An automotive technician performs routine repairs, diagnostics, and maintenance on vehicles, including brake and hydraulic, exhaust, primary and/or advanced fuel ignition and electrical, suspension and alignment, air conditioning and computer systems. They typically work in an automotive repair shop or chain, describing needed work to customers and providing cost estimates needed to bring customer's vehicles up to manufacturer's specifications; they also may open their own auto shop or work in specialty companies such as dealerships or car rental companies. An auto shop, which often runs during regular business hours, usually has more than one technician, who are supervised by a shop manager or senior technician. The automotive technician also orders auto parts and other supplies needed for the repairs.
The environment in which automotive technicians work is usually a mechanic garage with many tools, both electrical and manual, including some that require training to use. It is a physically demanding job that requires lifting, squatting, staying in uncomfortable positions for an extended amount of time, and being exposed to toxic chemicals. The career requires technicians to think quickly and accurately, work well with their hands, and have vast knowledge of different car makes and models. There are many different certifications available to those who are looking for a career as an auto technician including ASE and NATEF certification. While they are not required by law and employers may accept any applicable experience in the field, being certified may give the technician an advantage in the hiring process.
Automotive Technician Tasks
- Communicate with customer service, parts and sales departments.
- Diagnose malfunctions using electronic testing equipment.
- Diagnose, repair and perform maintenance on automobiles.
- Maintain inventory of tools and parts.