Diagnostic technician

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The Independent Online

A diagnostic technician deals with the inspection, maintenance, servicing and repair of vehicles. Technicians use diagnostic tools to identify the source of a problem and proceed to make the necessary adjustments and repairs.

What do you need to have studied?

In order to get onto an apprenticeship, core GCSE subjects are usually required. From there, you will need to progress from an NVQ level 2 light-vehicle service technician to a level 3 in light-vehicle diagnostics or light-vehicle mechanics, which may take several years.

How do you get a job?

Experience as a service technician is a must. You will also need to demonstrate knowledge of the newest diagnostic equipment and be able to use it to identify and rectify faults. Many companies do diagnostic training in order to keep up with new technologies; however, some have their own in-house training schemes.

Being accredited to ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) standard is a huge bonus for potential employers. The voluntary scheme, which hopes to set an industry standard, requires a minimum of three years’ experience before you can be assessed and give you accreditation. However, if an entrant has a level-three qualification and one year’s post-qualification experience, they may be eligible for assessment.

Is there an interview process?

There will almost certainly be an interview process in which you will need to demonstrate knowledge of diagnostic equipment. You are also expected to own your own tools.

What are the opportunities for career progression?

Diagnostic technicians may progress to the role of master technician if they stay up to date with new technology and work hard. They may also develop the knowledge and skills to become a workshop controller or breakdown engineer.

What’s the salary?

As a trainee you can expect to earn between £11,000 and £22,000 depending on age and stage of training; however, this may vary between regions and manufacturers.

What benefits are there?

With more experience you can expect this salary to rise, particularly if you progress to the role of master technician. You may also be eligible for holiday entitlement, a company pension and private healthcare scheme, depending on the company you work for.

What challenges are there?

Lifting heavy items and other strenuous activities may take place as part of the job, so a certain level of strength and fitness is required.

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