A career in the automotive service industry can be very fulfilling, not to mention lucrative. In fact, because automotive technicians need to be well-versed in the highly sophisticated technology and computer systems of today’s vehicles, they can earn a substantial salary of anywhere from $58,000 to $108,000.
The growing number of job opportunities for well-qualified service technicians can be attributed to both the increasing number of vehicles on the road and greater use of electronics and computers in today’s cars and trucks.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded $2.2 million to the Automotive Youth Education System, a partnership between automotive manufacturers, local dealerships and selected schools that is designed to encourage young people to consider satisfying careers in retail automotive service or repair. The AYES program prepares students for entry-level career positions or advanced studies in automotive technology.
“Automotive service technology is an excellent and rewarding career opportunity for young men and women,” said Larry Cummings, president and chief executive officer of AYES. “Believe it or not, today’s Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge cars and trucks contain more technology than the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon and back. A career in the automotive service field requires intensive and extensive training.”
The AYES program is introduced to students at participating schools during junior year. In addition to taking the required academic courses toward their high school diplomas, students take challenging courses in basic automotive technology or collision repair and refinish.
Eligible students then have full-time internships at dealerships, where they develop their skills under the guidance of experienced technicians. Upon high school graduation and AYES certification, they are prepared to begin full-time employment or to advance their technical education.