Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Transportation & Logistics

Automotive Mechanic Job Description, Career as an Automotive Mechanic, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

mechanics service repair automobile

Education and Training Varies—see profile

Salary Median—$15.60 per hour

Employment Outlook Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Automotive mechanics inspect, service, and repair the engines, brakes, and other parts of cars, buses, and trucks. They also perform routine maintenance to prevent future breakdowns.

Diagnosing problems quickly and accurately requires analytical ability. It also requires a thorough knowledge of cars' mechanical and electronic systems and competence with a variety of electronic tools, such as infrared engine analyzers and computers. Many mechanics consider diagnosing hard-to-find problems to be one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.

After locating the source of the malfunctions, mechanics often need to replace or repair faulty parts. Some mechanics specialize in particular kinds of repair, such as electrical or transmission problems. They usually work in special service shops.

Most mechanics work in automobile dealerships, automobile repair shops, and gasoline service stations. Many others are employed by federal, state, and local government agencies; taxicab and automobile leasing companies; and other businesses that repair their own cars and trucks. Automobile manufacturers hire mechanics to make adjustments and repairs after cars come off the assembly line. Other mechanics work for large department stores that have facilities for servicing automobiles.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers prefer to hire applicants who are high school graduates. High school courses in metal work, mechanical drawing, science, mathematics, computer skills, and automobile maintenance are helpful. A number of advanced high school programs are part of the Automotive Youth Education Service, a certification program that prepares students for entry-level jobs. Participants often train under experienced mechanics for up to four years.

A growing number of employers require auto mechanics to complete training programs offered by trade, vocational, or community colleges. The programs

Automotive mechanics must be able to diagnose problems quickly and accurately and make the necessary repairs. (© Helen King/Corbis.)

last from six months to two years and combine classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Some trade schools partner with automotive dealerships, which allow students to work in their service departments.

Certification is important—but not mandatory—in this field. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, the nationally recognized standard, can be awarded in eight different areas of automotive service. Applicants must pass exams and have two years of relevant experience to become ASE-certified mechanics. To be recognized as master automobile technicians, mechanics must be certified in all eight areas of automotive service. Mechanics are retested every five years to renew certification. More than four hundred thousand service professionals have achieved ASE certification.

Getting the Job

School placement offices, job fairs, and apprenticeship programs can provide employment contacts and job leads. Job seekers can also apply directly to service stations, automotive dealerships, and repair shops. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job sites often list openings.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Experienced mechanics in large shops may advance to supervisory positions, such as repair shop supervisor or service manager. Mechanics who like to work with customers may become service estimators, who take clients' orders for repairs and write up job orders for mechanics. Many mechanics open their own repair shops or service stations.

Employment of automobile mechanics is expected to increase as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Turnover in this field is high, so many openings occur each year. Automotive technology is becoming increasingly complex, so mechanics who have had formal training may find the most opportunities. Demand should also be high for those who stay informed about new developments in this field, such as alternate fuels technology.

Working Conditions

Most mechanics work between forty and forty-eight hours per week, but many work longer hours during busy periods. Mechanics frequently get paid at higher rates for overtime.

Most mechanics work indoors, in shops with good ventilation, lighting, and heat. They frequently work with dirty, greasy parts and in awkward positions. Sometimes they must lift heavy objects. Minor cuts and bruises are common, but serious accidents are usually avoided by observing established safety procedures.

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary, depending on location and mechanics' experience. In 2004 the median wage of all automotive mechanics was $15.60 per hour. The most experienced mechanics earned more than $26.33 per hour. Apprentices started at about sixty percent of the standard wage and received increases throughout their training.

Where to Go for More Information

Automotive Service Association
PO Box 929
Bedford, TX 76095-0929
(817) 283-6205
http://www.asashop.org

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-2687
(301) 967-4500
http://www.iamaw.org

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Ste. 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 669-6600
http://www.asecert.org

Benefits often include paid holidays and vacations. Mechanics may also get life, health, and accident insurance. Some employers supply uniforms.

Aviation and Air Transportation Job Description, Career as an Aviation and Air Transportation, Salary, Employment [next] [back] Automotive Exhaust Emissions Technician Job Description, Career as an Automotive Exhaust Emissions Technician, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

pinchy putos

Vote down Vote up

about 4 years ago

this is useful to use if you want to look into this career.

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

Tunechi

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

ccc

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

YOU R ALL HERP DERPS

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Is a pleasure writing u ,am a holder of CITY AND GUILDS OF LODON INSTITUTE level one and two in Engine and Chassis systems.here is my phone number.0023777977336.Am a cameroonian in African.stay bless wishing to hear from u the soonest.so it will be a great pleasure if am accepted to work in ur company.

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

my peneas is huge

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

luv ur ting turt

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

ggggggggggggggggggggg

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

ooooooooo now i see this is lame......... -__-

no swag swag

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

ike.....automotive mechanic

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

wuzsup BIG BOI WIMP im a auto mechanic peace...

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

k

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

bfbnvcbbn

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

derekderekderekderekderekderek

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

young goonie.

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Is a pleasure writing u ,am a holder of CITY AND GUILDS OF LODON INSTITUTE level one and two in Engine and Chassis systems.here is my phone number.0023777977336.Am a cameroonian in African.stay bless wishing to hear from u the soonest.so it will be a great pleasure if am accepted to work in ur company.

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago


lol

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

Hi;
my name is azeem and i am a automobile engineer. i am some suitable job with respect to automobile mechanic.
thanks

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Is a pleasure writing u ,am a holder of CITY AND GUILDS OF LODON INSTITUTE level one and two in Engine and Chassis systems.here is my phone number.0023777977336.Am a cameroonian in African.stay bless wishing to hear from u the soonest.so it will be a great pleasure if am accepted to work in ur company.

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

LOLOL

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

I am ireneo an automotive/ diesel mechanic its my pleasure to discover the that it is and maybe you don't have disappointed to have more knowledge and information regarding the repair as a future good mechanic.

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

may name is hari kumar.iam twentey three years old.

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

hi am very happy to get this varsion

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

Some people that comment on this are big fagets

Vote down Vote up

almost 3 years ago

I have a tiny penis.

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago

yo this is cool

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Great article with good ! You've covered almost every aspect of this field. Getting into a vocational school will give you a quick entry into this field. I've something about this as well. You might find it helpful. https://medium.com/@holder_ray/put-the-pedal-to-the-metal-for-a-rewarding-career-in-automotive-technology-c867cf803328