Automotive Technician Salary
Men make up the majority of Automotive Technicians in the United States, bringing in about $17.12 per hour. Overall compensation packages to Automotive Technicians range from $23K on the low end to $61K on the high end; this includes bonuses that peak near $10K and profit sharing that approaches $2K, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $31K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by career duration and location. Most workers in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — close to two-fifths lack coverage. On the flip side, the larger part have medical insurance and just over two-fifths receive dental plans. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Job Description for Automotive Technician
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.Read More...
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.
Common Career Paths for Automotive Technician
Automotive Technicians often transition into Automotive Service Manager positions, for which compensation tends to be much higher. On average, Automotive Service Managers earn $53K per year. Automotive Technicians typically move into roles as Automobile Service Advisors or Diesel Technicians, and those positions pay $2K more and $4K more, respectively.
Automotive Service Technician / Mechanic Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Automotive Technician
Firestone Complete Auto Care, Toyota Dealership, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Ford Motor Company, and CarMax, Inc. are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Automotive Technicians. The biggest paychecks can be found at General Motors Corporation — the median salary there is $51K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Automotive, U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and CarMax, Inc., where Automotive Technicians typically earn around $45K, $44K, or $44K, respectively.
Known for its small paychecks, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $21K — less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Midas Auto Services at $27K, and Firestone Complete Auto Care where $31K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Automotive Technicians there earn up to $47K.
Popular Skills for Automotive Technician
Automotive Technicians seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Hybrid Systems, diagnostics, and Systems Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 44 percent, 42 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Those listing Problem Solving as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Alignment and BRAKES also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Electronic Troubleshooting also know System Repair.
Pay by Experience Level for Automotive Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Automotive Technicians generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. 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 $39K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Automotive Technicians make a median salary of $46K. 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 $51K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Automotive Technicians, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 34 percent greater than the national average. Automotive Technicians can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+22 percent), San Diego (+18 percent), Portland (+16 percent), and Columbus (+8 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 12 percent south of the national average, can be found in Denver. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Philadelphia (4 percent less) and Orlando (2 percent less).