A high school diploma is required to become an automotive service writer, and in some cases an employer might prefer that the service writer also hold an automotive service technician associate's degree as well. Some of the courses this type of degree may include are engine repair, computer diagnostics and shop tools.
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 (2014-2024)*||5% (for automotive service technicians and mechanics)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$37,850 (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.
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According to PayScale.com, the median salary of automotive service writers was $36,292 in January 2016. 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.
Some of the industries an automotive service writer may find work in are corporations, government agencies and auto repair. These specialists are responsible for assessing the working condition of a vehicle and calculating the cost of repairs. Understanding the mechanics of a vehicle is an important skill to have when becoming an automotive service writer.