Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic Salary
Job Description for Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic
Automotive service technicians are more commonly known as "car mechanics" Automotive service technicians diagnose, repair and perform maintenance on automobiles. When performing diagnostics, automotive service technicians use electronic testing equipment to identify problems. In addition to special diagnostic equipment, the automotive service technician works with a wide range of tools which are used for repairs of diagnosed problems. The automotive service technician performs a mix of physical and mental tasks during a typical day. Mental labor includes diagnosing problems and dealing with customers, while the physical labor comes from physical repairs to automobiles. Work settings for automotive service technicians are typically noisy, well-ventilated garages with good lighting. Automotive service technicians can often be found in uncomfortable physical positions and covered with grease when working on automobiles. Most automotive service technicians work in service repair garages. Clientele for auto mechanics runs the gamut, and includes anybody who needs to have their car serviced. Co-workers are typically other mechanics and supervisors. Although no formal college degree is required to become and automotive technician, it is becoming ever more important to actually receive formal training. This is because of the increasing use of complex computer programs, which aid in the diagnosis of vehicle service problems. Typical training programs in post-secondary institutions last two years and prepare the student for a career as an auto tech. After gaining employment, industry certification is required. Half of the automotive service technicians in the field work a typical 40 hours per week, while over 30 percent of employees work greater than 40 hours per week. The skills and knowledge which an automotive tech possesses afford the opportunity to work privately as well.
Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic Tasks
- Diagnose, repair and perform maintenance on automobiles.
- Maintain inventory of tools and parts.
- Communicate with customer service, parts and sales departments.
- Diagnose malfunctions using electronic testing equipment.
Common Career Paths for Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic
Though not the most common occurrence, Auto Mechanics sometimes become Mechanical Engineers, where the average income is $64K per year. The most common next step for an Automotive Mechanic is to become an Automotive Technician or an Automotive Service Manager. The former position pays an additional $2K per year on average, and the latter position pays $15K more per year.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic
Many Auto Mechanics can be found at Firestone Complete Auto Care, Toyota Dealership, Honda Dealership, The Pep Boys, and Automotive, firms that are at the top of the field. Auto Mechanics flock to CarMax, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $44K lead the pack in compensation; however, CarMax, Inc. also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $30K at one end to $79K at the other end. Other leaders in compensation levels are Aamco Transmissions, Inc. at $42K, Bridgestone Americas at $42K, and Nissan North America, Inc., where Auto Mechanics annually earn $40K.
Employees at Valvoline Instant Oil Change take home the smallest paychecks, and $21K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $15K and quickly nearing the top at only $27K. Other low-paying employers include Wal-Mart Stores, Inc at $22K and Jiffylube at $24K, though some Auto Mechanics there earn up to $35K.
Popular Skills for Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic
Auto Mechanics seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Plug-in Hybrid Electic Vehicles/Electric Vehicles, Hybrid Systems, and Electronic Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 33 percent, 32 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Customer Service, Maintenance, and Tools. Most people familiar with Electronic Troubleshooting also know Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Systems Troubleshooting.
Pay by Experience Level for Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Auto Mechanics. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $30K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $38K. For Auto Mechanics, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $44K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $50K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Auto Mechanics, working in the bustling city of Dallas has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Auto Mechanics will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+24 percent), Portland (+22 percent), San Antonio (+16 percent), and Chicago (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Tampa, which sits 12 percent below the national average.
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