Career Definition for a Ford Automotive Service Technician
Ford automotive service technicians employ specialized techniques learned during their dealer-authorized training to ensure proper and safe operation of the vehicles they service, which include the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brands. Their advanced training provides them with the skills to accurately and quickly service the complex electronic and computer modules that control most aspects of vehicles today including their transition, climate control, braking, and windows, according to Ford.
|Education||Associate degree required|
|Job Skills||Patience, persistence, troubleshooting for electronics|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$43,180 (for service technicians in automobile dealerships)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||6% (for automotive service technicians and mechanics)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A dealer's ability to provide superior repair service is a key aspect of vehicle sales, and Ford maintains high standards for those it hires. The company requires aspiring Ford automotive service technicians to have a 2-year associate's degree in automotive technology and sponsors many of those programs, which provide the best opportunity to work at a dealership. Once employed, promising apprentices are sent to Ford's factory training program, which teaches advanced service techniques specifically designed for Ford vehicles.
Those seeking to become a Ford automotive service technician should possess patience and persistence combined with strong troubleshooting skills, particularly for complex electronic systems. These skills are in short supply, and dealers value those who possess them.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) reported that employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics, in general, is expected to increase 6% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for mechanics employed by dealerships in May 2017 was $43,180, though many experienced technicians employed by automobile dealers receive a commission related to the labor cost charged to the customer, leading to higher overall compensation.
Alternate Career Options
Some other career paths include:
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Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic
A diesel mechanic works exclusively on trucks, buses, and other vehicles that operate on diesel engines. Diesel mechanics identify problems and repair or replace the necessary parts. They also perform basic preventive maintenance for these vehicles. It's possible to get a job with a high school diploma, although some employers prefer postsecondary vocational training. Voluntary professional certification is available through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. The BLS reports that jobs in this field are expected to grow 9% from 2016-2026. The median annual salary earned by diesel mechanics in 2017 was $46,360, per the BLS.
Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technician
A heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technician often works on-site maintaining and repairing construction, farm, rail, mining, and other industrial vehicles. Employment is possible with a high school diploma and on-the-job training; aspiring heavy mechanics can also complete a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree program. Heavy mechanics can earn voluntary manufacturer-issued certification.
The employment outlook and median pay vary depending on the area of specialization. The BLS reports that jobs in this career field overall are projected to increase 8% from 2016-2026, while jobs in rail car repair are projected to increase 5% during that same decade. The median salary for heavy mechanics (except those who worked on engines) was $50,860 in 2017, per the BLS; farm equipment mechanics earned $39,340, and rail car repairers earned $57,460.