MEDFORD, Ore. -- An automotive technician at Crater Lake Ford says there's about 50 modules inside cars these days, including miles and miles of wiring. Gone are the days of greased mechanics under the hood, today's automotive technicians need to keep up with constant advancements in technology.
Technicians at Crater Lake Ford are using the the latest technology to service cars that are changing every year.
"As a technician you’re constantly training. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the game for 20 years or if you just started," says Angel Foxx, a technician with Crater Lake Ford.
Not only is the technology within cars changing, but the tools that are needed to fix them.
"It’s not just turning wrenches and busting knuckles anymore. There’s a lot of hands on, there’s a lot of electrical testing. There’s quite a bit of, I guess, need for say an IT person in an automotive world," says Kyle Young, a Technician with Crater Lake Ford.
With these rapid changes in technology, and a demand for the latest-and-greatest car every year, technicians say it's important that technological training starts in the classroom.
Over at North Medford High School they're doing just that.
"There’s no use teaching these kids something we used 30 years ago," says Scott Childers, the Auto Service Technology Teacher at North Medford High School.
Childers brings decades of experience from Crater Lake Ford to his classroom. He's seen changes in the industry firsthand, and knows how to engage young students.
"You give a kid a computer screen in front of them that’s pulling codes out of a car, you’re kind of hitting both of their loves," says Childers.
With a supportive school district and grant funding, the school is able to provide students with updated cars and the latest technology.
"With the new vehicles we get to learn more things with them because they have more computers, more wires, less machinery," says Analiese, a senior at North Medford High School.
Students in these classes say new technology allows them to get more creative with their work.
"You won’t get tired of it. You’re doing something different every day and every year. There’s always something new that will push you to become a better technician," says Parker Trinca, a senior at North Medford High School.
While technicians are using the most up-to-date tools to fix these cars, it's not replacing their jobs.
"Lots of electrical goes into these vehicles, and that’s just what it comes down to. It’s not as simple as plugging in a computer and it telling you what to replace," says Young.
To become an automotive technician you can take a two-year course at a variety of institutions, get on-the-job training, or get your foot in the door through an internship.
If you're interested in learning more about opportunities as an automotive technician, you can contact Tammy Granger with Lithia Motors Inc. at (541) 841-7232 or Courtney Duncan with Lithia Motos Inc. at (541) 864-1730.