Why is it important for young men and women to pursue a career as an auto service technician?

Whether you own a vehicle, use ride share programs or take mass transit, access to reliable transportation impacts just about every part of your life, including your family, safety, time and income. Skilled auto service technicians keep our vehicles in shape and moving, which in turn helps keep our lives moving along on schedule.

The skillset needed for a career in the auto service industry continues to evolve right along with automotive technology itself. Through the years, the workings of steam engines, the Model T, 1950s hot rods, muscle cars and modern high performing engines all rely on the same thing:  hands-on experts with the know-how to keep them running.

As auto manufacturers innovate and build the cars of tomorrow, it’s essential that there are auto technicians and mechanics with the expertise to keep these vehicles running their best. Their knowledge and skills help power the pace of our lives now and in the future.

How can organizations in the automotive industry support young hardworking men and women to pursue their passions in auto care?

Most people probably think being a successful technician means being good at working with your hands. Many people, including me, joined the automotive service field because they have a passion for cars. Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) also looks for technicians who have a passion for people.

Valvoline’s core value is our people. We have a saying internally that Valvoline makes the oil, our people make the difference. We think the best way organizations can support team members is to invest in them.

VIOC hires great folks with a passion for cars and people — and we train them well. When our team members start out with us, they don’t have to have a mechanical background or previous technical training. Utilizing our award-winning training program, we certify them on how to perform the preventive auto maintenance services we offer. Another way we aim to support our team members is by fostering a service center environment built on our other core values of safety and collaboration, where the team has each other’s backs.

Being an auto technician requires years of hard work and training. How can people build a long term and successful career in the field?

My own career, along with 98 percent of our leadership team, began as a service technician at Valvoline Instant Oil Change. What we’ve discovered over the years with other Valvoline Instant Oil Change technicians is those who build long-term, diverse careers with us have a passion for both cars and people. They want to be great at what they do. They make learning a way of life.

My advice for technicians interested in building a long-term career is to first find an employer that can offer you a career path — not simply a job. Jobs pay the bills in the short-term; a career fuels your passion to learn and succeed. It’s something you love.

From our team at Valvoline to the technicians and car lovers reading this, thank you for all that you do and happy National Automotive Technicians Day!