Are you someone who loves cars and has an aptitude for mechanics? If so, consider pursuing a career as an automotive technician. In addition to a thorough knowledge of automotive repair, car mechanics should have strong problem-solving skills and good customer service abilities.
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How to become an Automotive Technician
Due to rapid advancement in automobile technology, performing car repairs requires broad knowledge. Today's car mechanics should not only understand newer cars' computer systems, they should also be prepared for simpler car repairs on older automobiles. Many automotive technicians specialize in one area--air-conditioning, brakes, tune ups, or transmissions, while others work toward becoming a master automobile technician.
Although it is possible to enter this field from a high school automotive repair program, to be successful in today's competitive job market, an aspiring car technician should earn an associate's automotive technician degree through an accredited program at a vocational school or community college. Most automotive technician degree programs offer a mix of hands-on experience and classroom learning. During your automotive technician training, you can study everything from minor automobile repairs, like changing oil, to more complex automotive repairs, such as transmission replacement. Automotive technician classes can also help you brush up on computers, mathematics, customer service, and the latest in vehicle repair equipment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for auto technicians should be best for auto mechanics with degrees and official certifications. The majority of job openings are expected to be in auto repair shops and car dealerships. In 2008, the median salary for car technicians was $16.88 per hour.