Parts Specialist Job Description

Parts specialists oversee the parts department of automotive dealerships, warehouses, and similar businesses. They ensure that equipment and parts are supplied for external clients and customers. This involves monitoring inventory, working with vendors to get the correct parts in stock, and helping customers find the parts they need. This job usually takes place in a warehouse-based environment during regular business hours. Parts specialists are great communicators with customer service experience and up-to-date knowledge of the parts and design trends in their industry.

Parts Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

The organization a parts specialist works for will determine the exact duties they perform. Based on job listings we analyzed, common duties typically involve:
Maintain Customer Records and Transactions
Parts specialists maintain records of all customer transactions to ensure they are compliant with company guidelines. They also make sure that stock records are updated accordingly.
Coordinate with Vendors and Suppliers
Parts specialists work with internal and external customers and suppliers to make sure that all parts reach the right team within the designated timeframe, and that they’re compliant with local and federal regulations.
Maintain Knowledge of Parts
Staying up to date with the latest trends and market information is important when working as a parts specialist. They need current knowledge of the products, parts, and designs required or available for purchase.
Administer Records
Parts specialists maintain records of parts that have been returned under warranty, ensuring that computer systems are kept up to date and that any special orders are tracked. This involves managing and processing invoices and evaluating the quantity of received stock.
Perform Regular Cycle Counts of Products
Parts specialists manage all aspects of the stockroom and perform a regular cycle count of parts and products, making sure that the company is adhering to safety compliance and that employees are following the staff handbook.

Parts Specialist Skills and Qualifications

Parts specialists excellent communicators who are comfortable building relationships with customers and suppliers. Typically, employers require a high school diploma or an associate’s degree in a relevant subject, as well as the following abilities:

  • Communication skills – parts specialists help customers and liaise with suppliers on a regular basis, so strong communication skills are a must for this role
  • Attention to detail – parts specialists should have a strong knowledge of different parts and materials and should know how to best meet the customer’s needs. They also need to keep inventory of current stock and what purpose each item serves, so attention to detail is essential
  • Customer service – this job involves speaking with customers over the phone and face to face, so parts specialists need excellent customer service skills. In some companies, this role may even involve sales tasks
  • Teamwork – parts specialists usually work in warehouses, machine shop environments, or even in sales, so they must work well with different teams and remain professional and helpful at all times
  • Networking – parts specialists collaborate with vendors to maintain stock and inventory, so strong relationship-building skills are beneficial

Parts Specialist Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a parts specialist is a high school diploma, although some companies may prefer applicants who hold an associate’s degree in a relevant subject, such as mechanics. Parts specialists also need a wide knowledge of the specific parts and equipment they oversee. In addition, if the role involves purchasing, then employers typically prefer candidates with sales or managerial experience.

Parts Specialist Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for parts specialists is nearly $37,000, according to PayScale. Parts specialists in the 10th percentile earn around $20,000 annually, while the highest paid earn over $55,000 a year. Top earners can take home bonuses as high as $8,000 and enjoy profit-sharing opportunities of up to $10,000. Over half of employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefit package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the automotive and mechanics sector will grow 6 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about developing a career as a parts specialist:
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service – written in 39 digestible chapters, this book highlights various ways to develop a welcoming and professional work environment that keeps customers coming back time and again. For parts specialists who don’t have previous managerial or customer service experience, this book outlines ways to improve and succeed
P1 Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Parts Specialists – ideal for self-study, this guide provides tips on preparing for and taking the Parts Specialist ASE certification test. It covers communication and sales skills, inventory management, extensive vehicle systems information, practice tests, and much more
ASE Test Preparation – now in its fifth edition, this test-preparation guide contains plenty of content to help readers pass their ASE exams. In addition to helping readers understand the exam’s task list, it also describes the types of questions likely to come up

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