Service Writer Jobs and Schools

A career as a service writer will allow you to work as a liaison between customers and auto mechanics. You'll use your automotive knowledge to research parts and prices, and you'll compile vehicle repair estimates and final bills for customers. Read about the skills and experience you need for a service writer job, and check out formal training options at the certificate and 2-year degree levels. Review the salary potential for service writers. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Service writers act as liaisons between customers and auto mechanics with estimates and other paperwork. Programs for prospective writers are available at community colleges and technical schools.

Schools High school diploma required, associate's degree or certificate optional, online programs available; look for schools with workshops or programs dedicated to service writing.
Responsibilities Communicating recommendations and decisions from the service department, scheduling maintenance appointments, keeping accurate parts inventory, compiling estimates, and completing final bills. Test driving vehicles is also possible.
Salary (2015) $36,039 (median)

What Types of Schools Are Available for Service Writer Jobs?

Typically, a high school diploma and basic automotive repair experience will qualify you to work as a service writer. However, an associate's degree or certificate from an automotive service technician program can give you additional skills and knowledge to prepare you for a career in this field. These programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools. Rarely, some schools offer workshops or academic programs in service writing, but most programs aren't dedicated specifically to this role.

How Will Educational Courses Help Me?

An automotive service technician associate's degree program will include general education courses that will help you develop the computer and communication skills useful to the career. Some programs offer cooperative work-and-study options that allow you to gain work experience while you're still in school. A program may require you to provide your own hand tools.

You'll gain a broad knowledge of the different automotive manufacturers and the latest technologies. Your curriculum will strengthen your knowledge of the theory and application of automotive mechanics. Your classes may cover the following subjects:

  • Brake systems
  • Electronic systems
  • Transmissions
  • Engine repair
  • Fuel and ignition systems

Online learning opportunities are available. Some programs blend online courses with on-campus study, while others are fully online. Web-based courses may present the study through interactive materials, such as 2-D and 3-D animations and streaming videos.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

As an automotive service writer, you'll communicate the recommendations and decisions of the service department to the customers, according to February 2011 job posts from state government websites. You'll listen to customers describe their concerns involving their cars and answer any questions they may have. Much of this work will be done both in person and via telephone. You'll schedule maintenance appointments, keep accurate parts inventory, compile estimates and complete final bills. You may also test drive vehicles to observe the performance or reported issues.

You'll need comprehensive knowledge of automobile systems, excellent customer service skills, computer proficiency, sales experience and strong communication skills. You'll also need basic math skills to provide estimates and bills of sale and to maintain records.

What Is the Salary for This Career?

In July 2015, the entry-level annual salary for an automotive service writer was $22,109 - $49,980, according to According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for automotive service technicians increased by nine percent from 2012-2022 (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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