Pros and Cons of Working as a BMW Mechanic
BMW mechanics are automotive service technicians who diagnose, repair and maintain automobiles manufactured by BMW. Consider the pros and cons of this automotive career to determine if this job is the right fit for you.
|PROS of a BMW Mechanic Career|
|A high school diploma or GED is often enough to get started as a mechanic*|
|The majority of job opportunities expected over the next decade will be at car dealerships*|
|Training as an automotive mechanic may create opportunities for self-employment*|
|Average employment growth expected for all technicians and mechanics (9% increase in jobs is expected between 2012 and 2022)*|
|CONS of a BMW Mechanic Career|
|Most mechanics work overtime*|
|Mechanics have a high rate of illness and injuries*|
|Job is typically dirty and mechanics can work for long hours in uncomfortable positions*|
|On-the-job training is typically required*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job Duties and Career Information
Mechanics are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of BMWs and complete repair orders in a timely fashion. All of a BMW mechanic's work needs to meet the standards of the dealership as well as the manufacturer.
In order to ensure the work is up to standards, most of these particular mechanics are certified by BMW and are often graduates of the company's STEP program, which provides training and development to prospective BMW technicians.
Career Path and Education
Prospective automotive mechanics often obtain entry-level jobs once they complete their high school diploma or GED. Many mechanics also take automotive technology courses at a community college or vocational school that lead to a certificate or an associate degree in the field.
Mechanics specifically interested in BMWs can enroll in the company's STEP program that is designed to train technicians to work on different types of BMWs. The STEP program lasts twenty weeks and graduates are matched up with a BMW dealership, which provides further training as well as a mentor program.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the automotive technology field will undergo a moderate degree of growth during the next decade. The BLS projected that, as a whole, automotive mechanics will experience a 9% increase in job opportunities between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also pointed out that car dealers, which would include BMW dealerships, employed about 19% of automotive mechanics in 2014. In the same year, the BLS reported that automotive mechanics earned an average of around $39,000.
What Are the Requirements?
In addition to specific technical training, many BMW dealerships prefer mechanics that have some professional experience. Mechanics should be able to work independently and have sharp problem-solving skills. Mechanics are also expected to have formidable customer service skills and pay close attention to detail. Additionally, some employers may seek out mechanics that hold a certification credential.
Real Job Listings
Once you begin your job search, you will find that BMW dealerships prefer mechanics with great customer service skills and the ability to perform technical repairs that meet a high standard of quality. Employers also prefer mechanics that have previously worked in automotive technology. Below you will find available jobs that were posted in April 2012:
- A California BMW dealership is interested in hiring a service technician that can complete repair orders quickly and work independently. The dealership prefers a mechanic that is professionally certified and has completed an automotive training program.
- A Michigan-based BMW dealership is seeking a mechanic with manufacturer's training and a minimum of a high school diploma. The successful applicant will be required to diagnose service issues, complete repair orders, obtain needed parts for repairs and document all the work they perform.
- A BMW dealership in Southern California is seeking a technician who has completed BMW's training program and has experience working in a dealership. Successful candidates must also have a driver's license and provide their own tools.
How to Stand Out as a BMW Mechanic
If you are concerned about the competitive nature of your job search, there are ways for you to stand out as a BMW mechanic. For example, you can obtain professional automotive technology certification from an organization like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
The ASE offers different types of professional certification for all levels of automotive mechanics. Although this credential is not specific to BMW, some employers prefer mechanics that have comprehensive training in automotive technology and an ability to work on different types of cars.
Automotive Body Repair Technician
If you would like to work with cars, but you are not interested in working with BMWs in a technical capacity, you may look into repairing the bodies of cars. Auto body repair technicians work with the frames, bodies and aesthetic features of an automobile that may have been damaged in an accident.
The BLS reported that these technicians would experience a slightly higher increase in job opportunities at 19% between 2010 and 2020. The agency also reported that auto body repair technicians earned an average salary of approximately $42,000 in 2011.
Heavy Vehicle Service Technician
Heavy vehicle service technicians work with vehicles that are typically used for construction, farming or other types of industries. These vehicles may include tractors, cranes, bulldozers or large trucks. The salary potential is slightly higher, which the BLS reported was an average salary of $47,000 in 2011. The BLS also predicted that job opportunities would increase by 16% between 2010 and 2020.
Small Engine Mechanic
If you'd like to work with engines, but you are not interested in repairing cars or trucks, you may want to try working as a small engine mechanic. Small engine mechanics work on motorized equipment and vehicles like motorboats and motorcycles. The BLS projected a 21% rate of growth for this profession between 2010 and 2020. In 2011, the BLS also reported that these mechanics earned an average salary of $31,000.