Do you love cars? Maybe you enjoy reading about them in magazines or online? Do you also want to understand how they work and learn all about what goes on underneath the bonnet? If the answer is 'yes', then maybe you should think about becoming a Vehicle Technician!
Also known as
- Mechanic, Car
- Vehicle Mechanic
- Car Mechanic
- Motor Vehicle Technician
- Service Technician
Video: - Matthew: Light Vehicle Technician
Video: - Simon: Motor Vehicle Technician
As a Vehicle Technician, you will service and repair cars, vans and other vehicles.
Using hand-held data technology (Pen Tablets), or a laptop, you will find out how well a vehicle works and check to see if its electronic systems are working properly.
To service a vehicle, you will do a number of careful checks, replacing any damaged or worn parts.
You will also need to have great customer service skills, as you'll be dealing with problems that customers report to you. This involves listening carefully to the customer's description of the problem, stripping down the part of the car where you think the problem is and doing the repair.
You duties could also include:
- carrying out MOT tests
- repairing damaged bodywork
- completing the paperwork needed for each job you perform
- ordering replacement parts and maintaining stock levels
You will need to strictly follow the health and safety procedures.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Vehicle Technician, you will need:
- excellent mechanical and technical skills to diagnose and repair faults to a wide range of vehicles
- to have an interest in cars and other vehicles, and how they work
- to work quickly and efficiently, particularly when under pressure
- the ability to use laptops and tablets to obtain technical information and guidance
- IT skills
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £20,500 - £23,000
- With experience: £25,000 - £28,000
- Senior Vehicle Technicians earn £30,500 - £33,000
Hours of work
You will usually work 39 hours a week, although shift work, including evenings, weekends and bank holidays is usual.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
Entry Routes and Training
You can get straight into this career as a school leaver, with just GCSEs. You will begin as a trainee, and train on-the-job. You might be able to work towards gaining a work-based qualification, such as a:
- Vocational Competency Qualification (VCQ)
- Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ)
- National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)
These can form part of an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship. Take a look at our information article
You will learn the skills and get the experience you need to become a skilled Vehicle Technician.
Or you could consider going to college and studing for a BTEC, City & Guilds or Cambridge Technical qualification.
Skills gained as a Garage Assistant or Tyre/Exhaust Fitter are an advantage for this career.
After gaining relevant skills, you could take a higher level qualification, such as the level 4 certificate in advanced automotive diagnostic techniques.
You could also join the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) programme, which tests the skills and knowledge of Vehicle Technicians working across the motor industry.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSE at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.
A BTEC level 2 or level 3 qualification will help you to stand out from the crowd. Subjects include:
- vehicle technology
- body building principles
- heavy vehicle maintenance and repair principles
- light vehicle maintenance and repair principles
- lift truck maintenance and repair principles
- motorcycle maintenance and repair principles
- vehicle accident repair body principles
- vehicle technology
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Skills gained as a garage assistant or tyre/exhaust fitter are an advantage.
Edexcel (BTEC) level 3 National qualifications are available on a full- or part-time basis, with college attendance (while in employment) on a day- or block-release basis.
Most colleges will consider applications from older candidates who don't have the usual entry requirements. You should check the admissions policy of individual colleges.
International Correspondence Schools offer an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) certificate in Car Operation and Maintenance by distance learning.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Engineering technology news
Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)
Skills for the motor industry
Address: Fanshaws, Brickendon, Hertford SG13 8PQ
Tel: 01992 511521
International Correspondence Schools (ICS Learn)
Tel: 0800 0563983
Transport Training Services Ltd (TTS)
Address: 15 Dundrod Road, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SS
Tel: 028 9082 5653
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844