If you're looking for a new job, or a career change, automotive technology can be rewarding. In this edition of Car Coach, YNN's Lauren Fix has more on the industry.
Parents and students should take a second look at automotive repair. It is a high-tech career that is always in demand, and can’t be outsourced overseas.
Parents, if becoming an automotive technician is not high on your list of career choices for your child, perhaps it’s time to look again. You may consider the automotive industry for yourself as well.
Officials with the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians nationally, notes automotive service and repair has changed dramatically in just the span of a generation.
High-tech systems are now standard equipment on much of the nation’s vehicles, including stability and traction control systems, and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few. And more changes are on the way. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric vehicles, plus Internet connections, voice recognition commands and GPS mapping are some of the new technologies available in economy to luxury models.
Given the advance of technology and a richly varied automotive industry that offers an array of positions and career paths, the future is bright for talented people with math, science, communications and technical skills. Unlike many high-tech careers that require four, six, or even eight years of college, automotive technology careers can begin after just two years of education.
As with any career, lifelong learning and continuing education is necessary, but the simple fact is, students in automotive technology can get out into the real world sooner, and with less college debt.
Moreover, job growth looks strong into the foreseeable future. The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the automotive repair and maintenance industry is expected to add 237,500 new jobs and have a 30 percent growth rate through 2020. That makes technicians one of the top 20 jobs with relatively high median earnings, and the potential for significant job openings over the next decade.
The jobs run the gamut from line technician to service consultant, service director, or storeowner. There is work in parts, parts distribution and wholesaling; collision repair, painting, and damage estimating; vehicle maintenance, repair, and performance upgrades.
There is work in technical areas, training, or in management at the corporate level for national franchises, vehicle manufacturers, and private and municipal fleets.
For those whose true calling is in the service bay, it’s far from a dead-end career. Top-notch technicians well versed in computer diagnostics and the latest engine performance and drivability solutions can and do command top-dollar salaries.
If your child prefers to get out into the real world and make his or her mark, consider a career in automotive technology. More than 360,000 professionals hold current ASE certification.