Hands On Automotive Service Careers
Career Path : Automotive
Automotive technicians and mechanics are often called service techs because they inspect, maintain, and work on mechanical engines and parts of light trucks and cars. This day and age, automotive technicians use a wide variety of diagnostic tools as well as power tools and hand tools to diagnose and repair an issue.
And because most newer auto models have electronic and computer systems for steering, braking and others, they must also be familiar with how those systems work as well.
Duties of automotive service technicians and mechanics typically include:
Perform tuneups that include lubricating engine components, performing oil changes, rotations and other basic maintenance tasks
Using computerized diagnostic equipment to test and diagnose certain issues
Articulating to customers what the problem is and what needed repairs need to be made
Replacing or repairing old and worn components such as wheel bearings, transmissions or brakes
Disassembling and reassembling specific parts and engine components
Service technicians know and utilize a wide variety of tools, including power tools such as lathes, jacks and hoists, pneumatic wrenches, welding torches, and computerized diagnostic tools, along with a variety of common hand tools such as wrenches, pliers, and the like.
Larger shops will hire an automotive technician who specialize in certain types of repairs. Many auto technicians are trained in a wide variety of skills and have certifications in one or more of these specialties:
Transmission technician’s work on transmission parts such as pumps, gear trains, and couplings.
Tune-up technicians utilize computerized testing devices to find and diagnose problems and adjust the car’s timing and valves, among other tasks.
The automotive air-conditioning repairer will install and repair air-conditioners and parts. There are federal and state regulations on handling and disposing of refrigerants that these workers receive training on.
Front-end mechanics work on wheels and steering mechanisms, aligning wheels, repairing and adjusting brakes, and other repairs.
Standard hour work weeks are forty hours with many working longer hours or overtime.
Most workers these days complete service in a vocational training program in automotive services or an automotive technician program. General coursework for pursuing an automotive career includes physics, chemistry, English, math, and certain computer knowledge. Then from there, many move on to postsecondary training programs to learn and focus on specific types of repairs and gain intensive career preparation both in the classroom and with practical, hands-on experience.
Workers starting out are first hired as helpers and trainees, apprenticing with mentors to practice skills and gain experience. Many beginning workers are promoted in just a few months, but typically it takes up to five years of working under another mechanic before you can become a fully qualified service technician.
And to work in those specialized fields will take even more time and dedication. Automotive careers take strong commitment to service, and can produce many rewards if you’re dedicated.
Visit Automotive Service Centres for more information on other careers, like skills from a dispatch school.