Becoming an automotive technician is a good career option, especially if you are passionate about cars, love working with your hands, and wish to start earning as early as possible. Becoming a mechanic is also rewarding in terms of pay, as technicians can earn more than $65,000 annually.
The number of registered motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2019 was 276 million. Within one year from 2018 to 2019, the number of new vehicles in the U.S. grew by 3 million. The large volume of cars in the U.S. means that people will always have mechanical issues with their vehicles and require service to keep them on the road.
As an automotive technician, you will inspect, repair, and maintain automobiles. Additionally, you may also have to explain mechanical issues to your customers, suggest parts and replacements, and work on building a strong relationship with them. The career requires you to have the right mix of technical and communication skills to excel as a professional.
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Benefits of Becoming an Auto Technician
Becoming an automotive service technician comes with a set of perks and benefits. Some of these are as follows:
Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Promising Salary and Career Growth
Automotive technicians can also advance to better roles of a service manager or an automotive instructor, which can help earn higher salaries. Some technicians also choose to start their own business after completing their training.
Learning Advanced Technologies
You will get to learn a lot about advanced mechanical and electronic systems. Modern cars have smart sensors, infotainment systems, parking assistance, and even pedestrian detection systems. Additionally, most of your learning will be practical, hands-on.
If you are curious about new tech and enjoy working practically, then this is the career for you.
Variety in Your Work
An auto mechanic has to deal with a variety of challenges every day. Instead of being stuck behind a desk, auto technicians constantly move and perform varied tasks daily.
Quick Earning Potential
You can kickstart your career as an automotive technician in the industry very quickly. While a college degree can take four years, the training program for entry-level technician jobs generally requires a maximum of two years.
As your training might require you to get an apprenticeship, most technicians find jobs while they’re still in school.
During your training or degree program, you will learn skills that will easily allow you to take up a new job in the transportation industry. There are multiple avenues in the automobile industry that require the skills of an automotive technician.
Solving challenging problems, helping people get their lives back to normal, and contributing to keeping the economy running can provide immense job satisfaction. When you understand a customer’s issue and help put their vehicle back on the road again, the feeling is priceless.
How Much Do Automotive Technicians Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), the median salary for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics was $42,090 per year in 2019. The average wage for an entry-level automotive technician is around $24,400 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent of mechanics earned more than $68,880 annually.
The number of jobs and pay can vary greatly according to your job location. For instance, in 2019, the annual mean wage for auto mechanics in the District of Columbia was $61,350, while technicians in West Virginia had an annual pay of $34,290 during the same period.
Did you know that in Rhode Island for every 1000 jobs, 5.35 jobs were for auto technicians and mechanics? This proves New England Tech (an institute based out of Rhode Island), to be a great option to kickstart your automotive technician career.
Learn how an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology from New England Tech can help working professionals get better jobs and excel in their careers!
START YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CAREER
Earn your degree in Automotive Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!
It is evident that if you excel at the trade and gain relevant skills at your job, you will have tremendous growth opportunities. An experience of two or more years and an ASE certification can further improve your prospects of a rewarding career.
BLS predicts that the employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics will decline by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029.
The decline in the number of jobs highlights the key fact that automotive technicians must adapt to the changing technology. Employers these days prefer service technicians who can work on various specialized jobs instead of mechanics who perform basic repetitive tasks.
As vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, service technicians will have to work beyond routine maintenance and repair, such as changing the oil or replacing brake pads. New vehicles come with various interconnected electrical and electronic systems such as sensors, control systems, cameras, and digital instruments that may require diagnosis and repair.
Automotive technicians have excellent advancement opportunities, especially if they exhibit a sound knowledge of automotive technology and excellent customer service skills. Service technicians can progress to the status of a master mechanic after obtaining all the relevant certifications in their trade.
These are some of the jobs that you can take up after completing your education program:
- Auto Service Technician
- Collision Tech
- Paint Tech
- Service Advisor
- Collision Estimator
- Parts Professional
- Auto Parts Machinist
While these are common jobs for fresh graduates, you can also work on specialized functions such as heating and air conditioning tech, diesel engine repair, improving engine performance, operating scan tools, and diagnostic equipment.
You can also start your own repair shop or auto parts business once you are proficient with your trade.
Learn how a degree from NEIT can help working professionals pursue their dream careers.
START YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CAREER
Earn your degree in Automotive Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Job Description
Automotive technicians help diagnose and fix issues with cars and other automobiles. Traditionally technicians used to fix only the mechanical components of a car. As manufacturers are now launching advanced cars, an automotive technician has to work with a variety of electrical components too.
