Due to the increasing sophistication of technology in cars, high-tech skills and equipment are becoming a necessity in the auto industry.
More than four-fifths of auto repair workers now use computers on the job, according to a survey by the National Institute for Auto Service Excellence. Hand-held computer diagnostic tools, in particular, are increasingly important for workers to utilize.
“The profession is being revolutionized,” ASE President Tim Zilke said. “Brute force has been supplanted by brain power. If you don’t think so, just look under the hood of one of today’s sport coupes or SUVs. This is rocket science – or very close to it.”
Zilke noted technicians today need to be master diagnosticians and have a thorough understanding of electronics.
High-tech systems are becoming standard features on many vehicles today, according to YNN News. Stability and traction control systems, adaptive cruise control and anti-lock brakes are among the common features. Digital technology, like internet connectivity, voice recognition commands, and GPS mapping are also widely prevalent.
This is not to mention the growing market for hybrid and electric vehicles, which can be drastically different from traditional cars when it comes to repairs.
For consumers of new cars, technicians who master the features will be the go-to repairmen. Auto workers who ignore the trends, however, or lack the necessary equipment, could be left out of the new market.
Investing in new equipment
Many automotive workers could find themselves needing new or upgraded equipment to stay competitive. Acquiring tools specific to hybrid vehicles could boost one’s share of potential clients, while hand-held diagnostic devices could improve efficiency. Luckily for technicians looking to invest, current legislation allows tax breaks on business equipment purchases on business equipment purchases, but only until December 31. Those who lack cash on hand should consider equipment financing before the deadline.