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Automotive Technology

Job Outlook

Significant Points

  • Formal automotive technician training is the best preparation for these challenging technology-based jobs.
  • Opportunities should be very good for automotive service technicians and mechanics with diagnostic and problem-solving skills, knowledge of electronics and mathematics, and mechanical aptitude.
  • Automotive service technicians and mechanics must continually adapt to changing technology and repair techniques as vehicle components and systems become increasingly sophisticated.

Earnings

Median hourly earnings of automotive service technicians and mechanics, including commission, were $15.60 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.31 and $20.75 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.70, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.22 per hour. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of service technicians in May 2004 were as follows:

Local government $38,160
Automobile dealers 38,060
Automotive repair and maintenance 28,810
Gasoline stations 28,030
Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores 27,180

Many experienced technicians employed by automobile dealers and independent repair shops receive a commission related to the labor cost charged to the customer. Under this method, weekly earnings depend on the amount of work completed. Employers frequently guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary.

Some automotive service technicians are members of labor unions such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America; the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos181.htm.


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