You are driving down the road in a rush and suddenly your engine starts spewing smoke. You know this means that a dreaded visit to an automotive service center is inevitable. Anyone with a truck or car knows how indispensable routine automotive car is to avoid unforeseen break downs. However, cars are prone to breaking down without warning, even with routine care in most cases.
The person we put on hopes in to get our trucks and cars running smoothly is known as an automotive technician, or more commonly called auto mechanics. The advancement of automotive components and highly refined computer systems are the reason for the much needed change of title. With computerized systems taking over most of our car parts, the hiatus in the distinction of titles has grown wider and mechanics are now known as technicians.
There are myriad types of automotive repair technicians, depending on their area of specialization. Some handle body shop work, others work on diesel engines, while some stick to small engines like lawn mowers and diesel engines. Regardless of the classification, generally technicians handle routine maintenance like brake inspections, tire rotations, and oil changes. Some technicians can ace highly detailed work like electrical failures, head gasket replacements, and transmission replacements.
If you have always felt most at home in a garage, peeking out from under the hood of some car, With the right blend of education and viable training, you hold the opportunity to turn your passion in to a rewarding and lucrative career; which is more than most people aspire for. A career in the automotive industry is one of the most exhilarating professions you can opt for, especially if you have a predilection for cars and wish to stay surrounded by those beauties around the clock.
• Good Customer Service Background: Automotive technicians are required to work with a wide array of people every day, and the most successful auto mechanics are those who nurture personalized connections with their clients that encourage them to keep coming back for future Assistance. Professionals, who fail to comply with this aspect of the Texas car service marketplace, cannot hope to make it to the top of their careers.
• Attention to Detail: Automobile complications often stem from neglected issues or problems which could possibly be detected by an extraordinarily detail-oriented Auto technician before they have time to aggravate. The nature of their job entails each automobile service professional to examine and inspect every possible trouble with great depth when conducting a repair service or reaching a prognosis.
• Ability to Diagnose: A vital skill of automobile specialists is the proficiency to diagnose wear-related, physical, and electrical complications with automobiles and certain other complex systems. Their competency to root out and rectify complications typically goes along with experience in a maintenance and repair shop, and on the job training.
The demand for skilled automotive technicians in Texas has escalated in the recent years due to the proliferation of vehicles. Currently, there are 56,400 working auto technicians in Texas, according to the bureau of labor statistics, and the figures are projected to experience a growth of 18% to reach around 66,690 working auto technicians in the state by 2017.
This number is much higher when compared to the national trend for auto technicians, which promises a 4.7% growth in this job pool over the next eight years. Auto technicians earn an average of $16 hourly or $35,100 yearly nationally, and $16 hourly or $34,680 annually on average in Texas.
Automotive technicians repair, diagnose, and perform maintenance on automobiles. As such, their job responsibilities entail them to get acquainted with the intricate electronics systems employed to root out the issues with automobiles. They also master mechanics repair virtually on any part of the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
Auto technicians are also responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and order of work areas. They also consider work with supervisors and inspect work orders. Equally important, auto technicians follow checklists to ensure that all the vital parts are examined, including wheel bearings, fuel and brake systems, spark plugs, steering systems, hoses, belts, and other potentially taxing areas.
They are frequently called upon to adjust and test repaired systems to comply with manufacturers' specifications and performance. They are expected to service and repair electrical systems, engine-cooling, heating, and air conditioning as well. Finally, auto technicians also remove or overhaul pumps, blowers, and carburetors.
Furthermore, Auto technicians have the liberty to specialize in repair work, such as transmission specialists, air conditioning experts, and car tuners. Auto technicians are also responsible for performing a plethora of other tasks, such as balancing wheels, replacing air filters, and changing oil filters, in addition to other maintenance tasks such as doing tune ups and changing brake pads.
It is also crucial for auto technicians to learn how to remove or repair parts such as bearings and pistons. They are often called upon to repair automatic and manual transmissions. They are sometimes expected to rebuild parts such as cylinder blocks and crankshafts. They also have to be able to devise work procedures using experience, technical manuals, and charts.
Viable training is the key to becoming a successful automotive technician in the State of Texas. There are a plethora of vocational centers sprawled all over Texas that offer comprehensive training programs. Alternately, some individuals choose to start as an apprentice in an automotive repair shop, where they are they charged with minor jobs, ultimately working their way up. In any case, specialized training is the best route to take. This way, your salary base will be considerably higher than working as an apprentice.
Typically, any automotive technician program entails you to complete the following courses successfully:
• Automotive Braking Systems
• Automatic Transmissions and Transaxles
• Automotive Electronic Systems
• Automotive Computer Systems
• Automotive Heating and Air Conditional Systems
• Business Writing
• Basic Math
• Electrical Systems
• Understanding Engines
• Computer Technology
• Automotive Fuel Systems
• Engine Repair
• Engine Performance Analysis
• Manual Drive Trains
• Introduction to Automotive Repair and Maintenance
• Suspension and Steering Systems
• Public Speaking
However, there are a plethora of other certifications available as well. For instance, some automotive technicians choose to work on diesel engines. The prerequisite courses for this career path include braking systems, microcomputer systems, and diesel engine components. While this program is considerably more intensive, it is nonetheless far more lucrative and rewarding.
In addition, Texas requires dedicated automotive technicians to take care of annual emissions inspections to guarantee that pollutants are being filtered inside the truck or cars exhaust systems. These automotive technicians must possess specialized I/M certification, permitting them to organize the imperative diagnostic checks that provide car owners with a failed or passed annual inspection status. Upon failure of the inspection, the I/M certified technician is able to provide an estimate of what is required to be done to fix the car, so that it meets the passing criteria.
