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Auto Mechanic training in Kansas City, Auto Mechanic certification in Kansas City

Automotive Repair Technician Career Profile in Kansas City, MO

Although the technology that makes up cars and trucks has advanced considerably over the years, the need for people who can repair them has not gone away. People need help to keep their cars and trucks running. Getting to work, school and the grocery store would be impossible for many otherwise. Because automotive technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, some employers prefer automotive service technicians and mechanics who have completed a formal training program. It may take more education and training nowadays than it once did to become a skilled auto repair technician, but it may be a career path worth pursuing if automobiles are your passion.

Job Outlook and Salary for Auto Repair Technicians

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which collects data and makes projections for most of the major careers in the country, has promising things to say about the auto repair field in Kansas City and across the country, including:

  • Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 
  • Job opportunities for qualified jobseekers should be very good.
  • As the number of vehicles in use continues to rise, more entry-level service technicians will be needed to do basic maintenance and repair, such as replacing brake pads and changing oil.
  • An increasing lifespan for late-model vehicles will further increase the demand for qualified professionals.
  • Median pay in 2013 for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics in the United States - $36,700 per year; $17.65 per hour.

Median pay in 2013 for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics in Kansas City - $37,300 year; $17.92 per hour.

Outline of Career Path

Although many auto repair technicians begin at ground level, it is possible to move beyond general repair work into areas of specialization. Depending on the place of employment, the entry-level worker may be considered a mechanic's assistant or be given some other designation. However, with training, interest and aptitude it is possible to move on to other areas, including:

  • General mechanic – Handle repairs and maintenance work unsupervised. Trusted to be able to get the job done without constant supervision.
  • Senior mechanic – Trusted with the most important work and the most complicated repairs.
  • Shop floor leader – Manage other mechanics in the shop.

Some areas of specialization that an auto repair technician might choose include:

  • Auto air conditioner maintenance and repair
  • Transmission repair
  • Tune up specialist
  • Brake specialist
  • Diesel specialist
  • High performance automobiles
  • Industrial equipment

The basic skills learned to become an auto repair specialist can be used in a variety of careers. Some techs choose to work in a specific area like industrial machines or race car maintenance, while others choose to open their own shop and work independently..

Education and Training for Auto Repair Technicians

For those wishing to enter into a career as an auto repair technician there are two generally accepted routes. These are:

  • Apprenticeship – This was at one time the most common route to a career in auto repair and maintenance. When cars were mostly mechanical – hence the term mechanic – it was quite possible to enter a shop knowing nothing and slowly train through trial and error under the instruction of an experienced mechanic.
  • Trade school or college certification – As cars and trucks have advanced more people are beginning their auto repair careers with schooling. Attending a trade school or college gives students access to the latest education on current and upcoming technologies, better preparing them for the realities of modern auto repair. This increase in technology is why the term “technician” has become preferred over mechanic in recent years.

Additionally, ongoing auto technician training is a necessity to keep informed on the latest technology and to be able to work on newer automobiles. New cars might be high tech, but a car breakdown is almost guaranteed eventually. To be able to work on such cars a mechanic has to have the necessary auto repair training.

Resources for HVAC Mechanics

There are a number of online resources for aspiring and current auto technicians, including:

  • BLS page for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
  • BLS page for Kansas City Occupational Employment Statistics
  • Automotive Service Association