What is an Automotive Technician?

August 17, 2020

When you go to an automobile garage or factory, you must’ve noticed some guys working as technicians and others as mechanics. Everyone mentions these careers interchangeably, but there is a world of difference between the two.

An automotive technician/auto mechanic is a professional who fixes, inspects, and helps maintain vehicles. The responsibilities, salaries, degree of education, and training programs associated with each auto tech/automotive technician profile are quite different.

In this article, I will help you understand everything you need to know if you wish to build your career as an automotive technician.

One of the best ways to start off for anyone is by pursuing an auto mechanical associate program and specialize in the following areas:

Pro tip: Try reading up different articles, trends, issues, see whether there’s a type of specialization that excites you, what’s the money/pay like in the field, try writing a cold email to your favorite industry figure – you never know what would require your attention!

Related Article – What is Automotive Technology

What does an automotive technician do?

what is an automotive technician

Before we find out about the job training required to become an automotive technician, job openings, and labor statistics, it is vital to know about technicians’ work. Since they are responsible for looking after the engine performance, brake systems, steering systems, and other automotive repairs, a technician’s job description include:

  • An auto technician diagnoses customer vehicles for problems by test driving it and interacting with the vehicle using diagnostic tools on the vehicle electronics.
  • Mechanics interpret various vehicle diagnostic codes to understand the causes of a vehicle breakdown and conduct repair work.
  • A technician’s work includes working on specialized power tools to conduct repairs or replace broken parts. Sometimes, they use hoists to raise the vehicle to expose their underside and use pneumatic air machinery for loosening and tightening of parts. Using tools like lathes for brake rotors, and hand wrenches to remove parts is a part of a technician job description.
  • Technician jobs require the provision of customer service and manufacturer-recommended preventative maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, fluid level checks, checks for emissions, and complete service checklists at specified mileage intervals.
  • Auto technicians that specialize in just one area of expertise get opportunities to work as an automotive service technician, transmission technicians, lube technician, front-end technician, or even race car mechanics.

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Average Earnings

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive technicians working different types of jobs in the United States had a median annual salary of $42,090 in May 2019.

The lowest 10 percent earned wages less than $24,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,880.

The employment projections and the state of jobs for an automotive technician with advanced knowledge for the maintenance, service, repairs, tire rotation and diagnosis of cars and trucks among all other vehicles look bright. Your pay may also differ depending on skills, amount of experience, career advancement, and the economic state of the country.

How do you become a competent automotive technician?

auto mechanic repairing a car

Whether you are a high school student working towards your high school diploma or you’re a graduate who loves everything about cars, mechanics and motorcycles, it is important to understand the requirements to be a competent automotive mechanic before pursuing your goal.

  • Automotive Technician Programs: High school students should take up automotive repair if the desired institution offers auto shop classes to become familiar with the categories, regulations, characteristics/qualities, brands, and business terms. to be a good auto technician, make the most of your computer classes to help understand the basic computer controls required in modern vehicles.
  • Graduation Certifications: Many companies look for proof of education as a basic requirement before giving you a job. For example, your high school diploma can serve as proof that you’ve been part of an education program, some automotive technician jobs accept a GED certificate too.
  • Vocational Mentoring: Vocational schools can provide hands-on experience and fast track your progress as they provide specialized training that can be completed in six months and the rest can be learned on the job. This system provides a quick result. Getting an associate’s degree in automotive technology gives you information about engine repair, suspension, or power trains.
  • Strong Resume: Take advantage of internship programs at automobile dealers – the hands-on participation and expert advice will complement your education program. Wherever possible, accept internships or certification training. This can answer any questions you might have before becoming a full-time auto mechanic and provide you with invaluable work experience.
  • Utilize Minimum Resources: Though a repair shop might provide hand tools, other repair shops will require you to carry and care for your own tool collection. Apart from knowing how to handle computer equipment, it is essential to know how to work with specialized automotive tools. Students and entry-level automotive technicians are given discounts by many auto tool manufacturers.
  • Willingness towards completion of duties: Always be enthusiastic about testing equipment and interacting with customers in job training. A problem-solving attitude along with a varied skill set, ability to perform many tasks can fuel your growth and contribute towards career advancements
  • ASE Certifications: Apply for the right auto industry certification after some experience in the field. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certificates in 40 plus areas of auto mechanics and auto repair knowledge. Specialties offered include collision repair, alignment equipment, gear trains, accident-avoidance sensors, wheel bearings, tire rotations, air conditioning, suspension, oil changes, brake pads, and alternate car fuels.

Employment of Automotive Technicians:

female mechanic working on a car

According to CNBC, automotive technicians are no longer considered as blue-collar workers, the need for their services is growing extensively. Automotive technician graduates looking at the automotive sector as a career option are in luck since there are various employers providing automotive technicians various positions with immense job growth through higher salaries, tuition scholarships, and apprentice programs.

Employers are looking for automotive technicians with the skills to work in a body shop, work with computers, serve customers well and professionals who have the dexterity of working with various components like condensers, pliers, refrigerants, brakes, compressors, pumps, couplings, links, welding torches, scan tools, jacks, a wrench and understanding the various aspects that go into the maintenance of cars.

People who are skilled auto technicians will always find work, as dealership employers, for instance, require an automotive technician who can deal with a wide range of malfunctions and trouble engines. Veteran applicants in this profession are held in higher regard than technician candidates who are rookie mechanics/repairers.

Working in dealerships with repeat clients can prove to be advantageous – customers often prefer a single dealership. If you are someone looking to enter the service technicians field, find a trade school, university/college, or organization that can provide you with a variety of courses on emissions, ignition, transmissions, data handling, and industry level machines.

An employer/company values the talent of automotive service technicians. After completion of your graduation, you will be offered various professional options in your area of expertise by different businesses. Individuals need to consider the details of conditions like dealership certification, location, access, wage, safety, the title offered, rates, challenges, and plenty of other factors.

New England tech provides aspirants the opportunity to pursue their auto career by providing an associate’s degree in automotive technology.

START YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CAREER

Earn your degree in Automotive Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

FAQs

1. How much does an automotive technician make?

Ans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that automotive technicians working in the U.S. had a median annual salary of $42,090 in May 2019. The wages earned by the lowest 10 percent was less than $24,400, and the highest 10 percent averaged wages more than $68,880.

Apply to our automotive program and graduate in less than 2 years.