Auto mechanics take care of the routine inspection, maintenance, and repair of vehicles. In 2019, auto mechanics averaged $44,890 in annual pay (bls.gov). As a mechanic, you’ll be performing a variety of duties on the job. Between the different makes and models, and among the immense amount of parts cars and trucks have, you’ll always be doing something different.
There are times when a vehicle is brought in for repairs where the problem is so obvious. Those are easy. It’s the vehicles that, for no apparent reason, are not running right. This is when you will need to use your diagnostic abilities to get to the root of the problem. Ask the car owner what he or she can tell you about the issue, and test drive the car for yourself to see if you can replicate the problem. Even then, what’s wrong may not be evident. You’ll need to use specialized equipment many times, such as emission analyzers and circuit testers. Once the problem is pinpointed, a diagnosis can be made.
Auto mechanics have general repairs they make on an average day—fixes such as old or broken parts, rebuilding engines, replacing the heating or cooling system, and repairing electrical components. Customers will bring in their cars for new shocks, transmissions, radiators, or whatever other parts need repairing, and you’ll take care of their issues.
Routine maintenance is necessary to keep an automobile running properly. Performing these duties helps prevent damage and extend the life of the vehicle. You’ll be changing the oil, rotating tires, adjusting brakes, and inspecting belts, hoses, and other parts.
Just because mechanics work with cars doesn’t make you exempt from having to communicate with clients. You need to keep open lines of communication with your customers and be able to explain what it will take to get the car running in a way that's easily understood. Building a relationship with the client is how you will get new and repeat business.
Should You Be A Mechanic?
Is being an auto mechanic right for you? You decide: There will always be a new problem to solve—and a feeling of satisfaction when you figure out what was wrong. The more you know about vehicles, the more interesting work becomes and the bigger challenges you can take on.
A good training program will quickly have you elbow-deep in learning, and a good career won’t be far behind that. Auto mechanic training can be completed in as few as 10 months!