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
There are some Auto Mechanics — though it's uncommon — that transition into Mechanical Engineers, where earnings are an average $64K annually. 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
Auto Mechanics fill the offices of leading firms Firestone Complete Auto Care, Toyota Dealership, Honda Dealership, The Pep Boys, and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. CarMax, Inc. does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $43K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $30K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $64K. Other big spenders include Bridgestone Americas, Nissan North America, Inc., and Aamco Transmissions, Inc., top-paying firms where Auto Mechanics see paychecks nearing $41K, $40K, or $40K.
The smallest paychecks in the field are found at Valvoline Instant Oil Change, where the median salary is a mere $21K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Jiffylube ($22K), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc ($22K), and Honda Dealership ($30K).
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, 31 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Customer Service, Maintenance, and Tools. Those proficient in Electronic Troubleshooting are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.
Auto Mechanics who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $30K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $38K. For Auto Mechanics, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $43K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+20 percent), Portland (+16 percent), Chicago (+13 percent), and Philadelphia (+12 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 4 percent south of the national average, can be found in Houston.
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