Skilled Trades Careers

Navigating the Career Path of an Automotive Service Technician

DateApril 25, 2023
Automated service technican

If you're passionate about cars and enjoy solving mechanical puzzles, becoming an Automotive Service Technician (also known as a mechanic) may be an ideal career. Automotive technicians are responsible for maintaining, diagnosing, and repairing vehicles of all types.

Salaries of Auto Mechanics range from $28,180 to $194,620, with a median salary of $67,031.

This article will explore the steps and skills required to become an automotive service technician.

Step 1: Education and Training Pathways

While a high school diploma is a minimum requirement to become an automotive service technician, employers usually prefer candidates who have completed formal education and training programs. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer automotive technology programs, typically taking 6 to 12 months to complete.

Alternatively, some manufacturers and dealerships offer training programs to prepare technicians to work on their specific makes and models of vehicles. These programs typically include a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Additionally, many automotive service technicians continue their education and training by attending workshops, seminars, and certification programs. These programs help technicians stay up-to-date with the latest advances in automotive technology.

Step 2: Gain Experience

While formal education and training are essential, gaining experience is equally important. Many entry-level automotive service technicians start their careers as apprentices or assistants to experienced technicians. This allows them to gain hands-on experience and learn from seasoned professionals.

As technicians gain experience, they may take on more complex jobs and become senior technicians. Some technicians may also specialize in a particular type of vehicle, such as diesel trucks or high-performance sports cars.

Step 3: Obtain Certification

Certification is not a requirement to become an automotive service technician, but it can benefit career advancement and salary increases. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certification exams in various areas of automotive technology, including engine repair, brakes, and suspension.

To obtain ASE certification, technicians must pass an exam and have some work experience. Many employers recognize ASE certification as a standard of excellence in the industry.

Step 4: Develop Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, automotive service technicians must possess soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and customer service. Technicians must be able to explain complex technical issues to customers in a way that they can understand, and they must be able to handle difficult situations with professionalism and empathy.

Developing solid and soft skills can help technicians build customer trust and advance their careers.

Step 5: Stay Up-to-Date with Technology

Automotive technology constantly evolves, and automotive service technicians must stay up-to-date with the latest advances. This means learning about new diagnostic tools, software, and electronic systems.

Staying up-to-date with technology requires a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Technicians who stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology will be in high demand in the industry.


Becoming an automotive service technician requires education, training, experience, certification, and soft skills. While becoming a technician may seem daunting, the rewards of a successful career in this field can be substantial. With the right skills and dedication, you can become a skilled automation technician and enjoy a fulfilling career working with cars.