Some of the common, day-to-day responsibilities of a technician can be:
- Diagnosing and testing parts and system to identify the source of problems
- Performing preventative maintenance tasks such as wheel alignment, oil and coolant change, filter replacement, etc.
- Advising customers on fixes and car care
- Installing systems that comply with emissions, safety, and performance standards
- Providing an estimate of automotive repair and replacement costs to customers
- Maintaining client relationship
- Operating a variety of equipment and power tools to assemble and disassemble parts
- Coordinating with the stores and supplies department for maintaining an optimum inventory of parts
An automotive technician can work in a variety of settings. Car dealerships and garages offer full-time jobs that may require you to work throughout the day.
You may have to work in a challenging environment that involves loud noise, fumes, and oils. If you are working on the shop floor, you have to handle pneumatic and hydraulic tools, handle heavy objects, operate hand tools, and carry out repair work to pose a safety hazard. So, many employers emphasize worker safety.
How to Become an Automotive Technician?
Complete Relevant Education
Most employers require technicians to possess a high-school diploma or GED. Once you complete your high school education, you must apply for a certificate course or an associate’s degree in automotive technology or automotive maintenance.
You can choose programs that are Master Certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). These programs can take up to two years and involve a combination of theory and practical classes.
Look for intensive programs that will prepare you for entry-to-industry-level technical capability and offer skills needed for rapid advancement.
New England Tech is one such institute that participates in programs like the Ford Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) program, Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) by the Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) Performance Institute.
This technical school also participates in the Subaru University program – post-completion students get awarded the level one Subaru University technician certificate.
You can also apply for a bachelor’s or master’s degree after your vocational training to improve your job prospects.
Learn more about the various degree programs you can apply to for a career in automotive technology.
Obtain a Certification
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides certifications that indicate your practical knowledge and readiness to join the workforce. The ASE entry-level certification is best-suited for fresh graduates seeking a career in the automotive service industry.
ASE also conducts more than 50 certification tests for experienced professionals with two or more years of experience. These tests cover every aspect of cars and trucks’ repair. These certifications are a great add-on to your education and may also fetch you a higher salary.
Once you pass all the tests in a particular domain, you can achieve the status of a master technician. Master technicians often work in a supervisory capacity and earn handsome wages.
You can also go for brand-specific certifications such as BMW, Ford, etc., that can help you apply for an automotive technician job in those companies.
Apply for Training/Internship
Your high school or college may also arrange for job training with specific car manufacturers or dealerships. Such experience can help you get a job immediately after graduation.
Since employers prefer technicians with practical experience, they may hire you for on-the-job training and promote you to a permanent position upon satisfactory performance.
Build Your Skills
If you want to have a fulfilling career as an automotive technician, you must pay keen attention to improving your professional skills. You must put to use the knowledge that you acquired during your high-school diploma, certification, or associate’s degree.
You must also stay up-to-date with the latest vehicle technology trends if you are training to become an automotive technician.
If you lack the financial means to apply for a degree after completing your high-school diploma, take a look at these amazing financial aids that NEIT offers.
The career path for an automotive technician offers a variety of exciting prospects in the auto industry. You may start with basic preventative maintenance and repair work and progress to supervisory and managerial roles.
An automotive technician also earns a decent salary, works in a challenging environment, and helps solve complex engineering problems. If you feel that this is the right career choice for you, get in touch with and learn about the various programs at the New England Institute of Technology. We are one of the top 5 institutes that offer the best Automotive Technology Degrees, request more information today!
Is being an automotive technician a good career?
Being an automotive Technician is a great career option if you are passionate about automobiles, love working practically, and have a knack for problem-solving. Automotive technician jobs can offer a decent salary, work diversity, and job satisfaction.
How do you become an automotive technician?
You can become an auto technician by obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree in automotive technology. You can also apply for on-the-job training and internships to start working as a mechanic.
What are the highest paying automotive technician jobs?
According to BLS, the top-paying industries for auto service technicians were:
- Aerospace parts and products manufacturing.
- Natural gas distribution.
These industries offer technicians an average salary of more than $65,000 per year.
How long does it take to become an automotive technician?
The training program or associate’s degree for becoming an automotive technician can take a maximum of two years to complete. These programs can help you take up entry-level jobs in the industry.
What to look for in an automotive technology degree?
Look for programs and colleges tailored to prepare you for employment in the automotive industry through participation in classroom, hands-on, and lab activities. These will help you pursue employment at an entry-level in automobile dealerships, independent automotive repair businesses, fleet service, and repair centers or car rental companies and lay the foundation for future progression.