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Career profile Parts Specialist

Also known as Parts Advisor, Parts Clerk, Parts Consultant, Parts Counter Sales Person, Parts Counterperson, Parts Person, Parts Salesman, Parts Salesperson, Parts Specialist

Parts Specialist

Also known as Parts Advisor, Parts Clerk, Parts Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$21,170 - $57,620 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Receive and fill telephone orders for parts.
  • Fill customer orders from stock, and place orders when requested items are out of stock.
  • Receive payment or obtain credit authorization.
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What does a Parts Specialist do?

Parts Specialists sell spare and replacement parts and equipment in repair shop or parts store.

What kind of tasks does a Parts Specialist perform regularly?

Parts Specialists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Receive and fill telephone orders for parts.
  • Fill customer orders from stock, and place orders when requested items are out of stock.
  • Receive payment or obtain credit authorization.
  • Read catalogs, microfiche viewers, or computer displays to determine replacement part stock numbers and prices.
  • Prepare sales slips or sales contracts.
  • Determine replacement parts required, according to inspections of old parts, customer requests, or customers' descriptions of malfunctions.
  • Assist customers, such as responding to customer complaints and updating them about back-ordered parts.
  • Locate and label parts, and maintain inventory of stock.
  • Mark and store parts in stockrooms, according to prearranged systems.
  • Pick up and deliver parts.
  • Discuss use and features of various parts, based on knowledge of machines or equipment.
  • Examine returned parts for defects, and exchange defective parts or refund money.
  • Maintain and clean work and inventory areas.
  • Manage shipments by researching shipping methods or costs and tracking packages.
  • Advise customers on substitution or modification of parts when identical replacements are not available.
  • Place new merchandise on display.

The above responsibilities are specific to Parts Specialists. More generally, Parts Specialists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

What is a Parts Specialist salary?

The median salary for a Parts Specialist is $32,460, and the average salary is $36,350. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Parts Specialist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Parts Specialists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Parts Specialists earn less than $21,170 per year, 25% earn less than $25,970, 75% earn less than $43,120, and 90% earn less than $57,620.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Parts Specialists is expected to change by 4.9%, and there should be roughly 32,600 open positions for Parts Specialists every year.

Median annual salary
$32,460
Typical salary range
$21,170 - $57,620
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.9%

What personality traits are common among Parts Specialists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Parts Specialist are usually higher in their Enterprising, Conventional, and Realistic interests.

Parts Specialists typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Parts Specialists typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Parts Specialists typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Parts Specialist tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Support.

Most importantly, Parts Specialists moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Parts Specialists moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Parts Specialists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Parts Specialists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Parts Specialists, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Parts Specialists need?

Working as a Parts Specialist usually requires a high school diploma.

Parts Specialists need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Parts Specialists

  • 8.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 47.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.3% completed some college coursework
  • 9.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Parts Specialists

Parts Specialists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Parts Specialists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Parts Specialists

Parts Specialists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Parts Specialists need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Parts Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Parts Specialists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Parts Specialists frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Parts Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Persuasion
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.