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7 Traits of a Successful Auto Technician

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Automotive technicians diagnose and solve problems, test parts and systems and interact with customers on a daily basis. This is a rewarding career path with exciting opportunities for advancement. However, just like any career, it comes with its own set of unique challenges, which requires technicians to have a specific set of skills.

If you’re interested in becoming an automotive technician, it’s important to understand what it takes to succeed in the field. Here at Universal Technical Institute, we’ve found that some of the most successful technicians share similar traits that help them to do their job well.

Read along as we share seven common traits shared by automotive technicians so you can determine if this is the right career path for you.

Passionate

First and foremost, it’s important for automotive technicians to have a passion for cars. Many technicians develop this interest at a young age and pursue it throughout their teen and adult years, eventually turning it into a career.

As a technician, you’ll work on and around cars all day, every day. Whether you’re using computerized diagnostic equipment to identify a problem, completing an oil change or explaining a repair to a customer, your day-to-day life revolves around cars and the components that make them run.

For many technicians, their love for cars extends beyond a career—it’s a lifestyle. UTI automotive instructor Kevin Carrier is a perfect example of this. By day, he’s an instructor, and during his downtime, he can be found tinkering in his garage with his car collection that includes his 1970 Chevelle and Honda Trail 70. The passion he has for the industry fuels both his career and his hobby.

Technical Aptitude

Today’s vehicles are more complex than ever! Just about everything from the transmission to the steering is controlled by a computer. In addition to being able to work with your hands, modern day technicians must have an understanding of the electronics systems used to diagnose problems in vehicles of different makes and sizes. The skills technicians must possess today goes far beyond being able to turn a wrench—their work is much more intricate and complex.

Technicians who train using modern tools and technology understand the importance of continued education. The automotive industry will continue to evolve due to changes in technology, which means technicians must be forward-thinking. The most successful techs have an innate desire to learn and will invest in themselves to gain new knowledge and skills in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Math Skills

Technicians use math in their day-to-day routine of repairing automobiles. From determining the size of wrench they need to loosen a bolt to calculating torque, horsepower and engine size and displacement, it’s important for technicians to have familiarity with numbers and the types of math they’ll use on the job.

Persistence

Pursuing a career in the automotive industry requires great persistence. No matter how challenging a repair may be, a successful auto technician won’t give up until it’s complete. They won’t take ‘no’ for an answer!

Technicians understand the importance of their role, and they’ll do what it takes to get the job done, whether this involves calling on a trusted advisor or taking apart an engine to figure out what’s wrong. They have a can-do attitude and possess incredible problem-solving skills. New challenges bring variety, which is what many automotive technicians enjoy about their career.

Adaptability

The life of an automotive technician is anything but mundane. On any given day, you’ll be working on a variety of cars in a fast-paced environment. This career requires techs to adapt to their surroundings and always stay on their toes as they test, diagnose and repair vehicles.

In addition to the mechanical challenges each day brings, technicians must have the ability to connect with their customers and peers. Knowing how to interact with different personalities, even when challenges arise, is imperative to success in this career.

Professionalism

Demonstrating professionalism is important in any career, as it impacts the company’s reputation, morale and success. In the automotive industry, professionalism allows operations to run smoothly behind the scenes and in interactions with customers.

Having industry knowledge, being ASE certified, showing respect to coworkers and customers, taking pride in your work and handling challenging situations calmly are all important aspects of showing professionalism in the workplace. Technicians who have these qualities are often the ones who receive recurring business and referrals from customers and catch the eyes of employers.

Additionally, technicians who show professionalism are more likely to be considered for job advancement. According Kurt Steger, General Manager of Open Road Volkswagen of Bridgewater, “There are general managers, vice presidents, and many people in our organization and other dealerships throughout the country that were at one point turning a wrench in a shop. It’s not uncommon for technicians to grow to unimaginable heights in this industry.” Showing professionalism goes a long way in this industry!

Interpersonal Skills

Last but certainly not least, it’s important for technicians to have strong interpersonal skills. When first starting out in the field, technicians will often go through training or complete an apprenticeship to learn the ins and outs of the job. Having the ability to listen and build strong relationships with employers and mentors can help technicians to improve their skills and lead to better opportunities later down the road.

On the job, technicians interact with coworkers, their leadership and customers every day. Effective communication is vital in all of these relationships and without it, a technician’s job can become much more difficult. Additionally, technicians who oversee a team must have strong leadership skills and the ability to train, encourage and motivate to bring out the strengths in others.

Train to Become an Automotive Technician

Think you have what it takes to become an automotive technician? With Universal Technical Institute’s industry-aligned curriculum and relationships with top manufacturers, you can train for an exciting career in the field. To learn more, visit our Automotive Technology program page and request more information today.

Want to Learn More About the Automotive Technology Program?

If you're interested in learning how you can register for the Automotive Technology program Just click the link below or call (800) 834-7308 to speak with one of our friendly Admissions Representatives.