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Drivetrain Technician
Curriculum code 1464

Course Requirements                    Automotive Technology Web site Gainful Employment Information

This program prepares the student for an entry-level position in the automotive service industry performing service, repairs, removal and replacement of manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, drive axles and differentials.

Related Career Programs—Automotive Technology A.A.S. (64 credit hours), Automotive Service Technician Certificate (48 credit hours), Automotive Climate Control Technician Certificate (12) credit hours.

Nature of Work—Automotive drivetrain technicians perform diagnostics and repairs on vehicles having some type of drive train problem that be related to transmission, differential, drive axle or wheel bearings.

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

Related Job Titles—Automotive service technician/mechanic, Transmission technician

Employment Outlook—Job opportunities in this occupation are expected to be very good for persons who complete automotive training programs in high school, vocational and technical schools or community colleges. A person with good diagnostic skills should have the best opportunities. For well-prepared people with a technical background, automotive service technician careers offer an excellent opportunity for good pay and satisfaction of highly skilled work with vehicles incorporating the latest in technology. However, persons without formal training are likely to face competition for entry level jobs. Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to increase by 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, slower than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the number of vehicles in use in the United States will lead to new jobs for workers performing basic car maintenance and repair. More entry-level workers will be needed to perform these services, such as oil changes and replacing worn brakes. Additionally, the average lifespan of vehicles is increasing, which will further increase the demand for repair services, especially post- arranty work. The increasing use of advanced technology in automobiles will also lead to new opportunities for repair technicians, especially those with specialized skills or certifications. Workers with expertise in certain makes or models of vehicles, or with an advanced understanding of certain systems, such as hybrid-fuel technology, will be in demand. At the same time, consolidation in the automobile dealer industry, a significant employer of technicians, will limit the need for new workers.

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- warranty repairs, such as oil changes, brake repair, air-conditioner service, and other minor repairs generally taking less than four 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 yr 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 annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of service technicians 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: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011. www.bls.gov/oco (mechanics)

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

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

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