What do Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Do?
When a vehicle is failing, automotive service technicians and mechanics step in to solve the problem. Usually located in a shop or dealership, this position requires the use of a wide range of automotive tools to diagnose and fix any automotive issue. From slight adjustments to entire overhauls, you will be required to fix it all. Generally, this position excludes work dealing with auto body repairs and upgrades, as well as big rig and bus repairs.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Skills and Abilities
This position requires the use of various tools on many different cars and trucks that come with a wide range of problems. You will be expected to know how each vehicle can be repaired and what is necessary to complete the task. Critical thinking is an important skill in this job as you determine which option will be cost efficient for the customer and solve the issue. Completing daily tasks will require that you have manual dexterity, good vision for difficult to see areas, and the strength and steadiness necessary to hold parts in place for long periods of time.Your job doesn’t stop with vehicles. Automotive service technicians and mechanics have to be able to work with various customers. Taking orders, making phone calls and solving customer issues in a calm and solution focused manner is almost as important as fixing the vehicle.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Duties
Some of the most frequent duties you will have on this job include working with customers face to face and over the phone. When it comes to the vehicles, however, changing out old tires, oil filters, spark plugs, batteries and air filters will be your most common duties. From what is under the hood to what is under the car, here are some other duties you can expect:
- Determine options and calculate repair costs for the customer.
- Report any necessary repairs.
- Test and repair or replace elements of the brake, clutch, fuel injection, air conditioning and hydraulic systems in vehicles, keeping vehicle efficiency in mind for potential upgrades.
- Effectively service specialized vehicles, such as hybrid cars and those that use alternative fuels.
- Make sure all axles, wheels and steering systems are aligned accurately.
- Replace any defective parts with new installations.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Tools and Technology
You must be able to work with various kinds of tools, such as hammers and wrenches. More specialized tools that you will use are light emitting displays, which are used on different scanners and readers found in a vehicle, and punches. You will also be required to use recording and database software to complete your duties. Analytical programs help diagnose vehicle issues, accounting software keep track of orders and expenses and database programs keep your customer information and inventory organized. It is helpful to know these kinds of programs for quick and easy access.
Education and Training for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
Most of the time, automotive service technicians and mechanics just need a high school diploma to land a job. However, training is usually important, so there are education courses in automotive maintenance and repair that may be required by an employer before or after hiring that will bolster your credentials.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Salary
For all levels of personnel in the automotive service business, pay is usually decent. Hourly rates are the most popular method of payment in this industry, with low-end wages ranging $10.00 to $17.00 an hour. Those who come with more education and experience can see high-end wages between $23.00 to $30.00 an hour. With the right experience, you can make upwards of $64,000 a year.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Jobs by Geography
The states that hold the most automotive service technician and mechanics jobs include Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. Those looking for a little more pay may find higher wages in Washington D.C., Alaska, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Examine these areas to determine what is best for you.