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If you have a passion for cars, love working with your hands and are always up for a new challenge, a career as an automotive technician may be for you.1
Due to advancements in technology, now is an exciting time to pursue a career in the automotive industry. As a technician, you can apply your knowledge and skills to a variety of different environments as you pursue your passion. Keep reading to learn all about what an automotive technician does, automotive mechanic jobs, career outlook and more.
A career as an auto technician is full of potential benefits: a steady income, a path for career advancement, and a place to put your passion and skills to the test.5 The automotive industry is rife with change as new vehicle technology and high-tech systems are now considered standard equipment. Gain up-to-date training and proper education from UTI and position yourself for a promising future.
Curious about the types of jobs in the automotive industry? Depending on personal interests, goals and skills, someone looking to get into this industry has many options and possible avenues to pursue. A typical day for an auto mechanic can range from
performing general maintenance work to service writing.
Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work. Here is a list of common entry-level and advanced automotive technician
Entry-level technicians perform general service, maintenance and diagnostic work. Students who have completed specialized training programs such as Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training (MSAT) programs at Universal Technical Institute (UTI)11 may be more likely to pursue employment with the dealerships or manufacturers of the vehicles on which they trained.15 Other avenues available to pursue jobs as entry-level techs include Independent Shops as well as Regional & National Automotive Repair chains such as NAPA Auto Care Centers.
Many automotive technicians decide to put their education to work in parts rather than as a service technician. Parts professionals manage inventory and deal with warranty issues that may arise from defective or damaged parts. Those who excel in this entry-level role work well with others and have a deep understanding of auto repair.
If a customer or service technician requests a specific part, knowledge of what needs to be replaced to gain access to that part is critical. This is where having automotive training is a bonus.
Service writing is among the most commonly pursued entry-level automotive careers. Service writers are the go-between for customers and technicians. They write up job orders based on customer requests and diagnostic experience from similar issues. In some cases,
service advisors dispatch the work to a specific technician based on that tech’s skill sets.
Service advisors need diagnostic skills as well as people skills. A great service advisor keeps the customer informed about the progress of the repair, getting authorization as needed for additional work. An automotive education background allows service
advisors to be more accurate with estimating time for a given job.
Many automotive technicians work their way up to leadership positions at their shops or dealerships. Service managers are responsible for the technicians, parts employees and often the detailers/porters.
On any given day, a service manager may also work with customers regarding escalated issues, complete department forecasting and budgeting, and maintain relationships with vendors and suppliers. A solid knowledge of automotive repair helps a service manager
be more effective in his or her role.
Working with fleet vehicles can be a great advanced-career move for someone with a background in automotive mechanics. Cities, towns and municipalities across the country have fleets of vehicles that need work. Many automotive technicians work for police departments
or even local taxi companies, repairing vehicles and ensuring they run smoothly.
Auto body technicians (also known as collision repair technicians) repair vehicles damaged in some type of accident. They replace and repair panels, bumpers and lights, and perform other tasks such as straightening frames and painting. UTI’s
Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program provides a great start for those interested in this type of job.
Some automotive techs follow an entrepreneurial path and decide to work for themselves. Since this is an advanced role, many techs gain valuable experience working in shops or dealerships before taking the leap.
Knowledge of running a business is helpful, but without diagnostic and repair expertise owning a shop can be very challenging. Those with automotive backgrounds open a variety of different types of businesses, including independent shops,
mobile repair techs, and tire and/or quick lube shops.
When researching any career, it’s important to consider salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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.
While the number stated above is an average of the earnings of all automotive technicians in the United States, it can be helpful to look at the median wages of technicians in the 50 states and the District of Columbia as reported by the BLS.
This can help you to understand how salaries vary across the country so you can plan your next career move.
Annual median salaries for automotive technicians vary in the U.S., but here are the top 10 median annual salaries for automotive technicians by state, as reported by the BLS in May 2021.*
*Not entry-level and is dependent on factors like experience, location, and employer compensation.
To see median annual salaries for auto technicians in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, check out our blog post here.
There’s a real demand for skilled trades professionals, with total technician employment expected to exceed 1.7 million by 2031.38 Automotive technicians and mechanics are responsible for helping maintain and fix vehicles that are used by people nationwide.
If you have a passion for cars, you might be wondering, “What do I need to be an automotive technician?”
Cars are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, what it takes to qualify as an automotive technician is changing. For example, technicians must possess the knowledge and skills to fix the complex electrical systems that help power today’s cars
There are several different paths to become a technician. One is to attend a trade school like UTI. The 51-week Automotive Technology program at UTI is designed to prepare you for a career as an automotive technician. As you move through your training,
you learn by doing as you take on the maintenance and repair of both import and domestic autos. You’ll work on everything from simple engine systems to power and performance machines.
UTI’s industry connections give students access to state-of-the-industry tools and technology that are being used by technicians in the field. These relationships also provide students
with access to companies that hire entry-level positions in the automotive industry.
Additionally, UTI graduates are well-prepared to complete ASE examinations and can substitute their training for one of the two years of work experience required to become ASE Certified.16 After completing
the core program, UTI students can also increase their skill sets by completing an MSAT program to gain specialized knowledge on vehicles from leading brands.
After completing a student-paid or manufacturer-paid MSAT, you may be able to secure employment with the brand you trained on after graduation. Now is an exciting time to pursue a career in the automotive industry. If this career sounds like the right
fit for you, there’s no better time than now to start your automotive technician training!
There are more than 73,000 estimated average annual automotive job openings in the U.S.,41 and with an education and hands-on training from UTI, you can prepare for the workforce. Along with giving students
the foundational knowledge they need, UTI offers a range of support services including Career Services. You can also read up on our tips for drafting your automotive mechanic resume here.
Request more information below to take the first step toward an exciting future in the automotive industry, and see how you can graduate in less than a year.7
The companies that work with UTI trust us to train the technicians that they employ.
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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.
5) UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than
as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator.
6) UTI graduates' achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages.
11) See program details for eligibility requirements and conditions that may apply.
13) Federal Highway Administration, Office of Highway Policy Information, Highway Statistics 2019, number of state motor vehicle registrations, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2019/mv1.cfm
15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation.
16) Not all programs are accredited by the ASE Education Foundation.
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.
38) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment in each of the following occupations by 2031 will be: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 743,800; Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, 434,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 305,800; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 156,800; and Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Operators, 147,600. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
41) For Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an annual average of 73,300 job openings between 2021 and 2031. Job openings include openings due to net employment changes and net replacements. See Table 1.10 Occupational separations and openings, projected 2021-31, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
47) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics will be 743,800 by 2031. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.