Mapping Your Future logo

Career Profile: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 703,800 people employed as automotive service technicians and mechanics in the United States. The median annual salary is $44,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $25,790 per year and senior employees earn approximately $71,940 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Test drive vehicles and test components and systems, using equipment such as infrared engine analyzers, compression gauges, and computerized diagnostic devices.
  • Plan work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience.
  • Maintain cleanliness of work area.
  • Align wheels, axles, frames, torsion bars, and steering mechanisms of automobiles, using special alignment equipment and wheel-balancing machines.
  • Tune automobile engines to ensure proper and efficient functioning.
  • Repair, replace, or adjust defective fuel injectors, carburetor parts, and gasoline filters.
  • Repair and service air conditioning, heating, engine cooling, and electrical systems.
  • Disassemble units and inspect parts for wear, using micrometers, calipers, and gauges.
  • Change spark plugs, fuel filters, air filters, and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Inspect vehicles for damage and record findings so that necessary repairs can be made.
  • Test and adjust repaired systems to meet manufacturers' performance specifications.
  • Repair, reline, replace, and adjust brakes.
  • Estimate costs of vehicle repair.
  • Review work orders and discuss work with supervisors.
  • Troubleshoot fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems, using electronic testing equipment.
  • Confer with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.
  • Overhaul or replace carburetors, blowers, generators, distributors, starters, and pumps.
  • Repair or replace parts such as pistons, rods, gears, valves, and bearings.
  • Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
  • Install, adjust, or repair hydraulic or electromagnetic automatic lift mechanisms used to raise and lower automobile windows, seats, and tops.
  • Rebuild parts, such as crankshafts and cylinder blocks.
  • Conduct visual inspections of compressed natural gas fuel systems to identify cracks, gouges, abrasions, discoloration, broken fibers, loose brackets, damaged gaskets, or other problems.
  • Diagnose and replace or repair engine management systems or related sensors for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) with ignition timing, fuel rate, alcohol concentration, or air-to-fuel ratio malfunctions.
  • Align vehicles' front ends.
  • Test electronic computer components in automobiles to ensure proper operation.
  • Tear down, repair, and rebuild faulty assemblies, such as power systems, steering systems, and linkages.
  • Perform routine and scheduled maintenance services, such as oil changes, lubrications, and tune-ups.
  • Follow checklists to ensure all important parts are examined, including belts, hoses, steering systems, spark plugs, brake and fuel systems, wheel bearings, and other potentially troublesome areas.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
703,800
Annual Openings:
69,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
0%
Annual Salary Range:
$25,790 - $71,940
Education Requirements:
Some college