Aspiring service advisors could gain valuable career knowledge through an undergraduate degree program in automotive management. Students at the associate's degree level learn the fundamentals of business management, automotive technology and marketing. Graduates may be prepared for entry-level careers. Bachelor's-level programs focus largely on automotive repair and sales, and they could lead to mid-level positions. Many programs offer and require internships that allow students to gain experience.
Associate's Degree in Automotive Management
Students interested in becoming automotive service advisors might choose to pursue an associate's degree in automotive management. These 2-year programs help students build their automotive and business skills so they can assist customers in making informed decisions about service to their vehicles. An associate's degree in automotive management also can be beneficial for those students who want to start and manage their own service stations.
Service advisors act as liaisons between auto mechanics and customers. Programs that prepare individuals to become service advisors impart knowledge of automotive services, business administration and customer service.
Through an automotive management associate's degree program, students also learn to run and market an automotive business. Some course topics students might explore are listed below:
- Business management
- Automotive technology
- Interpersonal communication
- Automotive performance analysis
Bachelor's Degree in Automotive Management
Bachelor's degree programs are often flexible enough to allow students to focus their studies on industry areas that interest them. Depending on the type of program, some schools require that students have an associate's degree or equivalent academic training before applying. Graduates of bachelor's programs typically can obtain mid-level automotive management positions.
On the bachelor's level, automotive management courses focus mainly on management and customer service training, although they also reinforce automotive repair topics. Most programs require an internship. Some program topics that may be covered include the following:
- Business finance
- Environmental laws and practices
- Sales and marketing
- Customer relations
- Engines, transmissions and brake inspections
- Automotive electrical systems standards
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes service advisors among installation, maintenance and repair-related workers. Job opportunities for automotive service technicians and mechanics were forecast to increase by 5% in the decade spanning 2014 through 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Salaries for automobile service advisors averaged $38,715 in January 2016, according to PayScale.com. The highest paying industries for service advisors included automobile oil change and lubrication shops, wholesale heavy duty truck dealerships and automobile repair garages.
Students can pursue degrees in automotive management at both the associate's and bachelor's level. Not only will they gain practical experience, but they will also learn key business skills and strategies to ensure they are successful in the industry.