Automotive Service Writer Education Requirements and Career Info
Automotive service writers are maintenance specialists who assess the working condition of cars and light trucks and calculate the cost of repairs. Corporations, government agencies and other organizations that maintain fleets of vehicles employ them.
Education Requirements for Automotive Service Writers
There are no certificates, degree programs or certifications in automotive service writing. However, someone with a high school diploma and work experience maintaining cars is qualified to work as an automotive service writer. An automotive service technician associate's degree program prepares students for positions in this career field.
Classes in an automotive service technician associate's degree program usually cover basic engine repair, engine performance, computer diagnostics and shop tools and equipment. Major systems studied include 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive trains, transmissions, suspensions, exhaust, heating and air conditioning, ignition, fuel and brakes. Classroom study is typically augmented with hands-on practice. Programs also feature liberal arts components that often include writing composition courses.
Alternatively, students could consider automotive service technician certificate programs. These won't cover the subject in as much depth, but tuition costs are lower.
According to Payscale.com, the median wage of automotive service writers with 1-4 years of experience was $11.43 per hour in February 2010. There are no formal projections on employment and growth prospects for this field. The number of job opportunities will depend on the number of organizations that own and maintain vehicle fleets.
Duties and Skills
Automotive service writers' duties involve testing, monitoring and reporting. As testers, they start engines to listen for malfunctions and drive vehicles to observe the performance of steering, transmission and brake systems. As monitors, they keep track of vehicle usage patterns, total usage time and intervals between servicing. They may also schedule preventive maintenance. As reporters, they keep records on all vehicle activity and generate complaint reports when a user reports problems.
Automotive service writers need comprehensive knowledge of vehicle mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems, manual dexterity and some knowledge of repair tools, materials and methods. They also need sufficient mathematical and writing ability to maintain records, provide cost estimates and complete reports. Communication skills adequate to sustain a working relationship with co-workers who use the vehicles they maintain are essential.
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