An auto technician is a trade industry that requires specialized education, training, and in some positions, certification.
The word mechanic used to be the go-to word for those who work on cars, and the term is still used in many situations, but due to the high level of technology involved with modern vehicles, the career needed to expand and develop.
As a result, we have mechanics; highly skilled individuals can take a car apart, find problems and fix them, and we have trained technicians who use high-tech instruments to find those issues and then go about fixing them.
Auto technicians have additional specialized fields they can be classified under as well, including brake technicians, air conditioning technicians, and transmission technicians.
Over the last several years, there has been a shortage of skilled labor, and auto technicians is one area struggling to find employees.
For the roughly 110,000 new jobs they need in the field each year, only about 56,000 are graduating.
If you enjoy working with your hands and have technical aptitude, you should consider a skilled auto technician career.
Resume objective for an auto technician
Your auto technician objective should highlight your specific skills and experiences with vehicles. The skills a technician can have are wide and varied, so you can use your object to mention your top abilities.
Your objective is also the place to list some of your stats.
Information on how many cars you work on weekly or, more importantly, how many billable hours you work weekly and customer service reviews can be mentioned.
SearchAutoParts.com goes over the specifics of how the billable hours worked are more important than the rate you are paid. The more billable hours you produce, the more the shop profits.
Your ability to upsell or add to the company’s bottom line is another piece of information to consider including.
A Master Auto Technician with 15 years of experience working on foreign and domestic vehicles seeks a position to apply their knowledge and skills and continue to learn. Averaged 11 billable hours daily. Received a 92% positive rating from clients and generated repeat business, and added 26% to the shop’s annual bottom line.
Resume skills for an auto technician
Universal Technical Institute lists seven skills employers are looking for in auto technicians: adaptability, diagnostic & mechanical skills, people skills, professionalism, problem-solving, the ability to use tech, and work ethic.
And from all the reading I’ve done, those skills seem to be pretty consistent. An auto technician needs to be a Jack of All Trades and a master of all of them too.
While it might not be the first thing you think of when you think of mechanics, sales is a significant part of the career. They have to sell parts, tires, service, and demonstrate customer service skills so you’ll become a repeat customer.
To top everything off, you need to know all types of cars, their parts, and what it takes to fix them.
Listing the brands you are familiar with could be mentioned and specific diagnostic equipment you are knowledgeable with.
Computer & Manual Diagnostics | OBD2 Scanner | Ford | Chevy | Toyota | Honda | Hyundai | Professionalism & Customer Service
Auto technician work experience
When you work as an auto technician, you will likely work evenings and weekends since that is when the typical 9-5 person has time to have their car repaired.
According to the website Truity.com, most auto technicians and mechanics work at automotive dealers or for an automotive shop. Leaving roughly 15% self-employed and 8% working at automotive parts & tire stores.
US News lists auto mechanics as the #7 job in Best Maintenance and Repair jobs on their 2020 Best Jobs list. This field of work has options for upward mobility, as demand and expertise increases.
The level of experience, training, and certification in the field can significantly affect your position level as well as your salary.
The median income for a level I mechanic in 2020 was $40,117. A level III mechanic’s median salary was bumped up to $59,000. The salary range for the various positions went well into the $90k in some places.
Sample Work Experience
Master Automotive Technician, 2013-2020
Diagnosed and repaired a wide variety of automotive systems. Conducted regular check-ins with customers to report progress or delays and maintained status reports with the foreman.
- Repaired engines, steering, and brakes
- Fixed heat and air conditioning
- Participated in continuing education
- Safely and effectively used shop equipment
Automotive Technician, 2008-2013
Repaired and restored vehicles to their highest standards to re-sell to customers. Ensued cars were safe and reliable through vehicle inspections and diagnostic tests.
- Repaired engine and electrical elements
- Fixed heating and air conditioning
- Adjusted suspension, rotated tires, and repaired brakes
- Performed maintenance upkeep on unsold vehicles
Valvoline Instant Oil Change
Automotive Technician, 2004-2008
I provided reliable preventative maintenance service. I interacted face-to-face with customers to build confidence and a relationship between the shop and them.
- Prepared maintenance plans with customer
- Performed oil changes, fluid level checks, and refills, changing filters and inspecting lights and wipers
- Knowledge of company background, services, and products offered
- Maintained a clean and safe workspace
Auto technician education
Most auto technicians do not attend a typical 4-year-degree institution. Instead, they may take vocational classes in high school or attend a technical institute post-graduation.
Some schools that have locations nationwide include Lincoln Tech and North American Trade Schools. But there are many stand-alone technical schools and colleges as well.
