Tire Technician: Employment & Career Info

Mar 17, 2019

Tire technicians install and repair tires for cars, trucks, and off-the-road (OTR) vehicles, such as tractors and heavy equipment. They work for repair shops, tire stores, rubber manufacturers, car dealership service departments, and roadside service providers. Read on to learn about the requirements and benefits of this occupation.

Career Definition for a Tire Technician

Tire technicians install, repair, balance, and rotate tires for passenger and commercial vehicles. They patch tires, inspect wear patterns, and ensure that tires are correctly inflated and properly replaced on the vehicle. Tire techs may also perform specialty tire work, such as studding tires for snow, retreading previously worn off-the-road (OTR) tires, and repairing run-flat tires. Tire technicians who work in tire stores may sell tires, conduct inventory, and maintain tire repair equipment. Tire technicians who perform roadside service may jumpstart vehicles and provide lockout assistance in addition to changing flats.

Education High school diploma or equivalent usually required, on the job training and certification also available
Job Skills Customer service, technical knowledge, basic computer proficiency, heavy lifting
Median Salary (2017)* $26,710 (for tire repairers and changers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 1% (for tire repairers and changers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Many employers require tire technicians to have a high school diploma or equivalent in addition to experience, but other employers will train on the job. Employers may also require certification courses in tire technology offered through the Tire Industry Association (TIA), such as the Basic Commercial Tire Service (CTS) Training and Certificate Program. Certification must be renewed every two years through an online recertification class offered through TIA.

Skills Required

Tire technicians must have good customer service skills as well as in-depth technical knowledge about tire repair. Many techs are also responsible for maintaining repair equipment, so mechanical aptitude is a plus. They must have good communication skills and basic computer proficiency. Employers expect tire technicians to be able to work independently with minimal supervision and manage time effectively. Tire repair requires heavy lifting and the ability to operate repair machinery safely in any environment, including repair facilities and on the roadside. Many positions require a valid driver's license and good driving record.

Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), in May of 2017, the median annual salary earned by tire repairers and changers was $26,710. The majority of tire technicians at that time were employed by automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores. The BLS also predicted that employment opportunities for tire repairers and changers would grow by 1% between 2016 and 2026.

Alternate Career Options

Below are some other choices for careers in labor:

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These workers could expect much faster than average employment growth of 17% from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. Even without a high school diploma, those interested in entering this occupation can learn on the job to repair or clean septic tanks, drains and sewer lines. In 2017, the BLS reported annual median wages of $37,950 for these servicers and cleaners.

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Although most of these laborers have high school diplomas, employment is sometimes secured without. Work duties involve fulfilling a wide variety of physical tasks around construction sites, such as mixing cement, digging trenches, setting braces, cleaning up debris and helping other craftspeople. The BLS revealed an annual median salary of $34,530 for this occupation in 2017 and predicted faster than average job growth, at 12%, during the 2016-2026 decade.

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