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What Does an Automotive Service Technician Do?

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With over 250 million cars on American roads today, an Automotive Service Technician is becoming higher in demand. Those trained to perform service and maintenance on vehicles also earn a very nice salary. Formerly referred to simply as mechanics, today’s Automotive Service Technicians are highly skilled and enjoy incredible job security.   

It’s no surprise, therefore, that one of the most popular career paths at Southern Careers Institute in Texas is the Automotive Service Technician training course. Offered at our San Antonio North and South locations, the program provides students with technical training and hands-on experience in a real automotive environment.  

Automotive Service Technician: Job Description

According to the “Occupational Outlook Handbook” from the U.S. BLS, an Automotive Service Technician inspects, maintains, and repairs cars and light trucks.

An AST performs the following tasks on vehicles:

  • Identifies vehicular problems using computerized diagnostic equipment. Assesses those problems and determines the best course of action.
  • Manually tests parts and systems.
  • Performs basic care and maintenance including checking fluid levels, changing oil and filters, and rotating tires.
  • Repairs or replaces worn parts such as sensors, brake pads, and wheel bearings.
  • Performs manufacturer specified repairs and recalls
  • Explains automotive issues and repairs to customers.

Service technicians work on traditional mechanical systems like engines, transmissions, and drive belts. Because brakes, steering systems, and accident-prevention sensors are electronically controlled, technicians must also be familiar with computer and electronic monitoring systems.

Automotive service technicians must be properly trained in the use of pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding torches, jacks, and hoists as well. The job requires a lot of standing and working with greasy parts or tools. Most positions are full-time with evenings, weekends, and overtime common. 

AST Training Requirements

Employers in the field prefer job candidates to have some kind of post-secondary training from an accredited institution. To become an Automotive Service Technician, high school graduates can enroll in a 9-month course at SCI where they will learn skills related to automotive engine repair; repair and maintenance of manual and automatic transmissions; suspension steering and braking; exhaust and emissions, HVAC and electrical; and ignition systems and diagnostics.

Students have the opportunity to work in local dealerships during training to earn while they learn. Upon graduation, technicians are prepared for employment as full-service automotive service technicians and can then sit for the National Institute for the Automotive Service Excellence certification exam

For the AST, the learning never stops. Because automotive technology is constantly being updated, employers may frequently send their experienced mechanics and technicians to training programs so that they can remain abreast of current industry trends.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification

Many employers require their service technicians to be ASE certified. The certified technician is proven to be more competent to do the job plus certification often comes higher pay. ASE certification examinations are offered in the following areas:

  • Auto Engine Repair
  • Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Manual Drive Train and Axles
  • Brakes
  • Engine Performance
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Automobile Service Consultant
  • Auto Maintenance and Light Repair
  • Automobile Parts
  • Advanced Engine Performance Specialist
  • Diesel Engines
  • Truck Brakes
  • Truck Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Truck Preventive Maintenance and Inspection

ASE testing is available year-round at testing centers all across Texas. 

AST Salary and Job Outlook

The average wage for an Automotive Service Technician in the state of Texas is right at $45,000 per year. Earning roughly $20 an hour base pay, AST’s usually have the potential to work a lot of overtime hours and to seek employment anywhere they choose.

Employment rates for automotive professionals are increasing in the state of Texas. With the growing popularity of electric and hybrid engines, there is plenty of opportunity for specialization. Many dealerships also provide brand specialization and certification.

The overall job outlook for an AST is very good. The potential for growth and overtime hours makes this career very attractive for those with a passion for cars.  

Training at Southern Careers Institute

Established in 1960, Southern Careers Institute is one of the leaders in Texas for occupational education and training. We prepare our students for entry-level skilled jobs with the ability to quickly complete certification requirements for those jobs. Our employer-tailored programs are designed to make our students marketable in their chosen fields. It’s our way of helping graduates build successful lives.

Call us today at 1.833.SCI.TEXAS to speak to an education counselor about your future. For your convenience, we have campuses located in Austin, North San Antonio, South San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Pharr, and Waco, Texas.

We feature a wide variety of courses to meet your needs, but programs vary by campus so apply for the program now to take the first step to a better future. We also offer online courses in business accounting, computer support, medical billing and coding, and an associate degree in management. 

Transformation yourself and begin a new career in automotive tech. Don’t wait any longer for a fresh start, begin today and learn automotive maintenance in San Antonio. We are dedicated to stimulating, motivating, and educating our students to prepare them for a new life in a new field. Let us help you reach your potential. 




Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute. 


This article was published on: 01/15/20 8:30 PM

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