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What Is a Shop Foreman and What Do They Do?

Feb 26, 2021 ·
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The automotive industry has a lot of opportunities for those looking to pursue a new career. Maybe you’re already working in the field and are wondering what career advancement might look like. There are a lot of positions you can work your way toward, including one as a shop foreman.

A shop foreman has the important role of being a front-line supervisor in an auto repair shop or service department. They’re responsible for overseeing employees and ensuring work is completed effectively. Simply put, they keep things running smoothly.

Those interested in this kind of role will want to take the proper steps to put themselves on the right path to career progression. If you feel like you would thrive in a leadership role, are organized and love the industry, this could be a great fit for you.

Want to know a bit more about a shop foreman’s duties and career outlook? If so, keep on reading.

Shop Foreman Job Description

So what does a shop foreman do? If you can see becoming a shop foreman in your future, knowing some of the duties and responsibilities you might have can help you make an informed decision.

Daily shop foreman duties can vary, but some of the essentials can include:

  • Recruiting and hiring new employees
  • Providing training and helping technicians develop skills
  • Ensuring compliance with regulations affecting service operations
  • Creating and managing an employee schedule
  • Conducting performance reviews for employees
  • Keeping up to date with manufacturer warranties and policies
  • Checking the progress of repairs and service
  • Greeting customers and maintaining relationships
  • Handling complaints
  • Maintaining work records and files

These are just a few of the things that a shop foreman can be in charge of in their role. Having knowledge and experience in the industry can also be important, as well as strong leadership and interpersonal skills.

Shop Foreman Salary and Job Outlook

Knowing the general job outlook and what your expected salary might be as a shop foreman can help give you an idea if it will be a role that supports your lifestyle.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a helpful resource, although it does not offer specific information for the shop foreman position. BLS data does give some insight into the expected median salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics, as well as motorcycle technicians and mechanics. Given the progression to becoming a shop foreman, knowing average compensation for these roles can help give you a frame of reference.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $46,880 in May 2021.25 This means half of automotive technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Motorcycle technicians and mechanics can also work their way up to a role as a shop foreman. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for motorcycle mechanics was $38,170 in May 2021.30

How to Become a Shop Foreman

Having foundational education and experience in the automotive industry can be important for becoming a shop foreman.

An Automotive instructor helps a student in a UTI lab.

Attending a trade school where you can train to become an automotive or motorcycle mechanic can be a good place to start. Universal Technical Institute (UTI) offers an Automotive Technology program as well as a Motorcycle Technician Training program. Both of these programs can allow you to gain industry-related experience that can help you build a great foundation for future jobs.1

Not only do trade schools like UTI offer these types of programs, they also allow you to graduate quicker than a traditional four-year university. This allows you to jump into the workforce quicker, allowing you the chance to move up the ladder sooner.

The Automotive Technology program at UTI teaches students how to maintain and repair all kinds of vehicles in as little as 51 weeks.7 Students can graduate the Motorcycle Technician Training program in as little as 42 weeks. Both programs also offer additional manufacturer-specific training programs if you want to expand your knowledge even further. 

While the foreman maintains the operations and manages employees in most shops, they still are a part of the repair team. This makes having knowledge and experience as a mechanic important and useful.

An Education From UTI Can Help Put You on the Right Path

Think pursuing a career as a shop foreman sounds like a good fit for you? Training at UTI is a great place to start. We can help you get the knowledge you need for an entry-level position that has the potential for advancement with time and hard work.

Find out more about our motorcycle and automotive programs by visiting our website or by requesting more information here. You can also call 800-834-7308.

YOU COULD START YOUR EXCITING NEW CAREER AS A MECHANIC OR TECHNICIAN TODAY.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

25) UTI’s Automotive Technology program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as automotive technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as an automotive technician, such as service writer, smog inspector, and parts associate. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics (49-3023) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $32,140 to $53,430 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageSpecificOccupations#). Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled automotive technicians in North Carolina is $19.04 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $14.34 and $12.94, respectively.

30) MMI’s Motorcycle Technician Training program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as motorcycle technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Motorcycle Mechanics as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for MMI graduates. MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. MMI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some MMI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a motorcycle technician, such as service writer, equipment maintenance, and parts associate. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary for persons employed as Motorcycle Mechanic (49-3052) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $30,660 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageSpecificOccupations#). Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled motorcycle technicians in North Carolina is $20.11 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages, Motorcycle Mechanics). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $14.40 and $12.67, respectively.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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