Learn more about careers as automotive technicians. Find information on career opportunities, tasks and duties, education requirements, and job growth. View popular auto mechanic schools that help prepare students for careers as automotive technicians.
Duties & Tasks
Automotive technicians inspect, maintain, and repair light trucks and cars. Duties may include identifying mechanical problems, testing and ensuring that parts and systems for vehicles perform properly, and performing basic vehicle care and maintenance. Automotive technicians may also perform the following tasks:
- Repair or replace brake systems.
- Test and lubricate major engine components.
- Repair or replace fuel injectors and carburetors.
- Repair or replace mufflers and tailpipes.
- Repair or replace engines and transmissions.
- Repair or replace belts and hoses.
- Test and troubleshoot electronic equipment.
Automotive technicians may specialize in a particular type of repair such as:
- Automotive Air-Conditioning
Training & Education Requirements
Due to the industry’s increase in sophistication and technological advances, students may benefit from vocational training. Vocational schools may offer a certificate, diploma, or associate-level program, and students may obtain classroom or online instruction. New automotive technicians generally start out as helpers or trainee technicians and gradually acquire the skills to become a qualified technician over a period of two to five years. Automotive technicians can become certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification requires at least two years of relevant work experience and applicants must pass one or several of the eight available certification tests.
Salary & Job Growth
The growing number of vehicles in use combined with the increasing lifespan of new model vehicles will increase the demand for educated and well qualified automotive technicians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of automotive service technicians and mechanics in 2012 was $36,610. Median hourly wages in 2012 was $17.60. The BLS also reports that employment opportunities of automotive service technicians and mechanics are expected to increase by 17% from 2010-2020, this may result in approximately 124,800 new job openings.