shops and car dealers.

While it can be difficult to walk off the job in the middle of a repair, most mechanics maintain a 40-hour weekly schedule. It should be noted that overtime is possible during busy periods, and working evenings and weekends is common.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$23k

Median

$41k

Top 10%

$67k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Vocational

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

6months

To become an automotive service technician, you will generally need to complete an automotive service technology programme, which typically takes six months to a year to complete.

Alternatively, you could complete an associate’s degree, which many automobile manufacturers and dealers will sponsor.

In any event, you will still need to attend continuing education courses throughout your career due to constantly evolving technological advancements.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

6%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

45.9k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

59%

Career progression

With experience, you can take on various management functions, such as supervising employees, training new hires or monitoring inventory. There isn’t much room for advancement, although you will likely enjoy higher compensation, greater perks and better benefits as you progress in your career.

Some automotive service technicians, meanwhile, choose to start their own businesses.