In order to climb up the corporate ladder, every automotive technician must consider garnering a certification status from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE offers certifications in the following specialties:
• Automobile Service Consultant
• Automotive/Light Trucks
• Damage Analysis
• Advanced Engine Performance Specialist
• Collision Repair
• Engine Machinist
• Electronic Diesel Engine
• Alternate Fuels
• Parts Specialist
• Heavy Truck
• Transit Bus
• School Bus
• Under Car Specialist
• Truck Equipment
The fees for attempting the ASE certification tests runs the gamut from $30 to $70, depending on the type of test and if the test is conducted in a set location or taken online. The more certifications you hold the more professional and credible you appear to potential customers and employers. Apart from passing the test, you are also required to show proof of 2 years of relevant experience working in the automotive industry.
This experience could stem from an independent shop, a dealership, or a tire center, as well as from a school or training program. In general, training garnered from technical school, community college, or high school substitute as 1 year of experience, leaving you with another year of hands-on experience from an outside source.
Some automotive technicians prefer to enroll in training classes at community colleges and vocational schools, in order to prepare for the ASE test and accumulate hands on experience with vehicles. This can be a prudent step, since the various tests can be rather challenging for some people, and they would appreciate any added assistance they could muster in passing them.
However, remember that attempting the ASE certification tests come at a price, and its best that you don’t take the test until you think that you are ready for the challenge. It’s prudent to wait it out if your confidence feels shaky. A number of ASE preparation guides are available online to assist you in breezing through the ASE tests. If you are in need of additional study tools, these come in handy and might fill in the help that you might not have received from classroom education.
Most of the time, customers are predisposed to trust certified automotive technicians, in contrast to technicians who are not certified yet. Certification by ASE indicates that your skills as a technician are an integral aspect of your career. On the other hand, it shows potential employers that you possess perseverance and motivation, and take your job highly seriously.
If you aspire to augment your employment potential, it’s advised to attempt to pass all 8 areas of the ASE certification and become a master technician. When you are able to depict your proficiency in several auto repair services, you are able to demand higher salaries and prove your worth to the employer.
Experienced technicians who can exhibit administrative ability, in addition to the right certification, sometimes advance to service manager or supervisor. Some individuals even aim higher and open their own repair shops if they have enough capital and savvy business sense to move forward on.
While technicians are not mandated by law to possess the ASE certification before they can start their practice, most automotive technicians undertake the challenge to boost their likelihood of finding employment. Certification renders them more legitimate when it comes to searching for employment. Although many people work well in the industry and are skilled with their hands, it is becoming ever more vital to attain a level of excellence that other potential employees lack.
• Truck Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist: The L2 test for the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist incorporates challenging questions that gauge technicians' diagnostic knowledge of computer-controlled fuel and diesel engine mechanical systems.
• Automobile Technician: Service Consultant: This Test is part of the automobile technician series and incorporates questions that focus on evaluating a candidate’s shop operations, sales, vehicle systems knowledge, internal relations, and communications skills.
• Heavy/Medium Truck Dealership Parts Specialist: This certification exam includes six tests which covers various specializations related to automobiles.
• Automobile Parts Specialist: This certification exam also covers six tests Related to different vehicle parts
• Automobile Technician: Brakes: In order to become certified in automobile technician brakes, you need to pass the Test A5.
• Automobile Technician: Steering and suspension: In order to become certified in automobile steering and suspension, you need to pass the Test A4.
• Automobile Technician: Engine Repair: In order to become certified in engine repair, you need to pass the Test A1.
• Master Transit Bus Technician: The Transit Bus Test Series of ASE includes two certification exams: H6-Electrical/Electronic Systems, and H4-Brakes.
• Transit Bus Technician: Electronic/Electrical Systems: In order to glean certification for transit bus electrical/electronic systems, you need to pass the test H6 successfully.
• Transit Bus Technician: Brakes: In order to certify for transit bus brakes, you need to pass the test H4 fruitfully.
• Collision Refinish and Repair: Refinishing and painting Technician: In order to garner the certification for collision refinish and repair: refinishing and painting, you need to pass the test B2 successfully.
• Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic: CIMM program will offer an objective, third part, and non biased confirmation and assessment of the skills acquired during industrial maintenance mechanics.
• Undercar Specialist: Exhaust Systems: In order to become certified for undercar specialist in exhaust systems, you need to pass the Test X1 successfully.
• Collision Refinish and Repair: Damage Repair and Structural Analysis: In order to become certified for collision refinishes and repair: damage repair and structural analysis, you need to pass the Test B4 successfully.
• Collision Refinish and Repair: Damage Repair and Non-Structural Analysis: In order to become certified for collision refinishes and repair: damage repair and non structural analysis, you need to pass the Test B3 successfully.
• Truck Equipment Specialist: Repair and Installation: In order to become certified as a truck equipment specialist in repair and installation, you need to pass the Test E1 successfully.
• Collision Refinish and Repair: Electrical and Mechanical Components: In order to become certified in collision refinish and repair: electrical and mechanical components, you need to pass the Test B5 successfully.
• Truck Equipment Specialist: Auxiliary Power Systems: In order to become certified as a truck equipment specialist in auxiliary power systems, you need to pass the Test E3 successfully.
• Truck Equipment Specialist: Electronic/Electrical Systems: In order to become certified as a truck equipment specialist in electronic/electrical systems, you need to pass the Test E2 successfully.