An automotive mechanic is a great job for the right person. I have enjoyed doing mechanical works for most of my life. There are a lot of positives and a few negatives. For most people who are mechanically inclined the benefits outweigh the negatives but you need to learn as much as possible before you consider this career path. Let’s take a look at what this job is all about.
This is a job that requires constant juggling and always being on ones toes. Some have to diagnose problems in cars, order parts, contact the customer, repair the car, then be responsible for the job if it comes back. If it does come back then the job would be done over free of charge in most cases.
Most larger shops do not ask their technicians to do everything. They have diagnostic specialists, customer service specialists, parts guys, etc. These shops are good to work for if the automotive technician wants to specialize in one area such as transmissions or air conditioning.
Wages in the automotive industry vary widely. There are many things to consider when thinking about wages. If they work for a dealership they will generally be paid more than if they work for an independent repair shop. Their wage also depends on what type or cars they service and repair. If they repair BMW’s they will most likely be paid more than if they service cheaper cars. This is not always the case, but many times it is.
Wages for a car mechanic just starting out are usually in the $30,000 per year range. Once you have a good amount of experience you can get into jobs that pay more like $70k per year. Some really good techs earn over $100,000 per year.
Most good repair shops also reward their employees with a great benefits package. This generally includes health insurance, retirement, etc.
This all depends on a lot of things. You have to be able to work quickly and accurately while working on your feet all day. You have to be computer literate. You also need to be able to explain things well to others. If you have always been interested in mechanical things and were always taking things apart and putting them back together when you were younger, then this might be the job for you.
These days it is important to have some education, even when it comes to cars. There are many colleges that offer automotive technology courses that look really good on a resume. If you are really serious about this job you need to be ASE certified. Most college courses prepare you well for taking the 8 ASE tests.
You can also do it the old fashioned way. It is still possible to just start working on cars and learn more and more about them until you know enough to compete with the well educated automotive mechanic. This would take a lot longer though. You might want to try getting a job at an oil change place first to see how you do and if you really enjoy it.
It is definitely not a job for everyone, but for the right person it can be a great career. There will always be cars around so there will always be a need for great mechanics.
Get auto repair tips and advice delivered to your inbox. Subscribe below.