Thursday, April 28, 2011

RV Service Technician


Nature of the work
RV Service Technicians inspect, maintain, and repair RVs that run on gasoline, electricity, or alternative fuels, such as ethanol. They perform basic care maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, diagnose more complex problems, and plan and execute vehicle repairs.

RV service technicians' responsibilities have evolved from simple mechanical repairs to high-level technology-related work. Today, integrated electronic systems and complex computers regulate vehicles and their performance while on the road. This increasing sophistication of RV's requires workers who can use computerized shop equipment and work with electronic components while maintaining their skills with traditional hand tools. Technicians must have an increasingly broad knowledge of how vehicles' complex components work and interact. They also must be able to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and digital manuals and reference materials.

Education and Training
Most employers regard the successful completion of a vocational training program in automotive service technology or RV Service Technician as the best preparation for trainee positions. High school programs, while an asset, vary greatly in scope. Graduates of these programs may need further training to become qualified. Some of the more extensive high school programs participate in Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES), a partnership between high school automotive repair programs, automotive manufacturers, and franchised automotive dealers. All AYES high school programs are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Students who complete these programs are well prepared to enter entry-level technician positions or to advance their technical education. Courses in automotive repair, electronics, physics, chemistry, English, computers, and mathematics provide a good educational background for a career as a service technician.

Job outlook
Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to increase by 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, slower than the average for all occupations.  Continued growth in the number of vehicles in use in the United States will lead to new jobs for workers performing basic car maintenance and repair.  More entry-level workers will be needed to perform these services, such as oil changes and replacing worn brakes. Additionally, the average lifespan of vehicles is increasing, which will further increase the demand for repair services, especially post-warranty work. The increasing use of advanced technology in automobiles will also lead to new opportunities for repair technicians, especially those with specialized skills or certifications. Workers with expertise in certain makes or models of vehicles, or with an advanced understanding of certain systems, such as hybrid-fuel technology, will be in demand. At the same time, consolidation in the automobile dealer industry, a significant employer of technicians, will limit the need for new workers.


Earnings
Median hourly wages of RV Service Technicians and mechanics, including commission, were $16.88 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.44 and $22.64 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.71 per hour.

Story & Salary information courtesy of Bureau of Labor 

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