What Are Some High Paying Automotive Service Careers?

High-paying automotive service careers can involve management responsibilities or master certification as an automotive technician. Read on to learn about the salaries, responsibilities and requirements of such jobs. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Automotive Service Careers Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top-paid ten percent of workers in automotive service careers made more than $66,950 a year as of 2018 (www.bls.gov). The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certification that is commonly held to be a prerequisite for careers in automotive service.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Automotive Master Mechanic Automotive Service Manager Shop Foreman
On-the-Job Training Often supervised by experienced workers; some work on their own Managers may begin as technician; gain expertise on-the-job Provide (rather than receive) OJT in vehicle repair/maintenance
Key Skills Communication (customer service, parts and sales departments), diagnostics, organization (parts and tools inventory) Cost management; attention to detail (quality checks and complete documentation); leadership; interpersonal skills (negotiation and ensuring customer satisfaction) People and operations management; welding; fabrication; engine repair
Work Environment Garage environment; often standing or in uncomfortable posture Garage/shop; some office work may be required Frequently outdoors; repairs sometimes done in harsh weather
Similar Occupations Diesel Mechanic; Automotive Service Advisor; Heavy Equipment Mechanic Fleet Manager (Trucking/Transportation), Service Operations Director Operations Manager; Manufacturing Production Manager

Source: PayScale.com

Automotive Master Mechanic

Master mechanics deal with the most complicated and important engine problems, while routine maintenance is usually left to other automotive service personnel. Master technicians, who have obtained advanced education and automotive service work experience, typically work in specialized fields. According to PayScale.com in 2019, entry-level service technicians had a median annual salary of $38,545, while late-career automotive service technicians earned $59,915.

Automotive Service Manager

Service managers are responsible for running an auto service department. They hire and supervise all the other employees of the department, in addition to planning the overall goals and strategies for the organization. Many automotive service managers these days have bachelor's degrees, either in technical areas or in business administration. The total salary for most U.S. automotive service managers, which included commissions and bonuses, was between $33,000 - $96,000, according to PayScale.com in 2019.

Shop Foreman

Shop foremen, who may also be called lead technicians, are like automotive service managers in that they're responsible for the operations of a department. Unlike managers, however, automotive service foremen continue to work on the floor, making them a blend of automotive service managers and master technicians. Like master automotive service technicians, foremen should be current in all eight ASE fields. Shop foremen just starting out earned a median annual salary of $49,572, according to 2019 reports from PayScale.com. Late-career professionals earned a median annual salary of $62,860.

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