Automotive Service Technicians Go High-Tech

By the year 2000, there were about 217 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., traveling 2.5 trillion miles, and consuming 160 billion gallons of gasoline. In light of these figures from the Center for Automotive Research, how could you not consider a career in the ever-expanding automotive industry?

Need more convincing? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive service technicians held about 803,000 jobs in 2004, and demand for technicians will only increase as the number of multi-car families continues its upward trend.

And, median hourly earnings of automotive service technicians, including commission, are $15.60 (the highest 10 percent earn more than $26.22 per hour). In addition, many experienced technicians receive a commission related to the labor cost, and employers often guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary.

So the growth of the automotive service profession is not surprising — today’s technicians are high-tech professionals, working on complex vehicles with global positioning systems, Internet access, and alternate-fuel systems. Their work goes beyond traditional repairs and involves inspecting, maintaining, and repairing automobiles with electronic as well as traditional hand tools.
Since cars are more computer-controlled than ever before (according to the Center for Automotive Research, the average vehicle contains between 40 and 50 microprocessors), automotive service technicians need the intensive career preparation offered by automotive service technician schools.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certify a number of automotive service technician schools, which may offer general education courses as well as employable skills such as customer service and stress management.

Certification is the next step after completing coursework at automotive service technician schools. Voluntary certification by ASE is the standard credential in the automotive industry. You can get certified in one or more of eight areas of automotive service, including electrical systems, engine repair, brake systems, suspension and steering, and heating and air-conditioning. If you want to become certified as a master automobile technician, you need to be certified in all eight areas.

Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for those who graduate from automotive service technician schools and become certified. Even through downturns in the economy, the effects on the automotive industry are minimal.

Rev up your high-tech career with hands-on training from automotive service technician schools.

A Top Ten List of Automotive Extended Warranty Companies

Automotive extended warranties should be a very important part of one’s budget. After the vehicle’s initial warranty expires it would be wise to extend it because unexpected breakdowns can be devastating for one’s finances. A warranty is collateral that is offered by the manufacturer or another insurance provider. This means that if the product or service fails you are entitled to have it repaired or replaced. Let’s look at some of the top providers for automotive extended warranties.

1. Mogi

Mogi is a very recent entrant into the market of insurance. With their technological advances in terms of web based protection and support, Mogi has become the convenient and reliable choice of many consumers. Mogi offers several coverage plans for new and used vehicles. Each plan is tailored to the specific needs of the customer at the lowest rates possible.

2. Warranty Direct

Warranty Direct is very popular due to its wide array of coverage plans at reasonable prices. With more of a track record than Mogi, Warranty Direct has been in the business for 30 years. In terms of reliability you will find no better automotive extended warranty among the other companies. Warranty Direct is one of the largest warranty companies in North America making it very appealing to buyers looking for a safe and reliable purchase.

3. CARCHEX

Another well-known name; CARCHEX provides several automotive extended warranties. Plans for new and used vehicles add to the diversity of this company.

4. Stop Repair Bills

Stop Repair Bills will cover almost any vehicle. Most of their customers have vehicles over 12 years old. This company’s boldness has earned it a household name for good reason.

5. U.S. Fidelis

U.S. Fidelis is one of the largest automotive extended warranty companies in the United States. U.S. Fidelis offers many economic plans for new vehicles. This provider is a wise choice for those looking for an established company.

6. U.S. Direct

U.S. Direct is another exclusive provider in the United States. This automotive extended warranty company boasts a solid track record and excellent customer service.

7. Fidelity Automotive

Fidelity provides extended warranties to both new and used cars. To go along with their coverage, Fidelity also offers excellent customer service with roadside assistance and repair.

8. Auto Protection

Auto Protection is smaller than the other providers; to compensate for this Auto Protection offers excellent customer service and makes their policies very clear.

9. Endurance Protection

Another small automotive extended warranty provider; Endurance Protection offers several incentives such as instant savings and roadside assistance.

10. Auto Service Warranty

Auto Service Warranty provides used and new automobile coverage. Automotive extended warranties are provided at very economical pricing.

What You Need to Know About Careers in the Automotive and Motor Vehicle Industry

If you enjoy power, mechanics, and learning how things run, you may be interested in a career in the automotive and motor vehicle industry. This is a very broad field, and there are many different jobs that you can choose from. The average earnings in this industry is quite high, which is another benefit of choosing a job in this field. Before you make any final decisions about your career choices though, you need to fully understand what careers are available, what kind of education you will need, and the kind of money that you will be able to earn. Once you gather the right information, then you will have what you need to make a wise career choice. Jobs Available

One type of job that you may want to consider in this field is becoming an automotive engineer. This job is in high demand, and if you enjoy seeing how things work and figuring out how to make them better, then this job may be a great one for you to consider. Electricians also have a part in this industry and deal with the electrical aspects of vehicles and insuring that they work correctly and function safely.

Other types of jobs include selling automobiles as well, whether owning a new car dealership, being a salesperson at a dealership, or dealing in used vehicles. There are many great mechanics jobs as well, which includes working on cars fixing problems and also doing routine maintenance as well. Machine operators have a big job in this industry since they do a great deal of work in the production of vehicles and their various parts. There are jobs in the industry for automotive transporters, detailers, painters, welders, inspectors, and more.

Education Required

The education that you will need to work in this field will be very dependent upon which type of career that you choose. If you decide to go into mechanical engineering, then you will probably need a bachelors degree and then a graduate degree in engineering. You may even have to take some time to complete an internship as well, either during your college years, or right after them. Electricians that work in this field require a good deal of education and usually have to take classes and work as an apprentice as well.

If you decide to sell vehicles, many times you will not need to have any college, but often companies like to see applicants that do have some college, and business classes look especially great as well. Machine operators, while not requiring formal education, usually have to go through some kind of apprentice program before they can become certified on specific machines. Service technicians and mechanics have to have some specialized training as well for most job positions. Having a certificate from a vocational school is a great thing, though some learn by apprenticeship.

Money Matters

While most jobs in this field offer great wages, they do differ quite a bit, depending on what kind of a job you are involved in. If you decide to become a mechanical engineer, you can probably expect to make a great deal of money, ranging from $40,000-$60,000 for beginners to over $100,000 per year for those for more experience and in special fields. Electricians that work in the automotive field usually make around or above $50,000 each year.

If you want to be a salesman of cars, or you want to own your own dealership, then what you make each year will depend on sales you make, and that can be highly dependent on the economy. Mechanics make a great deal of money at their jobs, with many of them earning $80-$120 per hour, which can add up fast.

Great Companies for Consideration

Those who decide to work in the automotive and motor vehicle industry want to find jobs that will offer them excellent benefits and great pay. While many may go into business for themselves, most people in this field will work for a company. In the United States, there are several great companies that offer excellent opportunities in this field including General Motors, Firestone, and Mercedes. There are also excellent opportunities in Canada as well with companies like Kent Automotive, and Canadian Tire.