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Service Advisor

Education and Training: Certificate or associate’s degree in Automotive technology required.
Average Salary: $47,000 per year
Job Outlook: Fair

Automotive service advisors perform a variety of automobile service repairs as well as customer service and management functions. The main function of automobile services advisors is to oversee automotive technicians ensuring repairs and maintenance operations are being conducted properly. Service advisors also schedule customer appointments. Other job functions include dealing with business partners such as automobile parts manufactures, automobile makers, and vendors. They are responsible for all operations of the business. Service advisors work in a variety of locations include automobile dealerships and repair shops. Some service advisors specialize in automobiles, recreational vehicles, transmission repair, automobile maintenance, or brake repair.

Education and Training Requirements

Completion of an automotive training program combined with industry experience qualifies an individual for a job as a service coordinator. Most automotive technology programs are housed within community, career, technical and trade colleges. Programs range in length from 1-2 years and confer certificates and two-year associate’s degrees. Ongoing training is required as part of the job. Most technical service advisors must be ASE certified which requires constant certification as standards change. Vehicles are constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated which requires service advisors to be knowledgeable of current technology and repair and diagnosis methods.

Postsecondary training programs are very hands on as students spend the majority of their time learning automotive repair skills. They are also required to pass an internship experience where they spend several hours working in a real repair shop. Upon completion of their postsecondary training they typically become ASE certified.

Getting the Job

In addition to industry certification and postsecondary education, service advisors need to have at least 3-5 years of experience before moving into the role of a service advisor. They must have extensive repair knowledge, strong customer service skills, management abilities, and be highly organized.

Service advisor position announcements are readily available on internet job sites, newspaper classified ads, dealership websites, and trade magazines.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job outlook is expected to be fair. The auto industry has suffered major losses in recent years as a result in sales decreases due to poor economic conditions and slow consumer spending. The majority of new positions will be due to existing service advisors retiring. Most service advisors start out as automotive technicians working under the authority of a service advisor. Once they get enough experience they move into an advisor role. Most service advisors stay in the position until retirement. Some venture out and open their own repair shop.

Working Conditions and Environment

Service advisors work in a very hands-on, fast-paced environment. They spend the vast majority of the time on their feet requiring physical and mental stamina. The job can be somewhat stressful in dealing with difficult customers and challenging repair jobs. Service advisor’s hours vary depending on location. It is very common for them to work weekends as most repair shops are open Saturday to attract customers.

Salary and Benefits

The average automotive service advisor makes an annual salary of $47,000. Full medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits are common. Service advisors also receive paid vacation and sick days.

Where to Go for More Information

Automotive Service Association
P.O. Box 929, Bedford, Texas 76095-0929
Physical Address: 1901 Airport Freeway
Bedford, Texas 76021
Toll Free: (800) 272-7467

National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Ste. 101
Leesburg, VA 20175.
(703) 669-6650

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Ste. 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 669-6650

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