Are you considering a career as an auto mechanic? Congratulations! You’ve chosen a career path that’s highly in-demand and will always help other people. For as long as there are cars, there will need to be mechanics. But there are many other different elements of the automotive field that you should weigh before making a decision. To help you make an informed career choice here’s everything that you should expect as an auto mechanic.
Why Become an Auto Mechanic?
There are so many reasons to become an auto mechanic. The first, as mentioned above is that auto mechanics are always in demand since vehicles always require maintenance and repair. And as the population grows and more people buy cars, there will be even more cars to service.
In addition, as an auto mechanic, the very nature of the work that you do is highly independent. This means that, if you so choose, you could open your own shop, set your own hours, or work independently as a mechanic at a larger auto garage. Even if you work at a larger garage, you will be very self-reliant. You will be trusted to assess and diagnose necessary repairs, and depending on your level of expertise, complete those repairs. You could own and operate your entire business from start to finish if that’s your goal!
Another great reason to become an auto mechanic is the level of respect and trust you’ll gain from people you know (and people you don’t know). Mechanics are highly knowledgeable about an area that many people know next to nothing about. As an auto mechanic, you truly become an expert on the subject of cars, and since many people rely on their cars for so many things, your service is truly invaluable.
Responsibilities of an Auto Mechanic
As an auto mechanic, there are a handful of core duties that you will be responsible for. These duties can change as you gain more experience, employ or work with other mechanics, but for the most part, they remain consistent across the trade. Here are some of the main responsibilities of an auto mechanic:
- Testing different car parts to identify the source of automotive problems
- Diagnose and fix mechanical issues, in both mechanical and electrical cars (especially since electric cars are gaining a larger share of the market every year)
- Assisting with state-mandated law surrounding emissions and safety
- Taking care of preventative maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations
- Staying up to date on warranties and recalls to assist with related repairs
- Building relationships with customers, and providing accurate price estimates
- Managing inventory for parts and making sure you are able to service cars in a timely manner
- Taking any necessary ongoing education and training classes to stay up-to-speed on new technological developments and repair tactics
- Providing strategic recommendations on how customers should deal with serious car-repair related issues
- Perform operations and logistics tasks related to running an automotive shop
And one last thing to know, as a mechanic, your customers will trust you with many of the decisions they need to make, sometimes decisions that come into play before they even purchase a car. In fact, one of the most common things you will do in your time as a mechanic is to answer a multitude of questions to ask before buying a car. Your customers will trust you to help them make the right decision about a car to purchase, and if you succeed in that area, then they will come back to you to service that car for years and years to come.
Salary of an Auto Mechanic
One question that people always have when it comes to what to expect as an auto mechanic is how much you can expect to make. According to US News, in 2017 auto mechanics made an average salary of $39,550, but this number can vary greatly depending on location, experience, and a number of other factors.
How to Become an Auto Mechanic
Now that you have an overview of what to expect as an auto mechanic, the next step is to learn how you become an auto mechanic. For an auto mechanic, it’s necessary that you have a high school diploma or GED, and postsecondary training in the field is usually preferred by employers as well. You can also pursue a degree in the auto field, or even pursue some sort of engineering degree if you’re interested in the operations of cars and other machines at a higher level.
Furthermore, an auto mechanic is probably one of the top jobs for receiving on-the-job training. As is the case with many careers, you can prepare and train and study to an endless amount, but nothing is quite as invaluable as learning on the job. Once you get into the working field as an auto mechanic, you will be able to grow and progress exponentially. The auto mechanic field is also a prominent one for mentorship and learning from your coworkers and colleagues.
As you can see, a career as an auto mechanic is exciting, ever-changing, but highly in-demand. It’s a great career for anyone who has a remote interest in operations, or who has always had a deep desire to understand how things work. It’s an incredibly rewarding career path and one that allows you to build real relationships and do rewarding work. If you think an auto mechanic career may be for you, get started with your education today!