An automotive service technician conducts a variety of duties from the basics, such as changing oil and filters, to conducting custom modifications. The type of work a technician performs depend largely on the type of shop in which they work; for example, a lube shop has different workflow than a mechanic’s shop specializing in converting vehicles to limousines. The compensation package of some automotive service technicians includes a commission component. This may mean that there is also a significant sales element to an automotive service technician’s job.
Automotive service technicians can expect to work in varying environmental conditions. Cars break year-round, so while the facility at which a given technician works may have some ways of controlling the warmth of the working environment (such as appropriate enclosures and venting for winter work), a technician should expect to work in a wide variety of temperatures. In addition, the hours may be highly variable. While they tend to be a bit more predictable at larger dealerships or organizations, technicians working for a small one- or two-person shop should expect to put in more overtime hours as the need arises.
Most employers seeking to hire automotive service technicians require a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as industry-standard qualifications. For example, a 12- to 18-month course of study at a technical school usually qualifies a person as an apprentice, while the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) has 22 different certifications available.
Automotive Service Technician Tasks
- Use automotive knowledge to assist customers with technical questions related to product installation and removal.
- Explain technical diagnoses and repairs to customers.