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With the number of vehicles in use continuing to rise, more technicians will be needed to perform basic maintenance and repair. There is some concern with new technologies, such as electric vehicles, limiting future demand for automotive service technicians and mechanics.
Currently, job growth for automotive workers is projected at 6 percent over the next few years.
Automotive technicians inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks. They often use computerized diagnostic equipment to identify problems, test parts and systems to ensure that they work properly.
Automotive workers will spend most of the day standing. They typically work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops. Technicians sometimes work in uncomfortable positions when working on a vehicle and handle greasy parts and tools. Most work full-time, with overtime being common. Technicians may also work evenings or weekends.
Taking high school courses in automotive repair, electronics, computers, and mathematics provide a good background for prospective service technicians. However, high school graduates typically need further training to become fully qualified.
Vocational or postsecondary education program in automotive technology is the best path for entry level technicians. Programs can last anywhere from 6 month to a year.
Some technicians get associates degrees that cover subjects such as mathematics, electronics and automotive repair. Some automobile manufacturers and dealers sponsor associate degree programs.
The median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics is around $39,550. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,610 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65,430.
Many experienced technicians and that work for automotive dealers and independent repair shops receive commission related to the labor cost charged to the customers.
Technicians who work with refrigerants are required by the EPA are required to be certified in proper refrigerant handling.
Certification from the ASE is the standard credential for service technicians. ASE certification is available for several different specialty areas. To become certified, technicians must have at least 2 years of experience (of relevant schooling and 1 year of experience) and pass an exam.
Other important qualities that technicians should have include customer service skills, excelling mechanical and troubleshooting skills, and must be detail-oriented and highly organized.
Physical strength and dexterity is also important as technicians must sometimes lift and maneuver heavy parts and many tasks require steady hands and good hand-eye coordination.
You can search for an Automotive job listing through websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, and JobsInEachState.com. You can also check your local papers or do a general web search for your area for Automotive jobs. Applicants can also inquire for work by visiting local repair shops in their area.