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Automotive Technician

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2018: 25,001 to 50,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $901 to $1000 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2014
Brief If you are not only interested in how motor vehicles work but also in how to diagnose faults using sophisticated computerised equipment and then the repair of vehicle faults, then a career as an Automotive Technician may be just what you want.
Some licensing and thus extra studies will be required in areas of Automotive Air Conditioning and installation of LPG fuel systems.

The Automotive Industry encompasses many areas, some very specialised. You can work in the following areas:
Light vehicle
Heavy vehicle both on and off road
Motor cycle
Outdoor power equipment
Parts interpreting

TAFE courses that are relevant for a career in the Automotive Industry range from Certificate I level through to Diploma level in some areas.

For further information, please contact a lecturer in an Automotive Program at a TAFE Campus. You can also find information at the Traineeship and Apprenticeship website or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097

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Automotive Technicians inspect, service and repair motorised vehicles and equipment. The majority of work is the regular inspection, service and maintenance what is commonly known as “log book servicing”. Of-course, vehicles and equipment breakdown and it is a Technician's job to diagnose faults and make the appropriate repair.
There are various ways in which you can become an Automotive Technician.
· The most common way is to apply for a job (apprenticeship) at an Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Business. You will enter your TAFE studies at Certificate III level and when you have proved your competence both in your workplace and in your studies, you will become a fully qualified Automotive Technician with a great career path in front of you.
· Another very common way is to complete some studies at TAFE first in what is generally known as a Pre-apprentice course. It is a full time, Certificate II level course. Many who successfully complete this course find full time employment as an apprentice.
· Also, some students are starting their Automotive Course while still attending secondary schooling.

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Education Requirements

Entry into this occupation is generally through an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III or higher qualification. Of those employed 70% have a Certificate III or IV and 25% have no post-school qualifications. It is recommended that you gain the available qualifications to get the best possible chance of employment.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology; Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology and Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology.

There are SA Apprenticeships available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship website or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

Automotive Technicians are usually employed by Vehicle Dealerships or smaller automotive service and repair workshops. Some workshops specialise is specific vehicle systems and components. For example, Suspension System Specialists, Transmissions Specialists Brake System Specialists and so on. Not all Technicians work in workshops as some are expected to be “on the road” travelling in well equipped vans.
Businesses are varied from outdoor power equipment (lawnmowers etc), marine, motorcycles, light vehicle, heavy vehicle, forklift, agricultural to large mining companies.
In all areas, opportunities exist for promotion especially into managerial and sales positions. The vast majority of business owners and managers started off as an apprentice and have “climbed to the top”.

You can own your own business.

You can become a TAFE Lecturer and pass on your skills to trainees and apprentices.

You may be able to gain more than one Certificate. Being trained in 2 trades, for example, an Automotive Mechanical Technician and an Automotive Electrician would be a great advantage in advancing your career.
Please enquire if you wish to do this before you start any study as specific conditions apply.


Retail Trade

Nature of the Job

Work performed by Automotive Technicians includes inspections, servicing, maintenance and repair of customer vehicles and equipment. Some of the tasks include:
· Changing fluids
· Changing filters
· Checking for components wear especially in suspension, steering and
braking systems
· Testing vehicle emissions
· Testing vehicle performance
· Analysing vehicle faults using computerised scanning equipment
· Repairing various vehicle systems and components such as engines,
transmissions and electrical systems
Just to name a few.

It is important that you continue to train in your Automotive Career as vehicles and equipment continuously change. All current vehicles have a host of onboard computers, not only to control system and component operation but also to monitor systems making sure that they are working correctly. In some vehicles, all vehicle systems are electronically operated and sensed. For example, if you electronically unlock your vehicle, the seat, steering wheel and all mirrors will be altered to suit your driving needs. Even the automatic transmission will adjust to your driving habits. The vehicle recognises YOU as the driver.

Some jobs require the removal and replacement of heavy and/or tight components. All workshops have equipment to assist in these processes.

Typical Occupational Example

Further information:

Auto Skills Australia
Phone: (03) 8610 2500

Earning Potential

The starting salary is about $25,000 per year and this may go as high as $55,000 for automotive technicians running their own business as a single operator. Self employed automotive technicians who employ several other mechanics can earn around the $80,000 mark but this is more the exception than the rule.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online