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Posted at: Nov 14, 2018, 12:35 AM; last updated: Nov 14, 2018, 12:35 AM (IST)AUTOMOBILE TECHNICIAN

Gear up for the fast lane

Gear up for the fast lane

Shaheen Khan

If working on cars “drives” you and technology fuels your passion for wheels, then a career in the automotive service industry may be the right one for you.  

Work profile

Automobile technicians or automotive service technicians work in mechanic shops, auto dealership stores and other car workshops. They help identify and repair car and truck troubles. Based on their training and specialisation, their job responsibilities vary. However, auto technicians use similar tools. If you want to be in this profession, you will always have to be on your toes. Your hands will be greasy and clothes soiled and you will keep discovering ways of maintaining the automobile. Your work environment won’t be about stuffy offices and drab meetings. The field offers a range of prospects and opportunities. It is for those who have completed technical training and certification.  

Scope

Future prospects for an automotive technician are likely to be good over the next decade. Skilled workers will be in demand to replace untrained technicians. Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is anticipated to grow by six per cent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all other occupations. The need for technicians will also grow as the number of vehicles on the road multiply. Growth in population of eligible drivers and multi-car families will also give a push to the demand for technicians to carry out abundant tasks. 

More entry-level service technicians will be required to execute basic maintenance and repair, such as replacing brake pads and changing oil on these vehicles. New technologies, on the other hand, such as electric vehicles, may limit future demand for automotive service technicians and mechanics because these vehicles will be more dependable and will necessitate less frequent maintenance and repair. However, repair demands could be different then and may require a different set of skills. 

Career opportunities

The automotive industry is extremely competitive and globalised. Most of the vehicle-manufacturing giants come out with scores of models every year with different functions. Career opportunities are thus rising rapidly for automotive technicians. This particular area requires a lot of commitment and hard work. The job opportunity as an automobile technician is increasing due to rapid growth of auto component in automobile sector. Automotive service technicians and mechanics may work at gasoline stations or at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores. A vast majority of them work for automobile dealers or in the automotive repair and maintenance industry. Unlike diesel service technicians and mechanics, automotive service technicians and mechanics revamp and examine all vehicles, not just those that hold diesel engines.

From routine tasks such as altering a car's oil or swapping out its air filter to more complex ones like testing parts and systems to ensure these function appropriately, automotive service technicians play a crucial role in ensuring that drivers remain on the road and on the go.

Work profile

Automotive technician's duty revolves around troubleshooting and mending cars and trucks. Technicians examine vehicles for mechanical problems and test systems for malfunction. They estimate the cost of repair. Technicians also handle regular maintenance to avoid car breakdown on the road. They adjust oil and oil filters, spin tires and tune up engines.

Educational qualification

Completing a vocational or a post-secondary education programme in automotive service technology is considered the greatest preparation for entry-level positions. These programmes usually last six months to a year and give rigorous career preparation through classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Short-term certificate courses in a particular area such as brake maintenance or engine performance, are also available.

A variety of automobile manufacturers and dealers subsidise associate's degree programmes. Courses typically include mathematics, electronics, and automotive repair. Students in these programmes typically spend a lot of time at service shops under the assistance of an experienced technician.

Training programmes

Service technicians who have graduated from post secondary programmes in automotive service technology usually necessitate little on-the-job training. Those who have not completed post secondary education, however, usually start as trainee technicians, technicians' helpers, or lubrication workers. They gradually gain experience by working with skilled mechanics and technicians.

— The writer is founder, CEDP Skill Institute, Mumbai

Remuneration

Salary package of an automotive technician depends on several factors like job profile, organisation, experience, qualification and experience. In India, the average salary of an automotive technician starts from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. The salary keeps on rising with the experience. An experienced automotive technician can earn more than Rs 30,000 per month or they can also set up their own workshops or automobile garage.

Where to work

Technicians can work in a variety of automotive service settings — car dealers, tyre stores, oil change operations, gas stations, and full-service repair shops. One ca even set up own enterprise.

Know the skill-set

Employees in the automotive industry require training to be able to repair cars, trucks and other vehicles. They also need to be trained in teamwork as they have to deal with the clientele, managers, employees and team members. Some of important skills are:

  • Auto body repair
  • Brake repair
  • Brake resurfacing
  • Car tune-up
  • Change and repair tires
  • Conduct tests & inspections
  • Customer relations
  • Customer service
  • Diagnostic abilities
  • Diesel engine repair
  • Direction
  • Engine repair
  • General auto repair

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