Automotive Service Writer Salary and Job Outlook

Automotive service writers play a key role in facilitating automotive service and repair. They’re every customer’s first point of contact with a car dealership, and automotive service writers rely on in-depth knowledge to be able to pinpoint what type of work needs to be done. Automotive service writers further need to excel at administrative work.

What do these masterful multi-taskers earn, on average, on a yearly basis?

Average Salary for Automotive Service Writers

The most recent data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, maintained by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that:

  • The median wage for customer service representatives across all sectors is $35,830 per year, as of May 2020.
  • Among automotive service technicians and mechanics, the median annual salary currently stands at $44,050. Salaries fluctuate greatly, however, and while the lowest-paid workers in this field make less than $25,790 per year, the top 10 percent of earners can bring home more than $71,940 a year.

Automotive service writers effectively straddle the line between customer service representatives and automotive technicians, and as such, they require expertise that other customer service workers do not need. What do these professionals earn per year, on average?

Data from suggests that automotive service writers make an average of $36,490 annually, with ranges between $32,547 and $41,592 being typical in this field.

Glassdoor, meanwhile, estimates an average yearly salary of $36,722 for automotive service writers. The salary-tracking platform adds that most workers in this sector tend to earn between $22,000 and $61,000 per year.

PayScale is slightly more optimistic, and this platform indicates that automotive service writers make an average of $44,771 per year. Ranges from $29,000 to $64,000 are most common, PayScale’s data would suggest.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that each of these platforms collects data in a different way — relying on a combination of job postings and salary figures provided by workers who are currently active in this field. While and Glassdoor offer very similar estimates, PayScale’s higher figure shows likely reflects the fact that automotive service writers with more experience, as well as those in certain locations, tend to earn more.

What Do Automotive Service Writers Make Per Hour?

Automotive service writers make an average of $13.61 per hour, PayScale suggests. This ballpark figure will be helpful to many people who are exploring this career, because many workers in this field work part-time instead of full-time. The precise hourly rate an automotive service writer can expect to earn depends on factors such as their experience, full job description, and their location, however.

Based on Experience

When we take a look at the typical salary ranges among automotive service writers, it is reasonable to assume that experience is one of the most important determining factors to help a worker reach the upper end of the salary scale. PayScale’s data backs this up. They suggest that novice automotive service writers make the lowest hourly rate at $12.82. After that, salaries rise very gradually each year. Once an automotive service writer has been in the field for 20+ years, however, their earnings rise sharply to an average of $17.41 per hour.

More experienced automotive service writers are likely to have more extensive knowledge of the automotive industry, after all. This allows them to take on additional responsibilities, something that will likely increase their yearly income.

Based on Education

Unfortunately, no clear data is available to shed light on the manner in which education influences the annual salary of an automotive service writer. Automotive service writers depend on a wide variety of skills to perform their jobs effectively, but these professionals do not typically require a degree. This means that automotive service writers who happen to have earned an Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, or beyond are unlikely to earn more. Having a traditional academic degree will not improve their productivity or knowledge in the automotive industry, after all.

Since a background in automotive technology will be valued, on the other hand, some employers will look for automotive service writers who have completed automotive trade school. This qualification may increase your earning potential, as well.

Top Paying States for Automotive Service Writers

California, Washington, DC, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas are, according to, the most lucrative states and regions in which you can be an automotive service writer. This is logical, considering the fact that salaries are generally higher in states that have a steeper cost of living.

Job Outlook for Automotive Service Writers?

The outlook for automotive service writers is unclear. While jobs in most sectors across the US economy are projected to see a growth of around eight percent between the present and the year 2030, jobs for automotive service technicians and mechanics are not expected to grow. This holds true for customer service jobs, as well.

This means that it may be hard to break into this industry, but also that those who already have jobs as automotive service writers are likely to have a fairly stable outlook.

What Exactly Does an Automotive Service Writer Do?

Automotive service writers have one of the most versatile jobs possible — making this a great career for people who enjoy working with vehicles as well as people, and who get bored quickly. Among the tasks an automotive service writer may perform over the course of their normal daily activities are:

  • Interacting with customers to learn about the problems they are having with their vehicles.
  • Recording this information into the database of the car dealership they are employed at, together with all other relevant customer data, and letting automotive mechanics and technicians know what type of work is required.
  • Scheduling appointments, keeping customers up to date about the status of their vehicles, and billing customers.

To be able to perform their jobs effectively, automotive service writers rely on fairly extensive background knowledge regarding automobiles — this is required both to get a preliminary idea of the issue the vehicle is having, and to communicate with mechanics.

On the other hand, automotive service writers also need go have excellent customer service skills and be able to work well with databases and carry out broad clerical work. Some automotive service writers perform related duties such as ordering parts from manufacturers and even test-driving cars with customers.

How to Become an Automotive Service Writer?

Becoming an automotive service writer can be as simple as looking for job vacancies through local job ads and online job boards, and then applying.

Some employers will be willing to work with entry-level candidates who have no industry experience, by providing on-the-job training. Many, however, will greatly value applicants who already have relevant experience, knowledge, or skills.

Qualifications to Be an Automotive Service Writer

Although no formal qualifications are required to become an automotive service writer, the qualifications employers look for when they are interviewing candidates vary. Those applicants who have completed automotive trade school will have an advantage. Some employers will look for candidates who are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ACE), but this is far from a universal requirement.

Qualified automotive mechanics who would like to transition to a desk-based role, such as due to age or injury, may make wonderful automotive service writers as well.

Skills to Be an Automotive Service Writer

Automotive service rely on a varied skill set. The best automotive service writers will:

  • Have a deep love of cars and other vehicles, as well as the corresponding background knowledge — learned formally or informally.
  • Greatly enjoy working with people, and have strong communication skills that allow them to effectively convey relevant information to both customers and automotive technicians and mechanics. People whose cars have broken down often face a lot of stress, and the ability to put customers at ease will be an asset.
  • Enjoy diverse types of administrative work, from data entry to answering phone calls and handling billing.
  • Be able to deal well with high workloads that may alternate with slow periods, during which an automotive technician may fill their time with general cleaning or helping mechanics.

Can You Be an Automotive Service Writer Without a Degree?

Yes, you can! Very few employers will require prospective automotive service writers to have completed an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, although there are always bound to be some exceptions.

Keep in mind that your job prospects may rise if you have completed automotive trade school, as well as if you are certified with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to demonstrate that you can uphold the highest possible customer service standards. However, this in no way means that driven and helpful candidates cannot become automotive service writers if they do not meet these conditions.

Once you have a track record in the field, you will likely always be able to find a job as an automotive service writer.




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