An automotive technician is a motor vehicle mechanic who can use the latest
diagnostic equipment to assess what's wrong with a vehicle -- and then fix
Cars and trucks have never been more complicated to fix. The engines are
more complex and are governed by the use of electronic components. That means
automotive technicians must have lots of technological savvy and computer
know-how, along with strong mechanical skills.
Due to the complexity of today's motor vehicles, auto service techs are
specializing in various areas of repair. Areas of specialty include engine
and fuel systems, transmission systems, air conditioning, cooling and heating
systems, brakes, drive lines, suspension, electrical and electronic systems
or diagnostic services.
"Automotive technicians can be generalists, but we're seeing an increase
in those who specialize," says Stan Abrahamson, an automotive programs coordinator.
Automobile techs should enjoy seeing how things work, tinkering, doing
things with their hands and solving problems, according to the National Automotive
Technicians Education Foundation.
This work is very physical. Auto techs are required to do heavy lifting,
stooping and bending. As well, auto technicians often work with potentially
hazardous equipment and materials, such as torches, jacks and flammable substances.
Most automotive technicians work a regular 40-hour week. Many also work
evening and weekend shifts. They can also be on call for emergency repairs.
Auto techs work in every part of the automotive service industry. They
work at car and truck dealerships, independent garages, service stations and
service franchises. They may work on fleets of vehicles for public transit
authorities and trucking firms.