Automotive Service Technician

Customer service
Be a people person
Service technicians must discuss automotive problems—along with options to fix them—with their customers. Because workers may depend on repeat clients for business, they must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.
Detail oriented
Sweat the small stuff
Service technicians must be aware of small details when inspecting or repairing vehicle systems, because mechanical and electronic malfunctions are often due to misalignments or other easy-to-miss causes.
Mechanical skills
Putting it all together
Service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They often must take apart major parts for repairs and be able to put them back together properly.

Job Description

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Identify problems
  • Plan work procedures technical manuals
  • Test parts and systems
  • Follow checklists
  • Perform basic care and maintenance
  • Repair or replace worn parts
  • Perform repairs to spec
  • Explain automotive problems and repairs to clients

Although service technicians work on traditional mechanical systems, such as engines, transmissions, and drive belts, they must also be familiar with a growing number of electronic systems. Braking, transmission, and steering systems, for example, are controlled primarily by computers and electronic components.

Other integrated electronic systems, such as accident-avoidance sensors, are becoming common as well. In addition, a growing number of technicians are required to work on vehicles that consume alternative fuels, such as ethanol and electricity.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $37,850
2 Year Associate’s Degree
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Make $42,370
Make $47,485
The industries that hired the most were:

Automobile dealers


Automotive mechanical and electrical repair and maintenance


Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores




TN College of Applied Technology - Athens


  • Program Length – 20 Months
  • Class Type – Day
  • Average Pay – $37,850 / yr
  • Cost – $9,580

As the number of vehicles in use continues to rise and with the increasing lifespan of late-model cars, more automotive technicians will be needed to repair and maintain vehicles for peak performance. Learn to troubleshoot and repair today’s automobiles in the Automotive Technology program accredited by the National

Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

Instruction is provided through hands-on training with computerized diagnostic equipment, alignment racks, and other modern tools to diagnose, service, and repair automobiles.

Training in electronics prepares technicians to work on computerized electrical systems.

Preparation is available in each of the eight areas certified by ASE. Automotive

Technicians may find employment in car dealerships, independent shops, and service centers.

Class room and shop experiences focus on construction trades, manufacturing, and industrial welding. Students learn about safety, metallurgy, mathematics and print reading.


  • Program Length – 9 months (certificate)
  • Average Earnings – $36,570 / yr
  • Cost – $4,876

This fall, Cleveland State will offer a certificate degree for our new Welding program. Welding is a much sought after skill set that offers a salary that is far above the average starting pay for this area, and the great news is that it only takes 9 months to get a certificate.

If you think you want to be a welder, or you need to brush up or acquire new skills, Cleveland State offers a variety of non-credit welding classes to assist you in achieving those goals.

Cleveland State Community College is now offering a Welding Technician Certificate* in conjunction with completion of these 3 Welding Courses & additional Technology Coursework.  The majority of these classes are embedded in the Electro-Mechanical Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S).

All participants have the opportunity to earn:

  • NCCER Wallet Card
  • NCCER National Registry Recognition
  • NCCER Module Certificates of Completion

Courses will consist of content from NCCER, OSHA, NFPA, and AWS standards. 

AWS Certifications can be offered to groups of 10 participants at an additional cost

Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College