Like many students nearing high school graduation, Kristi Fischer was unsure about what she wanted to do with her future. Career counselors encouraged her to become a nurse or a teacher, but those jobs didn’t really strike a chord with her.
She had always loved auto shop class, and with prompting from her teacher, Kristi pursued an education at Dunwoody College. After working as an auto tech for two years, Kristi transitioned to the service side of the industry, where she found her dream job as a service advisor. In this role, Kristi works with customers and auto techs to guide repairs through the shop. She spent a few years away from the industry, but she returned when she realized how much she missed being in the shop and the satisfaction of easing customers’ concerns and resolving issues.
Position: Auto Service Advisor
Job description: Act as liaison between customers and auto techs to guide car repairs through the shop. Order parts to repair cars and provide excellent customer service.
Salary: Median salary for an auto service advisor is $38,700 1
Job outlook: Average
Education: High school diploma required. Auto-specific degree recommended.
Character traits: Excellent communicator. Technical know-how. Attention to detail. Ability to multitask.
Considerations: Stress from constantly managing multiple projects.
Benefits of being a service advisor include the variety in everyday work and the feeling of satisfaction when you help solve a customer’s problem. Customers often don’t know exactly how to explain what’s wrong with their cars, and as a service advisor, you get to see how relieved customers are when you understand their frustration and provide a solution.
Kristi encourages women to get into the auto industry if it’s something they’re interested in. Having an auto teacher who supported her interest was instrumental. People may discourage you along the way, but always follow your passion and do what you love. Women can be very successful in this field, and when you’re good at your job, people love to be on your team.
Typically a service advisor position requires a two-year degree or program at a tech school. Service advisors also benefit from real-world experience, such as working as an auto tech to gain technical knowledge of vehicles. Service advisors need to continue education throughout their careers to understand the latest features and trends.
Increasing technology is one factor predicted to change the role of auto professionals in coming years, so knowledge of computers and electronics is increasingly important. Today, cars can have as many as 100 computers that control functions from braking and steering to wipers and entertainment systems.