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Skills Required for Success in Automotive Technology

The following is a list of essential skills and functions required to enter the courses in this program. Required functions are not limited to this list. The instructor must maintain lab and class safety. To protect students, faculty, staff and property, the instructor may need to remove a student from a course if that student does not follow instructions or if a student does not demonstrate an understanding of safety or if the student's conduct is determined unsafe by the instructor. Any prescription medication directly affecting the central nervous system causing drowsiness or loss of alertness, affecting overall motor function or impeding the ability to stay focused and on-task results in an unsafe lab environment for the individual and others. Applicants and students should be able to perform these essential functions or with reasonable accommodations, such as the help of compensatory techniques and/or assistive devices, demonstrate the ability to become proficient in these essential functions. All students must have a current, valid driver’s license when enrolled in AUT prefix courses.



Technical Standard


Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for diagnosis of automotive failures.

Identify cause-effect relationships of automotive malfunctions; evaluate vehicle or instrument responses; synthesize data, draw sound conclusions.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with customers, supervisors, and fellow employees from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.

Establish rapport with customers and colleagues. Use therapeutic communication (attending, clarifying, coaching, facilitating, teaching). Function (consult, negotiate, share) as a part of a team.

Communication Ability

Communication abilities sufficient for effective interaction with others in spoken and written English.

Explain repair procedures, document and interpret instructions. Listen attentively. Exhibit effective customer service communication skills.

Physical Endurance

Remain continuously on task for several hours while standing, sitting, moving, lifting, bending and/or working in awkward positions.

Manually operate tools and equipment or perform diagnostic test while standing/walking for extensive periods of time.


Physical abilities sufficient to maneuver in small spaces; full range of notion; manual and finger dexterity; and hand-eye coordination.

Move around vehicles, work in awkward spaces and positions, manipulate fasteners and tools.

Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide repair techniques and operate equipment. Including vehicle operation with manual transmission

Calibrate and use equipment and tools; remove and install automobile parts which range from small and delicate to large, heavy and awkward with necessary strength and dexterity. Hold a valid drivers license

Hearing Ability

Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess vehicle noises.

Hear vehicle noise which signal malfunctions or locations of defects.

Visual Ability

Normal or corrected visual ability sufficient for vehicle observation and assessment, ability to discriminate between subtle changes in density (black to gray) of a color in low light.

Observe vehicle responses, wire color, liquid color. Read service manuals/bulletins, gauges, charts, scales, screens, printouts, and labels.

Tactile Ability

Tactile ability sufficient for mechanical assessment.

Perform diagnosis by use of touch (feel) and sensory vibrations.

Olfactory Ability

Olfactory senses (smell) sufficient for assessment of abnormal conditions of automobile operation.

Distinguish smells which are contributory to assessing automotive system failures such as burnt oil, fuel leakage, and unusual exhaust odor.

Professional Attitude and Demeanor

Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain own physical and mental health, and emotional stability.

Work under stressful conditions created by time limits, unreasonable customer expectations. React calmly to customer complaints which may be presented by hostile actions. Demonstrate empathy and concern for customers position and needs.

Alertness, Ability to Focus

Ability to focus and concentrate on diagnostic, repair, and maintenance tasks requiring electrical and mechanical skills.

Operate hand, power tools, and standard industry equipment. Use and interpret diagnostic software (scan tools), computer-based software, and electronic diagnostic test equipment.