Program & Course Information
What Automotive Specialists Do
Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks. Service technicians work on traditional mechanical components, such as engines, transmissions, belts, and hoses. However, they must also be familiar with a growing number of electronic systems. Braking, transmission, and steering systems, for example, are controlled primarily by computers and electronic components.
Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass. Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from everyday vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Damage may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel.
Most automotive service technicians and mechanics work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops. Although mechanical problems can often be fixed with computers, technicians perform many tasks with greasy parts and tools, while sometimes in uncomfortable positions.
Repairers usually work in well-ventilated body shops in order to disperse dust and paint fumes. They sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions, and their work can be physically demanding. Most repairers work full time, and overtime and weekend hours are common.
How to Become an Automotive Specialist
Employers generally prefer automotive service technicians and mechanics who have completed a formal training program in a postsecondary institution. Industry certification is usually required once the person is employed.
The median annual wage of automotive service technicians and mechanics was $35,790 in May 2010. The median annual wage of automotive body and related repairers was $38,130, and the median annual wage of automotive glass installers and repairers was $33,160.
Employment of automotive body, glass repairers and automotive service technicians is expected to grow 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.