Surviving Your First Job As An Automotive Service Technician
Career Path : Automotive
Auto service technicians and mechanics have a number of duties. They inspect and test car parts as part of routine maintenance and also test and lubricate the engine . They replace worn parts such as wheel bearings and brake pads. When a vehicle breaks down, they use digital equipment to diagnose the problem following a checklist to ensure that no parts are missed. When repairs are done, they test the equipment to ensure that everything is working as it should.
Clearly, it is a job that can be very demanding. It demands a lot of focus and a good understanding of how the hoses, belts, engines, transmissions and all car parts work. An auto service technician must also stay on top of emerging technology that keeps producing new electronic systems. A good grasp of computers is also essential because steering systems, transmission and braking are controlled by computers and electronic components.
Emerging technology has also created advanced systems such as integrated electronic systems. As a service tech, you may also find that you are required to work on alternative energy vehicles such as those that run on electricity and ethanol. You will need to use various kinds of tools in addition to the digital diagnostic tools, such as jacks, hoists, lathes, welding torches and wrenches.
Another development in auto careers is that it has become highly specialized. One type of automotive service technician is brake repairers who adjust brakes, replace the pads and linings. Front-end mechanics align and balance wheels and also repair suspensions systems and steering mechanisms.
Tune-up technicians handle all the parts of the ignition system to ensure that the engine is working as it should. This is done using electronic testing systems that help in identifying malfunctions and making the necessary adjustments. Then there are transmission technicians and re-builders. Their specialization is repairing and maintaining hydraulic pumps, couplings, gear trains and other transmission parts.
In today’s sophisticated world where auto careers are so highly specialized, the challenge may be in choosing yours. In your first job, you may not like the category that you are assigned to as a specialization. Your aim in becoming an automotive technician may have been to work on different brands and models of vehicles rather than specific parts of a vehicle.
There are also service technicians who specialize in repairs that are governed by specific regulations. For example, technicians who undertake repair of air-conditioning systems have to abide by federal and state regulations on how the parts are handled, disposed or recycled.
A way around this is to go for comprehensive training and get recognized credentials. This way, you always have the option to work in more than one specialization. With broad training, you can always opt for self employment and open your own shop after getting some job experience. Broad training ensures that you can handle and oversee all jobs as a shop owner. You may also buy into a popular auto shop franchise.
Visit Automotive Training Centre for more information about dispatcher training.