Growth Trends for Related Jobs
The advancement of technology has improved the lifespan of automobiles and today's mechanics need updated skills to perform basic maintenance tasks. Oil change technicians must understand how different vehicles function. Many employers require knowledge of other vehicle components, such as air filters, belts, essential fluids, batteries and windshield wipers. Furthermore, oil change technicians must possess customer service skills, attention to detail and a strong willingness to learn.
Oil change technicians, or automotive service technicians, earned a national average salary of $38,200 annually in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paid employees earned $59,590, the middle 50 percent earned between $26,320 and $47,280 and those receiving the lowest compensation earned $20,200 annually.
Automotive service technicians in several states earned substantially more than others. Alaska, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts were the top-paying states in 2010, according to the BLS. Technicians employed in these states earned between $43,110 in Massachusetts and $51,870 annually in Alaska.
Education and Advancement
Employers typically accept a high school diploma, at minimum, but are beginning to require ASE certification or some post-secondary education. Oil change technicians have several options to gain the necessary education for an entry-level position. Many dealerships, such as BMW and Nissan, work in partnership with community colleges and technical or vocational schools to provide a comprehensive training program. Furthermore, gaining ASE certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence can increase the opportunity for advancement and higher salary.
Benefits and Commission
Medical insurance, retirement and other benefit plans play a large role in overall compensation. Automotive employers may provide some benefits, but the practice is not customary, according to the BLS. However, many employers provide additional compensation in the form of commission.
Peyton Brookes is a workforce development expert and has written professionally about technology, education and science since 2009. She spent several years developing technology and finance courses for social programs in the Washington, D.C. area. She studied computer and information science at the University of Maryland College Park.