Career Definition for BMW Specialists
BMW specialists perform routine maintenance on BMW vehicles and assess problems in vehicles that are brought in for repair. They use testing equipment to diagnose repairs, as well as testing parts and systems. They may work on engines, transmissions, steering systems, and electronic components in BMW model cars. Other duties of a BMW specialist may include ordering parts, assisting other mechanics, and documenting maintenance and repairs.
|Education||Diploma or degree in automotive repair, BMW STEP program completion|
|Job Skills||Background in automotive repair, BMW-specific maintenance, problem solving skills and communication skills|
|Median Salary (2015)||$37,850 (automotive service technician)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||5% (automotive service technician)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
To qualify for training as a BMW specialist, a student first must earn a diploma or associate's degree in automotive repair, which usually takes one to two years. The student then must enroll in a BMW Service Technician Education Program (STEP), which can last 12 weeks or more. Courses for a prospective BMW specialist may focus on specific BMW models, such as the X3 or X5, as well as BMW engines, brakes, and electrical and fuel systems.
BMW specialists must have a strong background in basic automotive repair, along with knowledge of BMW-specific maintenance. They must have the problem-solving skills to troubleshoot areas in need of repair. BMW specialists also must be good team members, since they often collaborate with other workers.
BMW mechanics, BMW technicians, and BMW repair specialists can expect average growth in their industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), although job availability is tied to BMW sales. The projected job growth for all automotive service technicians and mechanics is 5% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. The BLS published the median annual salary of all automotive service technicians as $37,850 in May 2015.
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Alternate Career Options
Automotive Body and Glass Repairer
When cars suffer body damage and broken glass as a result of motor vehicle accidents or other incidents, auto body and glass repairers fix or replace parts and windows, making sure the vehicle body is in proper alignment. They use specialized tools to remove and reattach parts; they may work alone on a job or as part of a team. People who work in this field can specialize in auto body work or auto glass installation and repair. Employers prefer candidates with postsecondary education such as a certificate or associate's degree program, even though a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair are just two of the organizations that offer industry certification. The BLS predicts that jobs in this field will increase 9% from 2014-2024; this occupation paid median wages of $39,880 in 2015.
Diesel Service Technician
A diesel service technician takes care of common service and maintenance tasks on vehicles that have diesel engines, like trucks and buses. He or she also identifies and diagnoses problems, repairing or replacing parts as needed. Diesel mechanics are high school graduates, although employers commonly prefer candidates with a certificate or associate's degree in diesel technology. Industry certification is available from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence in several areas of specialty. In some cases, a commercial driver's license is also a job requirement. The BLS predicts average job growth for diesel service technicians at 12% from 2014-2024; it also reports that diesel mechanics earned median pay of $44,520 in 2015.