Transportation is the life-blood of the American economy and Automotive Technicians are an important resource in keeping people moving and able to work, attend school and complete their daily activities. Automotive Technicians may be employed in an independent shop or work for a dealership that also repairs vehicles. Technicians may have interaction with customers on a daily basis and often build relationships with loyal customers that may frequent their shop for years or even decades.
Automotive Technicians are responsible for completing general maintenance on vehicles brought in by customers. This may include tire rotation, oil changes, air filter replacement, coolant flushes, and engine tune-ups. Automotive Technicians are also required to troubleshoot a variety of vehicle problems and offer a solution. This may require significant diagnostic work and requires critical thinking skills. Some business specialize in certain repairs, such as transmissions or body work, allowing Automotive Technicians to hone their skills in a specific field, these positions generally offer higher salaries than standard positions.
As automotive technology increases, Automotive Technicians are required to be increasingly tech savvy. The use of computerized diagnostic equipment is now the norm in vehicle repair and many shops utilize electronic record keeping and computerized troubleshooting equipment. Online databases are used to search for and procure replacement parts and standardized computer based billing is common, requiring Automotive Technicians to translate their diagnosis to a written communication.
Automotive Technician careers are a high demand field that tend to have frequent turnover. While this position requires no formal education beyond a high school degree, many states require special licensing as evidence of skills and knowledge. This reduces poor customer impact and allows for the state to better regulate automotive repairs. This position generally does not have irregular or late hours, which also makes it attractive, however Automotive Technicians work substantially with their hands in physical labor positions and expect to get dirty in their line of work. Work related injuries are also a very real possibility in this field, though these are rare and generally minor.