Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Auto Service Technicians in Oregon, Growing and Evolving

There were 3,231,862 registered passenger vehicles on Oregon roads in 2010, which works out to about one car per driving-age Oregonian. But if you're among the 6,067 automotive service technicians and mechanics that worked in Oregon in 2008, cars would outnumber you by a ratio of 543-to-one: a favorable number when you're in a field based on demand for auto repair.

A typical day for auto mechanics is anything but typical - dozens of cars and light trucks may pass through their shops, all different makes, models, and years. Their work involves inspecting and repairing vehicles, using a variety of power tools, hand tools, testing equipment, computers, machinery, and other devices. To keep up with the latest models and changing technology, they consult technical manuals, manufacturer's service information, the internet, and other sources.

Problem-solving plays a large role in the work of auto mechanics, especially as cars become increasingly complex. As more and more electronic components are added, from voice recognition software to electric motors, mechanics have to continuously adapt to changing technologies.

An estimated 174 auto service technician and mechanic job openings will be available in Oregon each year between 2008 and 2018. Competitive job candidates will need a mix of postsecondary education and training to gain the right set of skills. In 2011, median wages were $18.93 per hour, or $39,374 per year, though some employers pay commission, which is not included in these figures.

Read more about Oregon's Auto Service Technicians in the full article, written by Employment Economist Katharine Williams.

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