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Become A Lube Technician

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Working As A Lube Technician

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Stressful

  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lube Technician Do

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians or service techs, inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

Duties

Automotive service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Identify problems, often by using computerized diagnostic equipment
  • Plan work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience
  • Test parts and systems to ensure that they work properly
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
  • Repair or replace worn parts, such as brake pads, wheel bearings, and sensors
  • Perform repairs to manufacturer and customer specifications
  • Explain automotive problems and repairs to clients

Although service technicians work on traditional mechanical systems, such as engines, transmissions, and drivebelts, they must also be familiar with a growing number of electronic systems. Braking, transmission, and steering systems, for example, are controlled primarily by computers and electronic components.

Other integrated electronic systems, such as accident-avoidance sensors, are becoming common as well. In addition, a growing number of technicians are required to work on vehicles that consume alternative fuels, such as ethanol and electricity.

Service technicians use many different tools, including computerized diagnostic tools and power tools such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding torches, and jacks and hoists. These tools usually are owned by their employers.

Service technicians also use many common hand tools, such as wrenches, pliers, and sockets and ratchets. Service technicians generally own these tools themselves. In fact, experienced workers often have thousands of dollars invested in their personal tool collection. For example, some invest in their own set of pneumatic tools—such as impact wrenches—powered by compressed air.

The following are examples of types of service technicians:

Automotive air-conditioning technicians install and repair air-conditioners and parts, such as compressors, condensers, and controls. These workers must be trained and certified in handling refrigerants.

Brake technicians diagnose brake system problems, adjust brakes, replace brake rotors and pads, and make other repairs on brake systems. Some technicians specialize in both brake and front-end work. (See “Front-end technicians.”) 

Drivability technicians, also known as diagnostic technicians, use their extensive knowledge of engine management and fuel, electrical, ignition, and emissions systems to diagnose issues that prevent engines from performing efficiently. They often use the onboard diagnostic system of a car and electronic testing equipment such as scan tools and multimeters to find the malfunction.

Front-end technicians diagnose ride, handling, and tire wear problems. To correct these problems, they frequently use special alignment equipment and wheel-balancing machines.

Transmission technicians and rebuilders work on gear trains, couplings, hydraulic pumps, and other parts of transmissions. An extensive knowledge of computer controls and the ability to diagnose electrical and hydraulic problems are needed to work on these complex components.

For information about technicians who work on large trucks and buses, see the profile on diesel service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians who work on farm equipment, construction vehicles, and railcars, see the profile on heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians.

For information about technicians who repair and service motorcycles, motorboats, and small all-terrain vehicles, see the profile on small engine mechanics.

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How To Become A Lube Technician

Employers prefer that automotive service technicians and mechanics complete a formal training program at a postsecondary institution. Industry certification is usually required once the person is employed.

Education

High school courses in automotive repair, electronics, computers, and mathematics provide a good background for prospective service technicians. However, high school graduates typically need further training to become fully qualified.

Completing a vocational or other postsecondary education program in automotive service technology is considered the best preparation for entry-level positions. Programs usually last 6 months to a year and provide intensive career preparation through classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Short-term certificate programs in a particular subject, such as brake maintenance or engine performance, are also available.

Some service technicians get an associate’s degree. Courses usually include mathematics, electronics, and automotive repair. Some programs add classes in customer service and other necessary skills.

Various automobile manufacturers and dealers sponsor associate’s degree programs. Students in these programs typically spend alternating periods attending classes full time and working full time in service shops under the guidance of an experienced technician.

Training

Service technicians who have graduated from postsecondary programs in automotive service technology generally require little on-the-job training.

Those who have not completed postsecondary education, however, generally start as trainee technicians, technicians’ helpers, or lubrication workers. They gradually acquire more knowledge and experience by working with experienced mechanics and technicians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all technicians who buy or work with refrigerants to be certified in proper refrigerant handling. No formal test preparation is required, but many trade schools, unions, and employer associations offer training programs designed for the EPA exam.

Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the standard credential for service technicians. Certification demonstrates competence and usually brings higher pay. Many employers require their service technicians to become certified.

ASE certification is available in nine different automobile specialty areas: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, light vehicle diesel engines, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air-conditioning, manual drive train and axles, and suspension and steering.

