Japanese Automotive Repair Technician: Job Information & Training Requirements

Mar 18, 2019

Read on for more information about becoming a Japanese automotive repair technician. Get details about the education and training required to see if this is the right job for you.

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Career Definition for a Japanese Automotive Repair Technician

Japanese automotive repair technicians diagnose, install, repair, and maintain parts and systems in Japanese-manufactured vehicles. Although they may still use traditional hand tools to fix problems, Japanese automotive repair technicians use technical systems such as digital computer diagnostics to evaluate and correct malfunctions since Japanese cars are known to have more complex internal parts and systems.

Education Associate degree or certificate preferred
Job Skills Communication, technical skills, understanding of the Japanese language in speaking and writing
Median Salary (2017)* $39,550 (for automotive repair technicians and mechanics)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 6% (for automotive repair technicians and mechanics)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Knowledge of foreign car parts and systems is the most important educational asset to have in this auto repair specialty. A 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Mechanics or shorter certificate in automotive repair and maintenance program provide academic credentials and training, and those looking for a career in Japanese auto repair can earn a professional certificate to verify specific skills in foreign automotive repair. Hands-on experience such as working for a foreign car dealer can provide on-the-job training in new technologies that foreign cars possess.

Skills Required

A Japanese automotive repair technician should be a technically savvy problem-solver with excellent communication skills. Additionally, fluency in reading, writing, and speaking Japanese facilitates use of Japanese manuals and training materials and also interacting with people of different nationalities.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salary in 2017 for an auto repair technician was $39,550. The BLS also projected that job opportunities for all auto repair technicians will grow at an average rate of 6% from 2016 through 2026.

Alternate Career Options

Consider these other choices for careers in vehicle maintenance:

Diesel Mechanic

Diesel mechanics with postsecondary training perform maintenance and repair tasks as needed to keep diesel vehicles like buses, cars, and trucks running at optimum performance. Tasks can include fixing brakes, changing a battery, aligning the wheels, and more. Diesel mechanics use specialized diagnostic instruments and tools. Some diesel mechanics learn through on-the-job training instead of through a vocational program. Voluntary professional certification is available. Diesel mechanics are typically required to have a driver's license, and if they work on buses or heavy trucks, they'll need a Commercial Driver's License, too. According to the BLS, the number of jobs for diesel mechanics is expected to grow 9% from 2016-2026, which is about as fast as the average when compared to all occupations. The median salary for diesel mechanics was $46,360 in 2017, with the highest number of jobs located in Texas, California, and New York, per the BLS.

Small Engine Mechanic

Small engine mechanics identify and fix problems with the engines in motorcycles, motorboats, and related machinery. They repair or replace parts and also undertake typical maintenance tasks. Many small engine mechanics specialize with regard to the type of engine they'll work on. While it's common for small engine mechanics to work at relevant dealerships or repair shops, some are self-employed; the BLS estimated the rate of self-employment among small engine mechanics to be 12% in 2016. On-the-job training is common, as is completion of postsecondary training programs. Small engine mechanics may also hold voluntary professional certification.

Job prospects for small engine mechanics in general are expected to increase 5% from 2016-2026, per the BLS; among areas of specialty, the predicted employment increase is 0% for motorcycle mechanics, -1% for motorboat mechanics, and 10% for outdoor power equipment mechanics. In 2017, the BLS reported that motorcycle mechanics earned a median salary of $35,680, motorboat mechanics earned $38,960, and outdoor power equipment mechanics earned $34,370.

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