College Resources

Career Tracks: Automotive Technology

Automotive technicians inspect, maintain, diagnose and repair mechanical, electrical, electronic and hydraulic parts of gasoline-powered vehicles.

With the concern for automotive efficiency and the cost of fuel, vehicle repairs and service growing yearly, the role of the automotive technician increases in importance. This career is for the person who loves to work with his/her hands and likes a challenge.

Duties

Technicians in this field may be required to:

  • repair, service and adjust electrical or mechanical parts of gasoline-powered vehicles

  • perform preventive maintenance, troubleshoot/diagnose, and estimate costs related to repairs

  • repair or replace defective parts and/or rebuild assemblies

  • conduct tests to make sure the repairs have corrected the problem and were properly made

  • may specialize in repairing engines, electrical systems, carburetors, brakes, transmissions, air conditioning systems, alignment of suspension systems, wheels, axles and steering mechanisms 

  • think critically and logically to assess and solve automotive repair problems

  • gain knowledge to become an ASE certified technician
     

Working Conditions

Technicians in this field commonly experience:

  • may work alone

  • may work in cooperation with others (teamwork)

  • perform variety of duties

  • may work under direct supervision

  • may work overtime depending on customer needs

  • working in, on or under cars
     

Physical Demands

  • active (walking, standing, bending, crawling, kneeling, crouching, carrying)

  • reaching, handling, lifting (to 70 lbs.)
     

Characteristics & Temperament

Technicians in this field should have:

  • good oral and written communication skills

  • ability to work with symbols, data, some written communication

  • ability to work with people (co-workers, customers)

  • ability to work with machines (setting up, operating, maintaining)

  • ability to understand and follow verbal directions

  • ability to follow written directions

  • ability to perform arithmetic functions quickly and accurately

  • spatial aptitude (understand two-dimensional objects, recognize relationships resulting from the movement of objects)

  • mechanical reasoning (understand mechanical principles and devices, understand how things work and how to fix them)

  • good motor coordination (hand/eye coordination, manual/finger dexterity, accurate and swift movement)

  • ability to interact positively with people from diverse cultures/populations

  • self-discipline

  • ability to develop a knowledge of computers during and for vehicle repair
     

Employment Outlook

Technicians in this field can expect the following developments:

  • salary range: $17,000-30,000 per year for 2010-2012 graduates

  • average salary: $25,150 for 2010-2012 graduates

  • 79% placement rate for 2010-2012 graduates

  • some entry level positions: automotive dealer technician, service shop technician, used car dealer technician, auto parts store technician, parts assistant, service manager

  • technician specialization in: engine repair, manual drive train and axle, brake, heating and air conditioning, automatic transmission/transaxle, etc.

  • job advancement comes with experience, further training and national certification test

  • opportunities are good because of a shortage of qualified technicians throughout the country

  • possible self-employment

  • employment in cities and towns of all sizes
     

Employers

Recent graduates have found work at: