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How Do I Become an Automotive Service Advisor?

A service advisor is responsible for providing a mechanic with a description of a vehicle's problems.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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There are several ways to become an automotive service advisor, a customer service representative who helps people make decisions about car maintenance and repair. One option is technical or vocational school to learn about the basics of mechanics and auto estimates. Another way is through on the job training and experience. In both cases, it can help to earn a certificate from a professional organization. Certificates are not required, but they can be evidence of aptitude and a desire to perform at a high level.

Students interested in pursuing formal training can take a one year certificate or two year associate’s program in automotive technology. This can help candidates prepare to become an automotive service advisor by providing information on car repair, how to conduct estimates, and how to approach different car problems. It may also be helpful to take classes in business and customer service. These members of car service teams work directly with the public and need good people skills to attract and retain customers.

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On the job experience is another route to become an automotive service advisor. This starts with basic jobs around a car repair shop or dealership, which may include managing parts, assisting mechanics, and helping service advisors. As people develop experience, they can take on more complex jobs that may eventually lead to a promotion. People may need to train for several years on the job to become an automotive service advisor. While working, they receive pay and may be offered benefits, depending on company policies.

Certificates are available for people with an interest in advanced qualifications. To get a certificate, people usually need to sit for an examination and may need to be able to provide documentation of experience and/or training. The value of such qualifications depends on the issuing authority. Before people apply to take a test, it may be a good idea to look up the organization to learn more about its reputation. If numerous repair shops prefer applicants bearing certificates and the organization has a good reputation, it can be a sound career decision.

Keeping up with developments in the field is also part of the job after someone has become an automotive service advisor. It’s necessary to know about new car systems and repair options to provide accurate and helpful advice to customers. For those who work with specific makes of car, employers may provide seminars and training to keep their staff up to date on current models and issues. In shops that handle a variety of cars, subscribing to trade publications and attending conferences can help staff keep up with the latest technology.

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