Automotive Tech

Ryan Widmaier Period 9

Career Description

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Test parts and systems to ensure that they are working properly
  • Identify mechanical problems, often by using computerized diagnostic equipment
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Test and lubricate the vehicle’s engine and other major components
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including oil changes, tuneups, and tire rotations
  • Repair or replace worn parts, such as brake pads and wheel bearings
  • Disassemble and reassemble parts
  • Use testing equipment to ensure that repairs and maintenance are effective
  • Explain to clients their automotive problems and the repairs done on their vehicles

Annual Pay

  • The median annual wage of automotive service technicians and mechanics was $35,790 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,200, and the top 10 percent earned more than $59,590.

Average Hours

  • 50 per week
  • 5 days a week

Job Outlook

  • Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Education Needed

  • High school courses in automotive repair, electronics, computers, mathematics, and English provide a good background for prospective service technicians.
  • High school graduates often need further training to become fully qualified.
  • Vocational or other postsecondary training program in automotive service technology.
  • Get a 2-year associate’s degree.
  • Courses usually include basic mathematics, computers, electronics, and automotive repair.
  • Dealer sponsored 2-year associate’s degree programs.


  • Most service technicians must complete on-the-job training, often as part of a formal education program.
  • Typically takes 2 to 5 years of experience to become a fully qualified service technician.
  • It then takes an additional 1 to 2 years of experience for service technicians to become familiar with all types of repairs.


Bureau of Labor Statistics