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Automotive Exhaust Emissions Technician Job Description, Career as an Automotive Exhaust Emissions Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training High school plus training

Salary Median—$15.68 per hour

Employment Outlook Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Technicians who test vehicle exhaust emissions may work at service stations, at car dealerships, or for the automobile manufacturing industry. Some are employed by state governments in their vehicle inspection programs.

By connecting sensors to the exhaust systems of vehicles, the technicians can test the content of the exhaust and compare it to set standards for emissions. They may use gauges and dynamometers (instruments that measure the strength of the engine and related parts) during the tests. They may also repair exhaust malfunctions that the tests reveal. Technicians are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and calibrating the test equipment.

Education and Training Requirements

Technicians are required to have postsecondary education, such as the two- and four-year programs offered by community colleges and technical schools. High school preparation should include courses in mathematics and laboratory science as well as automotive, metals, and electrical courses.

Certification is usually required for this profession, either through a state program or the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Automobile dealers generally prefer to hire technicians who have certificates of special training from industry educational centers.

Technicians attach sensors and other equipment to automobiles to check the contents of engine exhaust. They work for service stations, car dealerships, or the automobile manufacturing industry. (© William Taufic/Corbis.)

Getting the Job

Job seekers can apply directly to the personnel offices of auto dealerships or other automotive firms. School placement offices usually have up-to-date listings of job openings. Graduates may be recruited by the automotive industry during their final semesters.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

With experience and, in some cases, additional education, technicians can be promoted to several advanced technical positions or to supervisory positions.

The employment outlook for automotive exhaust emissions technicians is only fair through 2014. The increased use of automation, which results in greater productivity, will limit the number of job openings.

Working Conditions

Most technicians work in garage facilities. Those who work for manufacturing companies may work in engineering design departments or laboratories. Technicians often work outdoors in all kinds of weather. They generally work forty hours per week. Overtime may be necessary.

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary, depending on the type of company or agency and location. In 2004 the median salary of specialty technicians employed by the automobile manufacturing industry was $15.68 per hour.

Where to Go for More Information

Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association
1730 M St. NW, Ste. 206
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 296-4797

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Ste. 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 669-6600

Benefits for full-time automotive exhaust emissions technicians usually include health insurance and paid vacations.

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