Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

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Also known as:
Auto Clutch Rebuilder, Auto Clutch Specialist, Auto Radiator Specialist, Auto Suspension and Steering Mechanic, Auto Transmission Specialist, Automotive Alignment Specialist, Automotive Brake Adjuster, Automotive Brake Specialist, Automotive Brake Technician, Automotive Fuel Injection Servicer

ABOUT AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE TECHNICIAN OR MECHANIC CAREERS
Video transcript

Like nearly every other professional today, automotive technicians need to be comfortable with computer-based equipment. Today's cars are more computerized than ever. Yet an experienced and skilled technician can listen to an engine or an exhaust system and know instantly what repairs are needed. Major cars makers and dealer sponsor two year associate degree programs at more than 100 community colleges across the country.

High schools and community college have programs as well. Certainly, the better educated you are, the better the opportunities for employment. But you'll learn most of what you need to know on the job working under an experience mechanic. This is a job for men and women who don't mind getting their hands dirty and truly love working on cars. Experienced technicians can work anywhere in the country and, if you have interest in business ownership, you could end up owning your own highly profitable garage or gas station.

The key thing to remember is this: customers don't keep coming back to a technician because of degrees and program certificates displayed on the wall. They returned because the technician is really good! If you're good, and if you love the work, a job as an automotive technician can be a truly wonderful experience.

SNAPSHOT

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.

Daily tasks

Repair or replace parts such as pistons, rods, gears, valves, and bearings.

Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.

Change spark plugs, fuel filters, air filters, and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.

Disassemble units and inspect parts for wear, using micrometers, calipers, and gauges.

Install, adjust, or repair hydraulic or electromagnetic automatic lift mechanisms used to raise and lower automobile windows, seats, and tops.

Tear down, repair, and rebuild faulty assemblies, such as power systems, steering systems, and linkages.

Overhaul or replace carburetors, blowers, generators, distributors, starters, and pumps.

Align vehicles' front ends.

Confer with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.

Align wheels, axles, frames, torsion bars, and steering mechanisms of automobiles, using special alignment equipment and wheel-balancing machines.

Plan work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.