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AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY CAREER INFORMATION

Automotive Technician

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Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.  

Duties: Automotive service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Test parts and systems to ensure that they are working properly
  • Identify mechanical problems, often by using computerized diagnostic equipment
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Test and lubricate the vehicle’s engine and other major components
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including oil changes, tuneups, and tire rotations
  • Repair or replace worn parts, such as brake pads and wheel bearings
  • Disassemble and reassemble parts
  • Use testing equipment to ensure that repairs and maintenance are effective
  • Explain to clients their automotive problems and the repairs done on their vehicles

Service technicians work on traditional mechanical components, such as engines, transmissions, belts, and hoses. However, they must also be familiar with a growing number of electronic systems. Braking, transmission, and steering systems, for example, are controlled primarily by computers and electronic components.

Other integrated electronic systems, such as accident-avoidance sensors, are becoming common as well. In addition, a growing number of technicians are required to work on vehicles that run on alternative fuels, such as ethanol and electricity.
Service technicians use many different tools, including computerized diagnostic tools and power tools such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding torches, and jacks and hoists. These tools usually are owned by their employers.

Service technicians also use many common hand tools, such as pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers, which generally are their own. In fact, experienced workers often have thousands of dollars invested in their personal tool collection.

Service technicians sometimes specialize in a particular type of repair that may be subject to specific regulations or procedures. For instance, those focused on air-conditioning system repairs must follow federal and state regulations governing the handling, recycling, and disposal of refrigerants.

OUTLOOK & WAGE DATA

United States

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2010

2020

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

723,400

848,200

+17%

31,170

California

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2008

2018

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

75,700

81,000

+7%

1,970

Wage Data:

Pay
Period

2010

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$9.71

$12.65

$17.21

$22.73

$28.65

Yearly

$20,200

$26,300

$35,800

$47,300

$59,600

California

Hourly

$11.42

$14.48

$18.83

$25.55

$31.87

Yearly

$23,800

$30,100

$39,200

$53,100

$66,300

Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

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RESOURCES:

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Transportation Pathway Guide 
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State and National Trends
Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.
Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

Occupation Trends FAQs
Employment Trends by Occupation Across States
Compare Employment Trends by Occupation
Employment Trends by Industry and Occupation

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National Data Source: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

 CA.gov logo State Data Source: 
California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division
Gainful Employment Data

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Last updated: 6/28/2013 11:21:44 AM