Automotive Service Technician

Customer service
Be a people person
Service technicians must discuss automotive problems—along with options to fix them—with their customers. Because workers may depend on repeat clients for business, they must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.
Detail oriented
Sweat the small stuff
Service technicians must be aware of small details when inspecting or repairing vehicle systems, because mechanical and electronic malfunctions are often due to misalignments or other easy-to-miss causes.
Mechanical skills
Putting it all together
Service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They often must take apart major parts for repairs and be able to put them back together properly.

Job Description

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Identify problems
  • Plan work procedures technical manuals
  • Test parts and systems
  • Follow checklists
  • Perform basic care and maintenance
  • Repair or replace worn parts
  • Perform repairs to spec
  • Explain automotive problems and repairs to clients

Although service technicians work on traditional mechanical systems, such as engines, transmissions, and drive belts, they must also be familiar with a growing number of electronic systems. Braking, transmission, and steering systems, for example, are controlled primarily by computers and electronic components.

Other integrated electronic systems, such as accident-avoidance sensors, are becoming common as well. In addition, a growing number of technicians are required to work on vehicles that consume alternative fuels, such as ethanol and electricity.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $44,050
2 Year Associate’s Degree
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Lowest 10%
Highest 10%
The industries that hired the most were:
Automobile dealers
Automotive mechanical and electrical repair and maintenance
Self-employed workers



TN College of Applied Technology - Athens


  • Program Length – 20 Months
  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Cost – $9,580

As the number of vehicles in use continues to rise and with the increasing lifespan of late-model cars, more automotive technicians will be needed to repair and maintain vehicles for peak performance. Learn to troubleshoot and repair today’s automobiles in the Automotive Technology program accredited by the National

Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

Instruction is provided through hands-on training with computerized diagnostic equipment, alignment racks, and other modern tools to diagnose, service, and repair automobiles.

Training in electronics prepares technicians to work on computerized electrical systems.

Preparation is available in each of the eight areas certified by ASE. Automotive


  • Program Length – 9 months (certificate)
  • Average Earnings – $36,570 / yr

The Automotive Production technical certificate will support the emergence of the automotive industry with the arrival of Volkswagen and related suppliers to the greater Chattanooga economic region.  According to the United States Department of Labor, employment of industrial machinery technicians and maintenance workers is expected to grow 7 percent from 2006 to 2016. Volkswagen and associated parts providers are expected to employ between 2,000-7,000 new employees over the next three years.

Chattanooga State

Chattanooga State Community College


TN College of Applied Technology - Chattanooga


  • Program Length – 1 Year (Diploma)
  • Average Earnings – $33,970/yr
  • Cost – $6,205

The automotive technician must be able to make a quick and accurate diagnosis of a motor vehicle. The technician also needs good reasoning ability to repair and service vehicles. The technician must have a thorough command of highly sophisticated electrical and computerized tools.

Students entering the automotive technology program will be working toward passing Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) testing, which is available on the main campus through the ACT Testing Center located in the Center for Business, Industry and Health Programs (CBIH) building. Classes are only offered on the main campus full-time during the day.