Automotive Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

An Automotive Technician, or Automotive Service Technician, fixes, inspects and maintains cars, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles for drivers. Their main duties include using tools to find any potential issues with someone’s vehicle, explains problems with the car to the driver and performing maintenance on the car to fix it or prevent it from future breakdowns or issues.

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Automotive Technician duties and responsibilities

An Automotive Technician is largely responsible for diagnosing and repairing vehicle engine systems. Automotive Technicians may have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Repair brake and steering systems.
  • Diagnose and repair electrical and electronic systems.
  • Replace or repair transmissions and fuel components as needed.
  • Repair cooling components and systems including air conditioners and engine cooling.
  • Perform emissions inspections, safety checks and similar state-regulated vehicle examinations.
  • Maintain a clean, safe working environment.
  • Produce legible and accurate paperwork reflecting work performed.
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license for conducting test drives.
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Automotive Technician Job Description Examples

What does an Automotive Technician do?

Automotive Technicians usually work in car repair shops, service departments of car dealerships or any other types of mechanic shop. They inspect a driver’s vehicle, inform them of any issues and provide necessary maintenance to get the car working effectively again. Automotive Technicians typically repair basic car parts like brakes, steering wheels and engines. They can also inspect and fix a vehicle’s electrical system. Most of them must perform automotive care tasks every day, like checking fluid levels, rotating tires and changing oil fluids. Automotive Technicians must also clean the repair shop and organize the tools and various car parts.

Some Automotive Technicians specialize in specific vehicle systems while others perform repairs on all kinds of vehicles. A clear understanding of how automotive engines operate is essential to success as an Automotive Technician.

Automotive Technician skills and qualifications

A successful Automotive Technician will have various skills and qualifications, including: 

  • Possession of or ability to obtain training credentials like an ASE certification
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills 
  • Analytical skills
  • Experience using hand and power tools to replace and repair parts
  • Coordination and [hysical stamina 

Automotive Technician salary expectations

An Automotive Technician makes an average of $19.80 per hour. The exact pay rate for Automotive Technicians may depend on their level of experience and geographic location.

Automotive Technician education and training requirements

Automotive Technician education and training requirements are based on the needs of the shop. The most common skills and requirements include a high school diploma or GED, ASE certification and more than 3 years of experience as a Service Technician or Automotive Technician. An understanding of and ability to use diagnostic equipment and a willingness to continue training and certifications is also useful.

Automotive Technician experience requirements

The required experience of an Automotive Technician depends on a number of factors based on the changing needs of the shop. Flexibility is useful and candidates with extensive training in a variety of skill areas are ideal. However, all Automotive Technicians should possess basic experience in performing routine auto maintenance tasks. Additional experience in performing front-end alignments and tire rotations and similar maintenance tasks is also helpful. A working knowledge of state inspection guidelines including emissions and safety is a plus. 

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Frequently asked questions about Automotive Technicians


What makes a good Automotive Technician? 

A strong Automotive Technician is in good shape and can handle standing up and leaning over a car for several hours a day. They’re often in charge of finding issues with cars, solving these problems and then explaining how they fixed them to customers. This means they should use critical thinking abilities and an extensive background and knowledge of vehicles to find logical solutions. The ideal Automotive Technician candidate has experience in a customer service setting, as they regularly have to explain the vehicle’s issues to drivers and how they fixed it.


What’s the difference between an Automotive Technician and a Mechanic?

Though some people use these terms interchangeably, there are a few key differences between an Automotive Technician and a Mechanic. Both Automotive Technicians and Mechanics can perform basic repair and replacement tasks on a car, but an Automotive Technician usually specializes in fixing the computers and technical equipment used to program and run the car. Most Mechanics are only trained to handle basic tasks like repairing brakes, changing fluids and replacing headlights and taillights, while an Automotive Technician can handle many basic and complex technical tasks.


Who does an Automotive Technician report to?

Automotive Technicians usually report to an Automotive Mechanic Supervisor if they work in larger automotive shops. The Automotive Mechanic Supervisor is typically in charge of the team of Automotive Technicians to ensure they’re satisfying customers and working efficiently. Many of them complete big-picture items to keep the shop running smoothly. 

They’re also responsible for scheduling shifts, addressing any complaints or concerns a customer may have about the Technicians and providing guidance to Automotive Technicians who are having issues solving any complex issues repairing vehicles. If Automotive Technicians work in smaller repair shops, they may report directly to the owner of the shop with any questions or concerns.


Do Automotive Technicians have different responsibilities in different industries?

Automotive Technicians may have different job duties depending on their work setting. Some may complete general maintenance tasks while others specialize in repairing or replacing certain car parts. Tire Automotive Technicians complete specific tire-related tasks, like checking air pressure, rotating tires and replacing tires. Others may work as vehicle inspectors to conduct driver’s state inspections on their cars. They must have extensive knowledge in state requirements and regulations to carefully inspect vehicles and determine if they’re ready to take out on the road.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021