Share this page

Select an icon:

Job Photographs

  • A man, wearing overalls, is standing underneath a car, in a garage.  He is adjusting part of the car using a spanner.

    Making an adjustment to a car.

  • A man, wearing overalls, is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Looking online for technical information about a particular van model.

  • A man, wearing overalls, is standing in a garage.  He is making notes on a piece of paper attached to a clipboard.  There is a silver car to the side of him.

    Going through a check list of vehicle tests.

  • Two men are working on a car engine.  They are inside a garage.

    Repairing a vehicle.

  • A man, wearing overalls, is sitting in the driver's seat of a car.  He is holding an electrical piece of equipment used to find faults in the vehicle.

    Using computer-aided diagnostic equipment to check a vehicle for faults.

  • A man is standing in a garage, next to a silver car which has been raised up on a large jack.

    Lowering a car to the ground.

  • A man, wearing overalls, is standing at a small desk, in a garage.  He is using a computer.

    Using a gas analyser during a vehicle MOT test.

  • A man, wearing overalls and white latex gloves, is working on a car engine.  He is inside a garage.

    Servicing a car.

  • A Vehicle Technician.

  • Vehicle Technician

Vehicle Technician

Introduction

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

  • Auto-mechanic
  • Mechanic, Car
  • Vehicle Mechanic
  • Car Mechanic
  • Motor Vehicle Technician
  • Service Technician

Video: - Matthew: Light Vehicle Technician

Video: - Simon: Motor Vehicle Technician

Work Activities

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

Pay

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 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

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 'Apprenticeships - How do I apply?' for more details on applying for apprenticeship positions.

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.

Work Experience

Skills gained as a Garage Assistant or Tyre/Exhaust Fitter are an advantage for this career.

Progression

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.

Qualifications

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
  • motorsports

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

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/experience

Skills gained as a garage assistant or tyre/exhaust fitter are an advantage.

Courses

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.

Distance learning

International Correspondence Schools offer an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) certificate in Car Operation and Maintenance by distance learning.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)

Skills for the motor industry

Address: Fanshaws, Brickendon, Hertford SG13 8PQ

Tel: 01992 511521

Email: comms@theimi.org.uk

Website: www.theimi.org.uk

International Correspondence Schools (ICS Learn)

Distance learning

Tel: 0800 0563983

Email: icscourseadvisors@ics-uk.co.uk

Website: www.icslearn.co.uk

Transport Training Services Ltd (TTS)

Irish enquiries

Address: 15 Dundrod Road, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SS

Tel: 028 9082 5653

Email: mail@transport-training.co.uk

Website: www.transport-training.co.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

Please select your language

English