Becoming an Automotive Technician: What it Takes & Who Its For

Automotive Technicians If you enjoy working on cars, trucks or motorcycles, an auto mechanic career might be just the perfect life path. Automotive technicians must be able to diagnose issues in automobiles both correctly and in a timely manner. In order to truly be successful in the auto industry you must have a love for automobiles and not have an issue getting dirty because most aspects of this career will leave you greasy.

What Can I Expect with a Career in Car Mechanics?

The auto mechanic career has changed greatly over the last few years. Originally it was a fairly simple job involving diagnosing mechanical issues. Today, however, most trucks and cars are programmed by computers leaving careers in the automotive industry to require high technology knowledge. As an automotive technician you will have to read and understand manuals, as well as be able to work with computers and electronic equipment that helps you to know how well the automobile is performing.

I Want a Career in the Automotive Industry: Where Do I Look?

There are many different careers in the automotive industry, including motorcycle mechanics and diesel mechanics. Most of the people in this field will work inside in service and repair shops, putting in well over 40 hours a week. Since most of these shops are open early, late and on the weekends, do not count on this being a 9-5 career. Salaries will range in this industry depending on the type of mechanic you choose to be. For instance, a motorcycle mechanic salary will average around $31,790 per year. A diesel mechanic salary on the other hand is $40,850 per year and automotive technician salaries are around $35,790.

Automotive Technician Job Outlook

The automotive technician industry is expected to grow at a rate about as fast as average so it is a great field to break into if you enjoy automobiles and fixing them. You can go back to school to earn a certificate, Associates or Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Mechanics. The more advanced your degree is, the more technology-based your classes will be. Some classes you will take as a major in automotive engineering are instrument calibration, automotive technology maintenance and automotive design.

Graduating with an Automotive Technician Degree

After earning your degree, you can also go through ASE certified mechanic training. There are some 40 different exams offered by ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) that are grouped into specialties such as truck equipment, collision repair and automobile. Depending on your knowledge background, you will decide which test to take in order to become ASE certified.

There are many public and private colleges and universities that offer automotive degrees. Some of the best programs can be found at the University of Michigan, Kettering University and the University of Texas at Austin. Additional schools that offer Automotive Degrees include Lincoln Technical Institute, Universal Technical Institute and Westwood College. Search to see where the closest school is to you.