Hybrid Car Technician: Job Outlook & Career Requirements
Read on to find out what a hybrid car technician does. Learn about the education and training requirements. Get the career outlook and earning potential for this job to see if it's right for you.
Hybrid car technicians perform maintenance, repair, and inspection on hybrid vehicles. Because hybrid cars have many of the same components as non-hybrid cars, hybrid car technicians will install and repair universal parts such as steering mechanisms, hydraulic pumps, and brake systems. Hybrid car technicians may do more computer diagnostic work on hybrid cars since the scientific makeup of the cars is more complex.
Become a Hybrid Car Technician
After completing two years at a trade school or community college, obtaining an associate degree in automotive service technology and undertaking courses such as automotive service repair, physics, and electronics, a technician will still need to receive training and certification to work on these environmentally-friendly cars. Some hybrid car manufacturers offer training programs and certification to non-hybrid car technicians.
Like all car technicians, hybrid car technicians must be highly skilled trouble-shooters and problem-solvers. Expertise in hybrid car technology, including the ability to conduct and understand computer diagnostic evaluations, knowledge of hybrid car manufacturers and dealers, and the ability to work with the public is essential.
Career and Economic Outlook
As fuel prices increase, the demand for vehicles that are fuel efficient also increases. This demand means more employment opportunities for hybrid car technicians, including the increased prospect of self-employed technicians who do not need to work for a car dealer, manufacturer or automotive repair shop. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported that the annual average salary of all automotive repair technicians, including hybrid car technicians, was $39,060 in May 2012. The agency also reported that automotive service technicians and mechanics overall could expect job growth of 17% from 2010-2020.
Alternate Career Options
Diesel Service Technician
Diesel service technicians maintain and repair diesel engines, which are commonly installed in trucks and buses. They use tools and diagnostic instruments to keep parts in good working order and replace or repair parts as needed. They may also provide related all-around vehicle maintenance, such as wheel alignment or battery replacement. While it's possible to get a job with a high school diploma and learn the ropes on the job, some employers prefer to hire those with some relevant post-secondary education, such as a certificate or associate degree in diesel engine repair. Professional certification is available. Possession of a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) may be required so that trucks and buses can be test-driven for diagnostic purposes. The number of jobs for diesel service technicians is expected to grow 15% from 2010-2020, per the BLS. The agency also reports that workers in this occupation earned an average salary of $43,660 in 2012.
Small Engine Mechanic
Small engine mechanics work on power tools, equipment, and vehicles with small motors, such as chain saws, lawn mowers, motorcycles, and portable generators. They maintain the mechanical parts that keep the engines running well, diagnosing problems and making repairs or replacing parts as needed. They may specialize in working on one kind of engine, such as those for motorboats or motorcycles. Entry-level jobs are attainable after completing post-secondary education programs in small engine repair or on-the-job training. The BLS reports that during the 2010-2020 decade, motorcycle mechanics can expect job growth of 24%, motorboat mechanics can expect job growth of 21%, and outdoor power equipment mechanics can expect job growth of 19%. The BLS also reported that in 2012, the average salary of motorcycle mechanics was $34,910, while the average salary of motorboat mechanics was $37,140, and the average salary of outdoor power equipment mechanics was $31,820.
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