Those who like working with their hands and enjoy vigorous exercise, are interested in automotive maintenance, and like working with tools and meeting new people, should consider a career as a tire service technician. In a time of lackluster economic growth and high unemployment, it's a stable vocation that will be in demand for the foreseeable future.
A tire service tech needs to be in reasonably good physical condition, able to read and understand instructions and do basic math. Most service techs will learn the trade through on the job training, as it's usually an entry-level job. A tire service tech will be expected to learn about the products their employer sells, not only tires but the accessories that go with them, and the basics of how tires are constructed. And of course a tech will learn about the most common types of tire repairs and how to perform them safely and efficiently.
Typical Working Conditions for a Tire Service Technician
Most tire service technicians will spend their working days inside an automotive garage, although if a tire tech is expected to repair truck, tractor and heavy equipment tires, they'll spend more time outdoors. Auto shops run the gamut from very dirty to very clean, depending on the employer. A tire tech can expect to get dirty in any case. The work ranges from moderately to heavily physically demanding. In addition to repairing and mounting tires, a tech will stock new inventory and keep the workplace and tools clean.
A tire service tech will learn how to use a variety of specialized tools, including machines to mount and dismount tires from rims, pneumatic tools and jacks, and tire balancing equipment. An employer will regularly reviews safety procedures with technicians, including verbal and video instruction. Any employer that neglects safety should be avoided.
Tire shops generally open early in the morning, and are often open on weekends too. In addition, a service tech might find themselves on call at odd hours.
Hitting The Road as a Tire Service Tech
Some tire technicians specialize in tractor-trailer tires, and they'll usually do heavy equipment tires also. This requires being mobile, and much of their work will be done on the side of the road or at a construction site, often in bad weather. They'll operate a tire service truck completely outfitted with all the tools they might need, including an air compressor. It's hard but rewarding work.