Owners of automotive garages are individuals with a strong passion for cars and engines who choose to turn their skills in automotive mechanics into a powerful and financially rewarding career. Automotive training programs at a qualified automotive institute provide fast, high-tech training in automotive repair and business management skills that the small business owner can put to immediate use in his garage.
Opening, operating and building your own automotive garage is a daunting task. The owner of an auto repair facility must oversee both the technical and administrative requirements of the business. Many self-employed automotive garage owners start out as a “one-man” shop until they build enough dependable regular business to justify adding employees.
Automotive garage owners inspect, maintain and repair both domestic and import cars, vans and light trucks that operate on electricity, gasoline, diesel or alternative fuels such as ethanol. They preform regularly scheduled basic maintenance such as tire rotations, tune-ups and oil changes. They also diagnose complex problems and preform the required repair. Small automotive garage owner may choose to specialize in certain types of repairs such as motor rebuilding, brakes or transmissions.
The United States Department of Labor reports automotive mechanics and technicians held approximately 763,700. Only 16 percent of automotive mechanics and technicians were self-employed. The majority worked for Federal, State or local governments, construction contractors, automobile dealerships, tire stores, gasoline stations and equipment leasing companies.
The majority of owners of automotive garages begin their careers as salaried employees. Now self-employed, their salaries are dependent on the geographical location, business reputation, the size of their business and whether they service all types of vehicles or if they specialize in a particular brand. Automotive garages specializing in imported cars charge considerably more than shops that primarily work on domestic cars and trucks. In a study conducted by First Research, Inc. 2007, “Automotive Repair Shops” and published January 2010, reports that the study included 267 small automotive garages with gross sales of less than $729,228. One thousand and sixty-eight larger businesses, with gross sales in excess of $729,28 were also included in the study.
Qualifications and Training
Automotive repair shop owners with the highest level of certification and experience earn the highest incomes. An automotive small business owner should be detail orientated, with good communication skills to communicate effectively with clients and vendors. Automotive garage owners have an educational background in auto mechanics from high school and vocational or trade schools, or they may have learned their skills working as an apprentice or entry-level mechanic. As automotive technology advances, automotive garage owners should attend manufacturer sponsored training classes, seminars or workshops to stay abreast of changes within the industry. Automotive maintenance and repair business owners should be experienced and knowledgeable in basic engine repair, automotive electronics and frame and body repair.
Employment Opportunity Outlook
American car owners rely on automotive garages to keep their vehicles running. Cars and trucks manufacturers increasingly employe computerized components, beyond the technical expertise of most “do-it-yourself” car owners. The U.S. Department of Labor reports employment opportunities for automotive mechanics is expected to increase by 5 percent between 2008 and 2018. Self-employed automobile mechanics with superior diagnostic abilities, who have stayed abreast of ever-evolving auto electronics, are likely to have the most business and earn the highest income in their field.