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Want To Become an Automotive Service Technician?

Is an Automotive Technician A Good Career?

Cars are all over modern society – and  with them come car problems. Many people take their cars for granted, until things break or go wrong, which happens to every car eventually. At that point, people have no choice but to rely on the assistance of Automotive Service Technicians, who do the actual repair work on broken motor vehicles.

As a result of the millions of cars on the streets, there is a need for well-trained, skilled Technicians who know how to deal with every part of modern cars – whether it is worn down or broken. If you’re interested in cars, like working with your hands, and enjoy a challenge, then this could be the perfect career for you!

Auto Technicians also have lots of options for their careers, as they can choose to remain generalists, knowing a little bit about everything involved in maintaining and repairing a car, or choose to further specialize on certain systems, allowing them to become absolute experts focused entirely on fixing brakes, engines, transmissions, or other specific vehicle systems. 

Eventually, every car will breakdown or need some kind of servicing, which means that as long as there are cars on the road, there will always be a need for qualified repair technicians. 

What is an Automotive Technician?

Automotive technician job descriptions generally stay the same, but certified technicians can perform additional work as compared to an uncertified individual. At Arizona Automotive Institute, our program in Automotive Service Technology prepares students to take two important certification exams, helping them launch an automotive career as a working technician*.

*AAI does not guarantee third-party certifications. Certification requirements for taking and passing certification examinations are not controlled by AAI but by outside agencies and are subject to change by the agencies without notice to AAI. Therefore, AAI cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take certification examinations, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.

Automotive Service Technicians are often referred to as “Car Mechanics”, but there is a difference between the two roles.  Mechanics are licensed to perform basic mechanical aspects of repair ce work, while the Service Technicians can perform technical, computerized aspects on your vehicles that Mechanics aren’t qualified to do. Technician can also do some basic car maintenance as well.  

What Does an Automotive Technician Actually Do?

Auto Technician duties are varied and can change from one repair job to the next, but in general, these workers perform a number of important roles in the maintenance and service of motor vehicles. 

Many service technicians are expected to perform end-to-end service, working with both automobiles and customers, which means that they can’t simply focus on the vehicles themselves, but also need to develop solid people and customer service skills as well. 

An Automotive Service Technicians (AST) daily duties are likely to include:

Diagnostic Duties

Before any actual repair work can be done on a vehicle, the Automotive Technician must first diagnose the source of the problem. Technicians have to be able to then explain these issues to customers, clearly indicating complicated technical problems and setting customer expectations about the level of effort and costs required to fix whatever needs attention. Diagnostic duties are likely to include:

  • Listening to customers to understand their questions and concerns about their cars
  • Using computerized diagnostic tools to determine what’s wrong with a vehicle
  • Accurately estimate the time that will be needed to make any required repairs
  • Explaining pricing, including how it’s determined, and what it could cost to fix certain issues
  • Communicating the problem, and potential solutions, to customers, clearly explaining their options

Mechanical Duties

Most Automotive Service Technicians perform actual repair work on vehicles, though some Management-level employees could end up simply diagnosing issues, or dealing with customers, at later points in their careers. When it comes to deploying actual repairs, however, some of the most common tasks that AST’s will regularly be asked to perform include:

  • Oil changes
  • Transmission repairs
  • Engine performance diagnosis and repairs
  • Drive train replacements
  • Wheel realignments
  • Brake wear diagnoses and replacements

Electrical Duties

Virtually all modern cars include complicated electrical systems, and almost every vehicle built in the modern era integrates some kind of computer system for even basic operations. Because of the importance of electrical systems, AAI’s program places a specific emphasis on training students to deal with electrical problems, including:

  • Accident avoidance systems
  • Automated parking systems
  • Braking and ABS controllers
  • Electronically-shifted transmissions
  • Power and electronically-assisted steering systems
  • Hybrid power systems

At the end of the day, anyone seeking to enter the field as an Automotive Service Technician should ensure that the training program they select meets the expectations of the modern employer.

AAI’s automotive training program prepares students for entry-level careers in the automotive service industry by giving them the skills required to deal with both customers and the vehicle systems that they’ll be expected to work on.

