Automotive Services Manager: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Learn about a career as an automotive service manager. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Job Description for an Automotive Services Manager

Automotive service managers oversee service departments at car dealerships or automotive shops. Typically, these jobs include the same work that automotive service technicians are responsible for, in addition to management duties. These tasks include hiring, training, managing and firing employees, as well as serving as their department's main contact with factory representatives. Automotive service managers also control costs within their department and create marketing plans. They must keep detailed service and inventory records. Finally, they act as a representative for the shop to customers and communicate with executives and owners on the status of their departments.

Education Associate or bachelor's degree in automotive service management or related field is typical
Certification Usually required; available through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
Job Skills Marketing, technical, accounting and communications skills
Median Salary (2019) $55,083* (for automotive service managers)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 10%** (for administrative services and management occupations)

Source: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Automotive service managers usually have an associate or bachelor's degree in automotive service management or a related field. Typical courses may include accounting, automotive technology, customer relations and industry software applications. Automotive training and several years of experience as a technician are common requirements; in some cases, automotive sales managers may make a transition to service management.

Certification

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification also is usually required for automotive service managers. Certification is earned by completing an approved automotive service training program and passing written, oral and practical exams.

Required Skills

O*Net Online reported that automotive service workers should have the following traits:

  • Strong communication skills to work with customers, suppliers, upper management and employees
  • Accounting skills in order to run a profitable department
  • Marketing knowledge to build a solid clientele
  • Technical and mechanical skills
  • Business-savvy personality
  • Ability to spend long days on their feet
  • Detail-oriented trouble-shooting skills needed to make unusual diagnoses

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for management occupations will be 10% projected growth from 2016-2026. However, competition for jobs may be tough as the automotive industry continues to cut costs and close dealerships. Advancements in technology have also limited the number of managers needed by potential employers. The median salary for automotive service managers was $55,083 in March 2019, according to PayScale.com.

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