Can’t Beat ’em? Join ’em? Jobs at the Bureau of Automotive Repair

They say you can tell a lot by the company one keeps. Similarly, you can tell a few things about the Bureau of Automotive Repair by the jobs that they advertise, and the ways that they describe those jobs. Now, in the spirit of happy blogging, we’re very keen on being tongue-in-cheek here. They’re just doing their job as hard-working California government employees, and we’re just hard-working attorneys defending hard-working station owners and SMOG check technicians to preserve their licenses and their livelihood in the Golden State. Everyone’s gotta have a job, and everyone’s gotta work, right?

Well, take a gander at the Bureau of Automotive Repair jobs page, here. Among the jobs being advertised are –

  • Air Quality EngineerJobs at the Bureau of Automotive Repair
  • Associate Governmental Program Analyst
  • Data Processing Manager
  • Management Services Technician
  • Materials and Stores Specialist
  • Office Services Supervisor
  • Office Assistant
  • Office Technician
  • Program Manager
  • Program Representative
  • Program Technician
  • Program Systems Analyst
  • Staff Services Analyst
  • Staff Services Manager
  • Student Assistant
  • Warehouse Worker

A few thing stand out. For one, let’s look at some of the salaries. An Air Quality Engineer II, for example, has a base salary range of $8,105 – $10,146.  Pretty good, huh? Even a “warehouse worker” will be getting somewhere around $3,200/ mo. So salaries look pretty good at the Bureau of Automotive Repair.  Next take a look at some of the job descriptions. Here’s one for the “Office Service Supervisor” from the Calhr website –

This consolidated series specification describes three levels of classes that train, plan, organize, and direct a staff of clerical employees who perform a variety of general office and related clerical support tasks, including functions as typing, stenography, filing, accounting, cashiering, statistics and others.

If a separate class for a specific specialty is required at any level, this can be accomplished by use of the core specification with the specialty indicated in parentheses following the core class title. (Source:

Huh? This is a good example of the legalize in which the State of California government operates, and how difficult it can be for “lay people” to interpret what’s going on. The clearest position on the jobs website is for “Student Assistant (4870)” ( The 4870 refers to the “class code” by the way.  Abilities required are “Ability to: Reason logically, write effectively, analyze situations accurately, and adopt an effective course of action; establish and maintain cooperative relations with those contacted in the work.”

Again, it’s a bit obtuse for the average person.

What’s the take-away? The take-away (besides the decent salaries) is that the “culture” of our state government is pretty obtuse and pretty legalistic. So when you receive a letter, citation, or other correspondence from the Bureau of Automotive Repair, it makes sense that it’s written by lawyers, for lawyers. When you attempt to speak “common sense” in explaining your side of the story, it will pretty much fall on deaf ears. You need a translator, which would be a skilled attorney who can “speak the language” of government.


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