How Much Does an Automotive Technician Make?

While pay rates will always vary based on a number of factors, the median Automotive Technician salary has increased over time. As of 2018, the median Automotive Technician Salary was $40,710 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,420, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $66,950. according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*.

*https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm#tab-1

AAI cannot guarantee employment or salary.

Career Outlook for Automotive Technicians

As long as cars are being driven, they will continue to break down, and that means they will continue to need complex and technical repairs. While computers can assist in diagnosing these issues, human hands are needed to perform the actual repair work. 

In addition to entering a career field that allows you to work with your hands and the latest technologies, choosing to become an Automotive Technician means you will be joining a profession that is growing and expected to keep growing in the years ahead. 

As of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics* projected 6% employment growth for automotive service technicians from 2016 to 2026.

*http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm#tab-1

How to Become an Automotive Technician

Training and hands-on experience are needed, and, as vehicles continue to improve, updated training should be sought as well. 

Those seeking to enter the automotive service field should seriously consider the benefits of completing an accredited program of study, which can include:

  • Getting hands-on experience with qualified instructors
  • Preparation and review for important exams and certifications
  • Auxiliary benefits like career services assistance

In the highly technical field of automotive repair, hands-on experience is vital to truly understanding the work you want to do. AAI helps students through this important process. 

Auto TechnicianSkills & Qualifications

AAI’s Automotive Service Technician program helps prepare students to sit for the following  certification exams. 

*https://www.epa.gov/mvac/section-609-technician-training-and-certification-programs 

While ASE certification is not mandatory in all states, many professionals hold this certification and some shops may include this as a requirement, as it is difficult to obtain liability insurance without it. 

AAI’s instructors work with our students to ensure that they are prepared for these important examinations.

*AAI does not guarantee third-party certifications. Certification requirements for taking and passing certification examinations are not controlled by AAI but by outside agencies and are subject to change by the agencies without notice to AAI. Therefore, AAI cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take certification examinations, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.

 

Desired Traits & Characteristics

Those working in Auto Technician jobs face a variety of challenges on a daily basis, and while not everyone will enjoy working in the field, it’s a great option for people who are interested in cars, and especially for people who want a career inspecting, diagnosing, servicing, and repairing motor vehicles. 

There are also a number of skills and personality traits that can help contribute to success in the field, including:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Steady hands
  • Detail-oriented
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Ability to combine mental skills with hands-on tasks
  • Communication and customer service skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Professional attitude

If the description above seems to apply to you, then you’re probably uniquely suited to work in the field, and you should certainly pursue a training program like AAI’s Automotive Service Technician program.

Why Should You Pick AAI for Your Automotive Technician Training?

Each of AAI’s AST-designated courses provides hands-on, real-world training experience, with more lab hours than lecture hours, and direct contact with industry-experienced instructors who will teach you how to overcome problems you may face when working on vehicles.

In our training classes, we teach students how to use all of the common tools required for working on a car, including:

  • Specialty hand tools
  • Wheel balancers
  • Alignment machines
  • Engine and vehicle diagnostic equipment
  • Brake lathes
  • Automotive lifts
  • Engine hoists
  • Service information databases

Our courses also place a huge emphasis on job safety procedures, ensuring that students learn how to complete the repair and maintenance tasks they’ll be asked to conduct without endangering themselves or anyone else. 

By the end of our program, our industry-experienced instructors will help you prepare to sit for the Automotive Service Excellence exams and the EPA 609 A/C Technician certifications.

*AAI does not guarantee third-party certifications. Certification requirements for taking and passing certification examinations are not controlled by AAI but by outside agencies and are subject to change by the agencies without notice to AAI. Therefore, AAI cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take certification examinations, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.

Learn the Skills at AAI!

Find out if our automotive classes are the right solution for your career training!

We’d like to invite you to experience Arizona Automotive Institute first-hand, and in-person, so please feel free to contact us to arrange a visit to our campus, where you can see our students and instructors in action. 

Finally, our admissions team is ready to answer any questions you might have about our exciting program, so please also feel free to reach out to them for any additional details or information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not AAI’s program would be right for you. 

High school diploma, GED, ATB, or equivalent required.