How to Become a Mechanic
Mechanic Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Mechanic
Mechanic Salaries
Influential Professional Mechanics
Leading Organizations for Mechanics
Top Cities for Mechanic Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Mechanic

Mechanics examine and inspect, repair and maintain autos i.e. all types of cars and light capacity trucks or lorries that are powered using different fuel sources including gasoline, ethanol and electricity. Other types of mechanics specialize in the repair and maintenance of diesel powered trucks, buses and similar vehicles. The latest vehicles on our roads require that mechanics are able to use computerized equipment and operate electrical tools in order to repair computerized components in these vehicles. It is therefore the trend nowadays that mechanics are now referred to as technicians.

Mechanics are supposed to have a background in automotive technology. This is a rapidly advancing area and therefore persons who are seeking employment as mechanics are expected to have formal training from high schools or from vocational institutions and community colleges. For persons who intend to seek employment in urban areas, it is necessary for them to be in possession of an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certificate. There are still those who opt to learn the trade from experienced persons as apprentices. High school courses may include participation in the Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES) program. This program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Graduates from these programs are adequately equipped to access entry-level mechanic positions or to pursue further education with respect to the profession. A career as a mechanic requires a background in automotive repair, computers, physics, mathematics, English, electronics, and chemistry. Post-secondary mechanic training is more rigorous and combines both theory and practical hands-on training. Community colleges offer either certificates or associate degrees in the subject. The associate degree program takes at least two years. The certificate option lasts about 6-12 months. Mechanics joining the profession start out as trainees, lubrication workers, or helpers. They then advance their skills through observation and practical experience. To be a fully qualified mechanic one has to gain an experience of at least 2-5 years. This will ensure that they can diagnose and repair any typical problem with ease. More difficult procedures such as transmission repair require an additional 1-2 years experience. Many employers are now finding the need to send their mechanics for further training in the more specialized techniques such as repair of electric fuel injection systems. ASE certification as Master Automobile Technician requires that one has competence in the eight areas of suspension and steering, heating, air- condition, brake systems, engine repair, and electrical systems.

What does a Mechanic do?

Mechanics use a diagnostic approach when they are required to detect and repair problems in vehicles. They check to see if all suspect component parts and systems are in place and in good working condition. Their tests usually result in the identification of the parts that require repair or replacement. This diagnostic approach may require the need for a test drive or the use of specialized equipment that will help detect faulty parts and provide information to the mechanic as to whether the parts are repairable or they need replacement. Routine service work involves lubrication and testing of engines for sound performance optimization. Mechanics then check other key components and repair or replace these before they can cause further damage to the vehicle. Some of the components that are usually assessed include brake systems, fuel transmission systems, spark plugs, hoses, and belts. Mechanics use a variety of tools in their work including various power tools, machine tools, hand tools, engine analyzers, and various diagnostic equipment. Modern vehicles have made it a necessity for mechanics to incorporate the use of computer based diagnostic equipment. This equipment is for the purposes of tackling problems in modern computerized parts including steering, transmission, and braking systems.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Mechanic?

A mechanic should have the ability to diagnose and detect faulty parts quickly and correctly. This is one of the most challenging aspects of the profession that is perfected in time. A mechanic should have good communication and people skills since they are required to explain to vehicle owners in simple terms what is defective with their vehicles. Mechanics that have training in electronics are at an advantage since most electrical faults are to blame for most problems that arise in vehicles. Generally, one should have a passion for cars and how they work.

How much do Mechanics make?

Mechanics earn a median hourly wage of $16.24. This figure is inclusive of commission. The highest 10 percentile in the profession earned $27.22/hour while those in the lowest 10 percentile earned $9.17/hour. Mechanics in the 50-percentile range earned figures ranging between $11.96-21.56/hour. For more experienced mechanics working in privately owned garages and vehicle dealerships commission is earned with respect to what customers pay as labor costs.
Mechanic Salary | More details for Mechanic Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Mechanics at Star Auto authority are ASE Certified Master Technicians. The firm is based in the Vernon Hills area of Illinois. Their counterparts at Ashland Tires and Auto are also mechanics of high reputation. They were the 2006 winners of both the Editorial & Audience Awards in Auto Repair. The firm is based in the Chicago area.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

L&M Foreign Cars is a leading firm that has some of the most advanced equipment and capacities to perform automotive diagnostics. This firm has been in business for the last 37 years in the New York area. The mechanics at L&M Foreign cars are L2 certified technicians. These mechanics have been featured in editions of Counterman, Road & Track and Eurodiagnostics. In addition they have numerous professional automotive certificates. The firm specializes in the repair of Volkswagens, BMWs, Land Rovers and Audis.

What are the top cities for Mechanic jobs?

There will always be a need to hire mechanics that have good technical and problem solving skills in addition to diagnostic ability. Mechanics need to be replaced as they retire and there are also an increasing number of automobile owners in the roads. Top cities where mechanics can find employment include Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, and Phoenix.

Other Careers of Interest

Aircraft Mechanic
Preventative maintenance is an important area of aircraft mechanics. Mechanics who specialize in preventative maintenance try to find maintenance...

Auto Body Repair
Auto body repairers, also called collision repair technicians, fix dents, straighten crumpled areas, or replace vehicle parts that cannot be repaired....

Automotive Mechanic
Automotive mechanics maintain and repair automobiles and light trucks. The role of those employed in this field has evolved from simple repairs...

Boat Mechanic
Boat mechanics, like many other small engine mechanics, service, repair, and install power motors and other equipment. If a boat's engine has a...

Commercial Driver
Commercial drivers are the operators of vans, small trucks and semi trucks for the transportation of goods across the country. Although driving...

Diesel Technician
Diesel service technicians repair and maintain the diesel engines that power transportation equipment. Diesel technicians work on mobile equipment,...

Motorcycle Mechanic
A motorcycle mechanic repairs and sometimes, overhauls motorcycles. They can work specifically on the motorcycles engine, transmission, brake system,...

Taxi Driver / Chauffeur Driver
Drivers provide one of or all three of the following services to patrons: transportation, helping out-of-towners, offer site-seeing tours and services....

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