To become certified, technicians must have at least 2 years of experience (or relevant schooling and 1 year of experience) and pass an exam. Technicians who achieve certification in all of the foregoing areas (light vehicle diesel engine certification is not required) may earn ASE Master Technician status.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Service technicians must discuss automotive problems—along with options to fix them—with their customers. Because workers may depend on repeat clients for business, they must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.

Detail oriented. Service technicians must be aware of small details when inspecting or repairing vehicle systems, because mechanical and electronic malfunctions are often due to misalignments or other easy-to-miss causes.

Dexterity. Service technicians perform many tasks that require steady hands and good hand-eye coordination, such as assembling or attaching components and subassemblies.

Mechanical skills. Service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They often must take apart major parts for repairs and be able to put them back together properly.

Organizational skills. Service technicians must keep workspaces clean and organized in order to maintain safety and ensure accountability of parts.

Physical strength. Service technicians must sometimes lift and maneuver heavy parts such as engines and body panels.

Troubleshooting skills. Service technicians must be able to use diagnostic equipment on engine systems and components in order to identify and fix problems in increasingly complicated mechanical and electronic systems. They must be familiar with electronic control systems and the appropriate tools needed to fix and maintain them.

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Average Length of Employment
Auto Technician 4.0 years
Smog Technician 3.8 years
Fleet Technician 3.3 years
Diesel Technician 3.0 years
Tire Technician 2.0 years
Lube Technician 2.0 years
Oil Bay Technician 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Lube Technician
Cashier 13.2%
Technician 7.1%
Mechanic 6.1%
Cook 5.6%
Driver 3.9%
Stocker 2.7%
Manager 2.6%
Top Careers After Lube Technician
Technician 13.0%
Mechanic 8.5%
Driver 6.2%
Cashier 5.6%
Cook 2.7%
Welder 2.4%

Do you work as a Lube Technician?

Lube Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

84.9%

Unknown

8.4%

Female

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.2%

German

3.3%

Polish

2.8%

Russian

1.8%

French

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Khmer

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Hmong

0.8%

Finnish

0.8%

Swedish

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Swahili

0.3%

Dutch

0.3%

Mandarin

0.3%
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Lube Technician Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

48.2%

University of Phoenix

5.1%

NASCAR Technical Institute

4.1%

The Academy

3.9%

University of Northwestern Ohio

3.3%

Lincoln College of Technology - Indianapolis

3.2%

Lincoln College of Technology - Denver

3.1%

Lincoln Technical Institute

3.0%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

3.0%

Arizona Automotive Institute

2.9%

WyoTech - Laramie

2.9%

Porter and Chester Institute

2.5%

Houston Community College

2.0%

College of Southern Nevada

2.0%

Lincoln College of Technology - Melrose Park

2.0%

Hennepin Technical College

1.8%

Western Technical College

1.7%

Salt Lake Community College

1.7%

Ohio Technical College

1.7%

Ranken Technical College

1.6%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

51.3%

Business

8.7%

General Studies

5.7%

Criminal Justice

5.1%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Industrial Technology

2.8%

Computer Science

2.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Education

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Information Technology

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.3%

Medical Technician

1.2%

Accounting

1.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.2%

Management

1.1%

Engineering

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

48.5%

Associate

20.9%

Certificate

11.0%

Bachelors

9.6%

Diploma

8.5%

Masters

0.8%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Lithia Motors
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Lube Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lube Technician in the United States is $42,975 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Lube Technician?

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Top Skills for A Lube Technician

  1. Vehicle Maintenance
  2. Oil Changes
  3. Tire Pressure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recorded vehicle information, performed visual inspections & performed basic vehicle maintenance services.
  • Assisted with maintaining vehicle needs such as oil changes, fluid refills, air pressure checks, and fills.
  • Check tire pressure and levels of motor oil, transmission fluid, radiator, coolant, power steering and washer fluid.
  • Conducted basic vehicle maintenance, Provided effective customer service, Assisted with shipping and receiving inventory, Upheld company policies
  • Rinse objects and place them on drying racks or use cloth, squeegees, or air compressors to dry surfaces.

What is it like to work as a Lube Technician

5.0

An expert is once a beginner

September 28, 2019 on Zippia

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