Career Development

Mechanic Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

Mechanics fix and maintain automobiles, buses, trucks, aircraft, and other vehicles. They may specialize in one type of vehicle or work on a variety of different types.

Mechanics fix and maintain automobiles, buses, trucks, aircraft, and other vehicles. They may specialize in one type of vehicle or work on a variety of different types.

Mechanics usually work in shops or garages, though some also work on the road. Mechanics often start their careers as apprentices working under a senior mechanic. They may advance to become lead mechanics or supervisors over time.

In addition to performing routine maintenance, mechanics may also do troubleshooting and repairs for vehicles that have been damaged by accidents or wear and tear. Mechanics must be able to diagnose problems with vehicles and identify solutions quickly.

Mechanics must be comfortable working with tools and equipment, as well as handling hazardous materials like motor oil and fuel. Mechanics who service vehicles on the road may face a greater risk of injury from car accidents or falling objects than those who work in repair shops.

Mechanic Job Duties

Mechanic job duties vary based on the employer and the role, but may include:

  • Performing preventive maintenance checks and services on vehicles, including oil changes and tire rotations
  • Diagnosing malfunctions in electrical or mechanical systems and repairing them accordingly
  • Applying a variety of substances to metal surfaces to protect against corrosion or rust or to improve appearance, such as brake fluid to brake drums or grease to bearings
  • Inspecting components for defects such as cracks, leaks, faulty welds, etc. and replacing components when necessary
  • Maintaining and repairing vehicles as directed by the department supervisors
  • Installing or replacing engines, transmission, brakes, and other major components as needed
  • Installing custom accessories such as stereo systems and other interior decorations

Mechanic Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for mechanics is $48,826. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry. The top earners of the profession make over $74,000 per year.

Job opportunities for mechanics are expected to decline over the next decade. This is due to increasing automation and technology that allows non-experts to perform repairs and maintenance on their cars and trucks.

Mechanic Job Requirements

The requirements for a mechanic are as follows:

Education: Most employers prefer a high school diploma or a GED. A degree or certificate from a vocational school or community college in automotive service technology is often required. 

Training: On-the-job training is available to mechanics and typically lasts for two or three months. They learn how to assemble, repair and maintain vehicles by working closely with experienced mechanics. Mechanics will learn from an expert in automotive until they are ready to work independently. 

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require mechanics to complete standardized training programs, like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. ASE certification provides mechanics with the knowledge to repair and maintain vehicles.

Mechanic Skills

For this job, you should have the following skills:

Technical skills: The ability to work with mechanical parts and systems is essential. You will need to know how to use hand tools and power tools as well as understand basic mechanical principles such as how things fit together, how moving parts work, and so on.

Time management skills: Mechanics must be able to manage their time well in order to complete a project on schedule. This can be especially important when a mechanic is given a deadline by a customer or supervisor.

Basic computer skills: Many mechanics now use computers for inventory control, tracking supplies, and managing records. Basic computer skills are required for these tasks.

Communication skills: Communication skills are important as mechanics must communicate clearly with customers, supervisors, coworkers, and others on the job site. In addition, they may have to write technical reports about repairs or modifications made to equipment.

Physical strength: Mechanics must be physically strong enough to lift heavy tools and equipment. They also need good hand-eye coordination so they can properly use tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, torque wrenches, pneumatic tools, hydraulic jacks, soldering irons, electric drills, hammers, ratchets, and power saws.

Hand-Eye coordination: Good hand-eye coordination is necessary because mechanics must handle small parts carefully and precisely while using tools.

Mechanic Work Environment

Mechanics do physical labor that may be dangerous. This includes lifting heavy car parts and tools, which is potentially hazardous for their backs and shoulders. They can also get cuts and burns from working with sharp objects such as glass. Mechanics may need to wear protective glasses and masks when working on gas or oil-related projects. 

Mechanics are often called upon to make repairs under strenuous conditions including extreme heat or cold. They may have to lift heavy equipment or parts. Since most automobile and truck dealerships operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, mechanics work rotating shifts. Some also travel to other locations to remove and install equipment on site. 

Mechanic Career Advancement

Mechanics who reach the senior level of this career may choose to focus on a specific type of service and become a master technician. They’ll then be responsible for training and supervising all technicians in that specialization. Obtaining an associate’s degree may be beneficial to moving up in this career. 

Another option is to transition from the service department to a management role. In this case, you will organize schedules, make sure vehicles are properly maintained, and ensure customer satisfaction. You may also assist the director of the company with developing growth and sales strategies. As your career advances, you could become a general manager or regional manager.

Mechanic Trends

Here are three trends influencing how mechanics work. Mechanics will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Growing Importance of Software in Car Maintenance

Software for self-driving cars is an emerging trend that has significant implications for mechanics. Many will need to shift their focus from mechanical problems to more software-related issues.

Increasing Value of Service Work

The automotive industry is shifting towards service-based business models. Service work is growing in popularity as the number of vehicles continues to increase. Service-based businesses are considered more cost-effective for manufacturers, since they do not have to produce parts, but rather focus on maintaining vehicles. This means that mechanics will need to develop strong communication skills in order to interact with customers about how their vehicle can be fixed. 

Mobile Mechanics

Some mechanics are now offering mobile services, making it easier for customers to bring their vehicles in for maintenance. Additionally, more businesses are looking to maximize profits by outsourcing routine repairs. Mechanics who provide mobile services will be able to stay competitive in the industry.

How to Become a Mechanic

1. Planning Your Career Path

If you’re thinking about a career as a mechanic, you need to consider which area you want to specialize in or work with–for example, aircraft, automobiles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks, etc. Mechanically minded people and those with a passion for machines and vehicles find this career rewarding.

Mechanics usually complete an apprenticeship before earning their certification. One can acquire information via training programs or trade schools as well as dealerships. 

It’s important to think about the type of work environment that best suits your personality– some mechanics prefer working on an assembly line, while others like working independently; both types of roles are common in this industry.

2. Writing a Resume

For mechanics, the best resumes highlight their technical skills. These can include anything from skills with engines to advanced certifications. However, you should be sure to talk about how these skills were demonstrated and what you achieved at previous jobs.

In addition to your technical skills, it’s important that you show your ability to solve problems and implement solutions. If you worked on projects where you were able to streamline processes or increase efficiency, be sure to emphasize those instances.

It’s also important to include interpersonal skills in your resume. To do this, it’s best to discuss specific instances where you were able to effectively communicate with your colleagues or customers. 

3. Applying for Jobs

Mechanics come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to make sure you are prepared for the specific work you want to do. Look into joining professional organizations related to your career (such as associations or unions) to get information about job openings in your area. Another good way to find mechanic jobs is by making friends with people who are already in the field; be friendly, ask questions, and see if they can put you in touch with anyone looking for new hires.

4. Ace the Interview

In order to succeed in an interview as a mechanic candidate, it is important to demonstrate that you have a good understanding of mechanics and the tools and skills needed to do the job. To show this, come up with a few examples of how you have applied your mechanical knowledge in a previous job, and be prepared to answer questions about what you would do if you encountered certain problems or challenges at work.

Also, make sure to keep an eye on your body language during the interview. Make eye contact with the interviewer, don’t slouch, use appropriate gestures, and speak clearly. Remember to be polite, but avoid being overly negative or apologetic unless asked directly.

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