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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 (2015)*||$24,220 (for tire repairers and changers)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||4% (for tire repairers and changers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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.
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.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), in May of 2012, the median annual salary earned by tire repairers and changers was $23,410. 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 9% between 2012 and 2022.
Alternate Career Options
Below are some other choices for careers in labor:
Septic Tank Servicer and Sewer Pipe Cleaner
These workers could expect much faster than average employment growth of 16% or higher from 2014-2024, 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 2015, the BLS reported annual median wages of $35,370 for these servicers and cleaners.
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 $30,890 for this occupation in 2015 and predicted faster than average job growth, at 13%, during the 2014-2024 decade.