Technical programs usually take two years to complete, although some can be shorter or longer.
Once you graduate from the program, you will receive a certificate, diploma, or conferred an associate’s degree.
Universal Technical Institute
Collision and Auto Body Repair, 2011-2012
Universal Technical Institute
Automotive Technical Training, 2010-2011
Certification is not always required to work as a technician, but obtaining certification from the National Institute of Automotive Excellence (AES) can certainly help.
Some auto dealers and larger shops may offer to pay for your certification while working for them. The certificates are broken down into smaller modules and areas of expertise.
To obtain a Master’s level, you will need to complete the specific battery of tests for your desired area. There are currently six master certificate areas for those who work on standard vehicles and six for Medium-Heavy Vehicles.
You do not need to list the certifications separately if you have obtained a master certification, as it includes a standard set of tests.
Certifications need to be renewed every five years.
- Automobile and Light Truck Certification (ASE)
- Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist Certification (ASE)
- Damage Analysis & Estimating Certification (ASE)
Complete auto technician resume sample
We have now covered the sections and information that should be included on your auto technician resume. Next, we will look at an actual job posting and follow up with a sample resume and template.
This job posting clearly explains what skills they are looking for in a candidate. They state that AES certification is a plus, but it is not mandatory.
While it is not posted in this picture, this position offers up to $87,000 annually, showing just how much-skilled labor is worth right now.
Experienced and highly skilled Master Auto Technician seeks a position to apply their high level of demonstrated technical ability and custom satisfaction rating. Received an average 94% rating on customer feedback surveys and worked an average of 57 billable hours a week.
Foreign & Domestic vehicles | Proficient with Service Price | Computer & Manual Diagnostics | OBD2 Scanner | MS Word, Outlook & Excel | Superb Customer Service SKills | Able to delegate and follow directions when needed
Auto Technician, 2014-current
I performed vehicle inspections and routine maintenance, providing excellent customer service to clients and providing accurate estimates on time, cost, and effort for repair work.
- Marinated work logs on all work
- Inspected vehicle computer and electronic systems and upgraded as needed
- Received positive reviews from customers
- Maintained a safe working environment and kept tools and equipment in good status
Vehicles for Change
Auto Technician, 2010-2014
I performed diagnostics and regular repairs and maintenance in the shop. Worked as part of a team of technicians in a fast-paced shop providing top quality service.
- Participated in continuing education
- Maintained a clean driving record
- Worked on Chevy, Ford, Kia, Honda, Hyundai, and Subaru
- Utilized manual and electronic diagnostic tests
Honda of Murfreesboro
Auto Technician, 2007-2010
Provided friendly and professional care for customers and their vehicles. Performed inspections to diagnose problems as well as routine maintenance care.
- Worked primarily on Hondas, but also gained experience with Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota
- Participated in training and continuing education
- Provided accurate estimates of parts and labor
- Repaired transmissions, brakes, suspensions, electrical steering, and heating and air conditioning.
- AES Master Technician
Automotive Repair Technician, 2005-2007
Western High School of Technology
Automotive Service Technology, 2001-2005
- 3.8 GPA
The field of auto technicians has one of the broadest pay scales out there, with jobs ranging from around $30k to $100k annually. The key is the more training, certifications, and experience you have, the higher you can go.
Dealerships are the largest employer of mechanics and technicians, and they also typically pay the best and include comprehensive insurance plans and vacation time.
While training and education are needed to gain access to the field, many companies will pay for your certification while you work for them.
- Plan to work nights and weekends
- Jobs for skilled labor are plentiful right now
- Customer service is a large part of the job
Tips from Experts
“Parents and students should take a second look at automotive repair, a high-tech career that is always in demand and can’t be outsourced overseas.” – Tony Molla, Vice President of Industry Relations for the Automotive Service Association
“Cars have changed a lot, even in the past ten years as far as the diagnostic end of things, and training has become more advanced as far as what’s required to fix the current vehicles. It definitely doesn’t get boring, and it’s always changing.” – Michael Gerhart, Master Auto Technician
“It used to always be considered this shade tree mechanic, but that’s not what it is anymore. These have become computers on wheels, and it’s become so much more about science and technology, and we call it kinda not the blue-collar but the new collar career, and there is really good money in it.” -Jennifer Mahner, CEO of Tech Force
For those who enjoy tinkering and using their hands, a career as an auto technician places you in a field where your main goal is to discover and fix problems.
You will gain specialized knowledge in a considerably waning field but much in demand, therefore securing yourself in an area with job security.
If you are unsure about a 4-year degree, becoming a trained auto technician is a less costly and time-consuming career path but will set you on a track for an ever-evolving career.