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How to Become an Auto Mechanic

How to Become an Auto Mechanic

An automobile mechanic is a professional who is well-versed with the working and maintenance of car problems. The CareerStint article will tell you how to become an auto mechanic.
CareerStint Staff
Please Remember:
Along with mechanical expertise, auto mechanics need to hone their communication skills as well, to offer the best customer service.

An auto mechanic deals with cars on a daily basis. If one is in love with automobiles, the job gives utmost work satisfaction and a decent income. However, you will have to get trained with complete discipline and consistency to become an auto mechanic. There are openings at many places, and you can become senior mechanics after gaining sufficient experience.
Job Profile
  • Auto mechanics mostly work for garages, vehicle dealerships, and even car manufacturing companies.
  • They undertake the repair and maintenance of the vehicle.
  • They work with engine parts and other hardware - find out the reason why the car isn't functioning normally, and take the appropriate measures to rectify the same.
  • They replace system parts when necessary - tires, brakes, gear, drive train, exhaust, etc.
  • The ensure that the fuel systems, air conditioning unit, heating, electrical system, and other related systems are in proper working condition.
  • They are also responsible for the oiling, lubrication, painting, and in general, refurbishing the entire vehicle.
  • They test the engine battery and repair /replace it when necessary.
  • They reassemble worn-out, structural components.
  • When the vehicle needs extensive repair, they make a checklist of whatever needs to be done, and follow it diligently. This is very important, because the systems in the vehicle are inter-dependent on one another.
  • They test the vehicle after repair.
Requirements

General
  • Patience
  • Hard work
  • Problem-solving skills
  • High mechanical expertise
  • Strong technical skills
  • Good communication
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure
Initial Education
  • It would help if you take up mathematics, science, or graphic design in high school.
  • These subjects will give you a strong arithmetic and technical base, as well as help you understand the structure of complex automobile design.
  • Ideally, a high school education is sufficient for you to apprentice as a mechanic; however, additional education is always a plus point.
  • You may enroll in a technical school to learn the trade professionally. You may even enroll in community colleges. In fact, many dealerships hold training programs as well.
  • In these courses, you will learn everything about the car engine, automotive and electrical theory, brake and gear mechanism, repair and maintenance, ignition, air-conditioning, etc.
  • You will also learn to use a wide variety of tools - welding equipment, lathe, wrench, etc. You will also learn about the functioning of the various parts of the engine, wear and tear, etc.
Further Qualification
  • You may even enroll for a specialization in the technical school.
  • Of course, as an auto mechanic, you are expected to be an expert about the entire automobile, but you may learn how to use a particular tool efficiently, or may learn specifically about the brake control and repairing, or may be transmissions.
  • In order to be on the top, you may undergo sponsored certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This will increase your career prospects tremendously.
  • You will require at least 2 years of experience to be eligible for this certification.
Training
  • Most technical schools have placement programs.
  • After your course is completed, you will undergo on-the-job training. The training may last from 2 to 6 years.
  • Post training, you will be a fully qualified auto mechanic.
  • At an entry-level, you will probably be an assistant. With further knowledge, you can start working independently.
  • In fact, senior mechanics with a lot of experience often start their own firm.
  • You will need to stay updated on the latest techniques and terminology in this field.
Salary and Job Outlook
  • Auto mechanics are fairly well paid.
  • Obviously, as a fresher intern, you will not be paid much during on-the-job training. The salary increases with experience and expertise.
  • The median salary is approximately USD 37,000. As a beginner, you will be paid between USD 27,000 to USD 30,000.
  • With a few years of experience, you will earn between USD 40,000 to USD 46,000.
  • A decade of experience and senior positions will pay you between USD 50,000 to USD 55,000.
  • An experience of 10 to 20 years will fetch you a pay of as high as USD 60,000.
  • Location matters, certainly. Auto mechanics in the states of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, California, etc., earn between USD 40,000 to USD 50,000.
  • In states, like Nevada, Delaware, Idaho, Hawaii, North Carolina, etc., the salary varies between USD 30,000 to USD 40,000.
  • The BLS predicts a fairly decent job growth rate for this profession; 10% by the next decade.
The job of an auto mechanic is extremely tedious and a tad but challenging as well. Remember that you need to understand machines in order to be an expert. Good luck!
Car mechanic repair an engine