MEET THE PRO: Judea Parks, Automotive Technician

By Arkansas Next on Thursday, September 15, 2022

Jacob Slaton
"Being able to start in the workforce career-wise at a younger age is great," Judea said. "Blue-collar work, once you become good at what you do, will not let you down."

Hometown: The Bronx, New York

Age: 21

Where I Trained: National Park College

What I Earned: Associate degree in automotive technology

Job Title: Tire and Lube Technician

Employer: Gregg Orr Toyota

Judea was a self-proclaimed "tomboy" as a child. Growing up with an older brother, she always wanted to tag along with him on his adventures and play with his toys. She enjoyed cars, trucks and construction equipment, and decided to pursue a career in automotive maintenance by the time she was 17. 

Judea earned an associate degree from National Park College in Hot Springs and was recruited by Toyota while still in school. She loved the advantage her degree gave her. She can avoid internships and instead jump straight into a high-demand career at a young age. 

“Being a female technician is not as hard as many make it out to be,” Judea said. “Yes, there is a bit of heavy lifting, but nothing too strenuous.”

Since starting her career, Judea has ample free time. She has avoided the burden of student loan debt and entered the workforce with enough time to become a master at her trade. She encourages young professionals to put in the work early, because they have the potential to bring in six figures.

Jacob Slaton


An automotive technician inspects, maintains and repairs cars and light trucks.  

Education needed: 

A high school diploma or GED is required, along with further training to qualify. Completing a vocational or postsecondary education program is considered the best preparation for entry-level work. Some automotive technicians pursue associate degrees.

Job Outlook

► 9% projected job growth in Arkansas by 2028

170 annual projected job openings in Arkansas

This option is for you if

  • You're detail-oriented 
  • You're a good listener 
  • You have steady hands 
  • You're a strong communicator
  • You like solving problems

High-end earners in Arkansas (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$45,750 Annual
$19.08 Hourly


  • Arkansas State University Three Rivers
  • Arkansas State University-Beebe
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • East Arkansas Community College
  • National Park College
  • University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology–McGehee
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
  • University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College