Automotive Service Writer Education Requirements and Career Info

Automotive service writers require some formal education or experience. Learn about the educational requirements, job duties, career information and necessary skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

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 these service writers. A high school diploma is sufficient to enter this career field, as long as the holder has some automotive experience, but 2-year degree programs are also available.

Required Education A high school diploma and automotive maintenance experience OR an automotive service technician associate's degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 9% (for automotive service technicians and mechanics)
Median Annual Salary (May 2013)* $36,710 (for automotive service technicians and mechanics)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

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.

Career Information

According to PayScale.com, the median salary of automotive service writers was $35,304 in September 2014. 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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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
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      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Autobody Repair
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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
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    Areas of study you may find at New England Institute of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Autobody Repair
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Marine Watercraft Repair and Maintenance
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    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
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      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
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      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
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    Areas of study you may find at Northern Michigan University include:
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      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
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      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Aircraft Powerplant Tech
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    • Alaska (3 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
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      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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        • Aircraft Powerplant Tech
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