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How to Become an Electric Car Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Explore the requirements to become an electric car technician. Learn about the job description and duties, and check out the step-by-step process that can help you start a career in automotive technology. View article »

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  • 0:04 Electric Car Technicians
  • 1:07 Step 1: Automotive Training
  • 2:11 Step 2: Entry-Level Work
  • 2:26 Step 3: Industry…

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Video Transcript

Electric Car Technicians

Electric car technicians service and repair electric and hybrid-electric cars, or vehicles that run on both gasoline and electricity. This job involves diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing these vehicles.

Degree Level Certificate; associate's degree.
Degree Field Automotive technology; hybrid technology.
Licensure and Certification Industry standard practice; generally required by most employers
Experience 2-5 years preferred by many employers. Time spent in internship often counted towards requirement.
Key Skills Good customer service, mechanical, and troubleshooting skills. Attention to detail and manual dexterity are also important. Additionally, technicians should use industry software such as CODA Engine Analysis System
Salary (2015) $40,720 (Average annual salary for Automotive Mechanics and Service Technicians)

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive mechanics and service technicians in general can expect a 5%, or fast-as-average growth, in jobs between 2014 and 2024. Employment may be further affected by consumer use of maintenance-free and more reliable electric cars.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Note: sources such as Payscale.com report that technicians specializing in electric or hybrid-electric vehicles earn more.

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Step 1: Automotive Training

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive mechanics and service technicians who have completed some level of postsecondary education will have the best job prospects. Training programs can be found at community colleges or technical and vocational schools. Aspiring electric car technicians may begin their careers by enrolling in a certificate or associate's degree program in automotive technology with a focus on hybrid technology. These programs teach students about alternative energy sources as applied to the automotive industry. Coursework may include fuel cell theory and operations as they relate to automotive service and repair. Students also learn about motor generators and high voltage battery packs.

Success Tip:

Complete an internship. Internship programs provide students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the automotive industry. The time spent completing an internship can usually be counted toward work-experience requirements sought by some employers.

Step 2: Entry-Level Work

Entry-level electric car technicians may find employment with manufacturers, dealerships, or repair shops. New technicians may be assigned to more experienced mechanics in order to gain experience with complex tasks.

Step 3: Industry Certifications

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifies automotive technicians in several specialties, including alternative fuels and engine machinery. Earning this certification can demonstrate automotive aptitude and increase employment opportunities. Each certification requires at least two years of experience in the respective area. However, the ASE may substitute formal training, such as completion of an apprenticeship or postsecondary certificate or degree program, for one or more years of required experience.

Just to recap, electric car technicians need automotive training and entry-level experience and may benefit from a professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Automotive mechanics and service technicians overall earned an average of $40,720 a year as of May 2015.

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