Automotive Technician

Keep cars running smoothly, using wrenches and computers.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $60,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Automotive Technicians do?

When a car breaks down on the side of a road, or a truck starts to make a suspicious banging noise, an Automotive Technician is the person to call. Automotive Technicians replace parts, perform basic maintenance, and reset internal computers to keep vehicles in tiptop condition.

The job of an Automotive Technician is a mix between hands-on mechanical work and computer IT responsibilities. On the more traditional side, you work closely with your clients so you can find out from them the problems they hear and feel when they’re driving. You then do things that can only be done by hand—stuff like changing oil, replacing spark plugs, and tightening timing belts.

The computerized part of the job has grown over the years, and there are now specific programs that diagnose problems even before a car owner realizes they have an issue. Computers are now also part of many cars. But just like laptops, they can occasionally fail. When this happens, you need to know how to troubleshoot and reboot the computer to get it working perfectly again.

The work you do can be emergency (as in, when a car won’t run) or preventative (fixing the car so it doesn’t get to the point where it won’t run). You read manuals and follow dealership checklists to know when to replace specific parts and how to fix problems. There are a lot of different systems on a car, and some Automotive Technicians specialize. For example, you can work with only one type of car, like imports, or one specific system, like brakes.

Should I be an Automotive Technician?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Automotive Alignment Specialist, Automotive Brake Specialist, Automotive Brake Technician See More

    How to become an Automotive Technician

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Automotive Technician-related education!
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