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Automotive Climate Control
Curriculum code 1462

Course Requirements                    Automotive Technology Web site

This program prepares the student for an entry-level position in the automotive service industry doing climate control work.

Nature of Work—Automotive air-conditioning repairers install, convert (R-12 to 134A) air conditioning systems, and service all types of climate control systems. These workers require special training in federal and state regulations governing the hand - ling and disposal of refrigerants.

Almost half of automotive service technicians work a standard 40-hour week, but nearly 30 percent work more than 40 hours a week. Many of those working extended hours are self-employed technicians. To satisfy customer service needs, some service shops offer evening and weekend service. Generally, service technicians work indoors in well-ventilated and lighted repair shops.

Related Job TitlesAutomotive service technicians, auto mechanics.

Employment OutlookOver the 2008-18 period, demand for technicians will grow as the number of vehicles in operation increases, reflecting continued growth in the number of multi-car families. Growth in demand will be offset somewhat by slowing population growth and the continuing increase in the quality and durability of automobiles, which will require less frequent service. Additional job openings will be due to the need to replace a growing number of retiring technicians, who tend to be the most experienced workers.

Most persons who enter the occupation can expect steady work, even through downturns in the economy. While car owners may postpone maintenance and repair on their vehicles when their budgets become strained, and employers of automotive technicians may cutback hiring new workers, changes in economic conditions generally have minor effects on the automotive service and repair business.

Employment growth will continue to be concentrated in automobile dealerships and independent automotive repair shops. Many new jobs also will be created in small retail operations that offer after- arranty repairs, such as oil changes, brake repair, air-conditioner service, and other minor repairs generally taking less than 4 hours to complete. Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics in gasoline service stations will continue to decline, as fewer stations offer repair services.

Median hourly earnings of automotive service technicians and mechanics, including commission, were $17.21/$35,790 in May 2010. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.44 and $22.64 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.71 per hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of service technicians in May 2010 were as follows: Local government–$44,340; Automobile dealers–$40,650; Automotive repair and maintenance–$33,010; Gasoline stations–$33,010; Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores–$31,160

Many experienced technicians employed by automobile dealers and independent repair shops receive a commission related to the labor cost charged to the customer. Under this method, weekly earnings depend on the amount of work completed. Employers frequently guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary.

Source: US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011.
source: bls.gov/oco/ocos181.htm (auto service technician)

For job listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center, S202, (708) 974-5737, www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.

The median salary in Chicago for auto mechanic I is $36,050. Salaries range between $27,318 to $47,206.
Source: Salary.com.

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