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An Introduction to Becoming an Automotive Technician

If you have a keen interest in cars and envision transforming this interest into a professional career within automotive repair, starting as an auto technician is a strategic first step.

This foundational role offers direct experience in vehicle repair that is advantageous for any subsequent position you may pursue in the automotive field.

The function of an automotive technician is rapidly evolving, now requiring a combination of traditional mechanical abilities and proficiency in modern technologies.

This guide aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of what it takes to become an automotive technician today.

Becoming an Automotive Technician: A Practical Guide

Understanding the Role: The responsibilities of an automotive technician go beyond mere car repairs. This role entails diagnosing complex issues, staying updated with the latest technological advancements, and delivering high-quality customer service.

Essential Skills: To succeed as an automotive technician, you should have a solid understanding of mechanical concepts, excellent problem-solving skills, basic computer literacy, and a commitment to continual learning.

Education and Certification: Just as formal education and professional certifications are crucial in other skilled professions, they play a significant role in the field of automotive technology. Attending an automotive technology program, gaining hands-on experience through apprenticeships, and obtaining certifications, such as those from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), are key steps and have a direct impact on your pay.

Navigating the Digital Shift in Automotive Technology: The automotive industry is undergoing significant changes with the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) and sophisticated diagnostic tools. Automotive technicians must adapt to these changes by acquiring new skills and knowledge related to these technologies.

Staying Ahead: To remain competitive and effective in their roles, automotive technicians must continually update their knowledge and skills to keep pace with technological advancements in the industry.

Tools of the Trade: Must-Haves for Every Technician

A critical thing to understand before you embark on your journey as an automotive technician is the responsibility for you to purchase and maintain your own tools. Shops rarely supply tools and you will have to budget in tool costs throughout your career as an automotive technician.

Tool Trucks: Tool franchises like Snap-on, Matco, Mac and Cornwell, drive around from shop to shop on a weekly basis to with the sole intent of selling you tools. Tool trucks are great but with premium pricing and flexible credit options, it is easy to spend more than you want to on tools.

Advanced Equipment: Most shops will have their own specialty equipment, like scopes and pressure testers and is important to ask to ensure you aren't expected to purchase expensive diagnostic tools. When just getting started, we recommend purchasing the bare minimum tools from a company that has a good warranty. You don't need to overspend on top name brands.

Technicians that you work with are usually more than happy to lend you tools and a great strategy to get familiar with the tools you need before purchasing them. Many times tool trucks will have socket kits and wrench sets but you will only use a small percentage of them, using a16mm socket for example is not as common as using a 17mm socket.

The Road Ahead: Career Opportunities and Growth

Diverse Opportunities: Automotive technicians have various career paths available to them, including positions at dealerships, independent repair shops, or even starting their own business.

Growth and Development: Technicians have the opportunity to specialize in specific areas, such as electric vehicles, and to pursue ongoing education to advance their careers.


Q: What is the average salary of an automotive technician?

A: The industry standard has been flat rate but is rapidly moving to a salary technicians. Average salary is between $45,000-$85,000 with top performing Master Technicians earning over $200,000 per year.

Q: How long does it take to become a certified automotive technician?

A: It all depends on the effort of your studies, but you can become a certified ASE technician with just one certification with the only requirement of taking a test.

Q: Are there opportunities for advancement in this career?

A: There are many paths to move from a technician to a service advisor, service manager, shop manager, shop owner, etc. Check back at for regular tips and insights on automotive maintenance and AI technology. Our mission at is to to make auto repair faster, easier, and safer with AI technology.

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