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Become A Master Technician

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Working As A Master Technician

  • $37,850

    Average Salary

What Does A Master 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 Master 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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Master Technician jobs

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Master Technician Career Paths

Master Technician
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Service Advisor Service Consultant Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Service Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Shop Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Office Manager
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Shop Foreman Service Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Shop Foreman Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Service Manager Service Director Marketing Director
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Shop Manager Maintenance Technician Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Project Engineer
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Service Advisor Assistant Service Manager Service Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Operations Manager
Regional Operation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Service Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Master Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

90.0%

Female

8.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

79.4%

Hispanic or Latino

11.9%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.1%

German

7.1%

French

7.1%

Russian

7.1%

Chinese

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Hindi

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Bulgarian

2.4%

Ukrainian

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Serbian

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Macedonian

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Mandarin

2.4%

Italian

2.4%
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Master Technician Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

26.5%

University of Phoenix

11.0%

Ohio Technical College

5.1%

Universal Technical Institute-Motorcycle Mechanics

4.4%

Ferris State University

3.7%

Santa Fe Community College

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.7%

Houston Community College

3.7%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

Georgia Southern University

3.7%

Weber State University

3.7%

NASCAR Technical Institute

2.9%

Glendale Community College

2.9%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

2.9%

Texas A&M University

2.9%

Community College of the Air Force

2.9%

Purdue University

2.9%

Lincoln College of Technology - Indianapolis

2.9%

Butte College

2.9%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

37.7%

Business

12.8%

Electrical Engineering

8.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.0%

Computer Science

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering

3.4%

General Studies

2.9%

Information Technology

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Management

2.6%

Education

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Industrial Technology

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Psychology

1.8%

Nursing

1.6%

Precision Metal Working

1.5%

Communication

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

36.8%

Bachelors

23.7%

Associate

21.3%

Masters

7.0%

Certificate

6.8%

Diploma

3.4%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Real Master Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Boston, MA Jan 12, 2015 $167,940 -
$184,000
SIG Security Master-Technology Lead Wachovia Bank, N.A. Charlotte, NC Mar 31, 2010 $155,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Oracle Package Technologies, EBS Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Nov 16, 2016 $154,566 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Jun 28, 2016 $149,095 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Aug 12, 2015 $142,502 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Tech, Info Mgmt, Edm/Mdm Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Dec 03, 2014 $140,807 -
$175,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Deloitte Digital, Ecommerce & Portals Deloitte Consulting LLP Boston, MA Jul 27, 2016 $140,028 -
$218,500
Specialist Master-Technology, Systems Integration, Systems Development Deloitte Consulting LLP Harrisburg, PA Sep 13, 2016 $133,766 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, Tech, Sys's Integration-Prgrm Mgmt, Functional, & Test Deloitte Consulting LLP Costa Mesa, CA Dec 16, 2014 $128,000 -
$159,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Deloitte Digital, SAP Customer Deloitte Consulting LLP Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Nov 19, 2015 $124,167 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Tech, Info Mgmt, Enterprise Data Mgmt/Master Data Mgmt Deloitte Consulting LLP McLean, VA Apr 04, 2016 $122,000 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP San Jose, CA Nov 18, 2015 $122,000 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Houston, TX Dec 24, 2015 $122,000 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Systems Integration, System Development Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Nov 12, 2015 $122,000 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Oracle Package Technologies, Ebusiness Suite Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX Apr 22, 2016 $121,500 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Technology, Oracle Package Technologies, Ebusiness Suite Deloitte Consulting LLP San Francisco, CA Oct 31, 2016 $120,998 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP San Francisco, CA Sep 30, 2016 $120,998 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, Technology, Oracle Package Technologies, EBS Deloitte Consulting LLP Charlotte, NC Aug 03, 2015 $120,800 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Sep 08, 2016 $120,732 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Sep 27, 2016 $120,732 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Costa Mesa, CA Nov 14, 2016 $120,425 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Aug 08, 2016 $120,020 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, Tech, Info Mgmt, Bus Intel/Data Warehousing Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA May 14, 2015 $120,000 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, Tech, Info Mgmt, Bus Intel/Data Warehousing Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Nov 20, 2015 $120,000 -
$184,000
Tech Master Globant, LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $117,603
Specialist Master, Tech, SYS Integration, SYS Development Deloitte Consulting LLP Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Nov 19, 2015 $117,498 -
$184,000
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX Dec 07, 2016 $117,000 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, Tech, Analytics & Information Mgmt, Data Mgmt & Arch Deloitte Consulting LLP McLean, VA Oct 31, 2016 $117,000 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, Tech, Analytics & Information Mgmt, Performance Mgmt Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Nov 21, 2016 $117,000 -
$218,500
Specialist Master, SAP Package Technologies Deloitte Consulting LLP Atlanta, GA Sep 22, 2016 $117,000 -
$218,500

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Top Skills for A Master Technician

EnginePerformanceServiceDepartmentElectricalDiagnosisSafetyDiagnosticEquipmentRepairProceduresCustomerServiceMasterTechAutomotiveSystemsDieselEnginesWarrantyElectricalSystemsTroubleShootingPreventativeMaintenanceASEBMWDrivabilityAirCompressorsCustomerSatisfactionHvac

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Top Master Technician Skills

  1. Engine Performance
  2. Service Department
  3. Electrical Diagnosis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Repaired Ford Motor Company vehicles specializing in Engine Performance.
  • Worked in service department as technician.
  • Performed Heavy line Engine and Driveline repairs, electrical diagnosis and repairs, and driveability concerns.
  • Participated in safety training programs for OSHA requirements.
  • Worked with electronic diagnostic equipment and digital manuals and reference materials .

Top Master Technician Employers

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