The profession of an auto mechanic is one of the highest paying jobs in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics held about 770,100 jobs in 2018. In that same year, Auto Mechanics were known to have a median salary of $40,710. The best-paid 25% made $54,720 that same year, while the lowest-paid only earned about $30,220.
Indeed, can definitely be considered one of the lucrative paying jobs. But before we jump into an analysis of this greasy-hand career, let us perform a closer examination on the requirements that are needed to land a job in an Auto Repair Shop.
Skills and Educational Requirements
Examining, troubleshooting, restoring, and maintaining various types of automobiles, including personal vehicles, trucks, and heavy machinery are just a few of the many works expected to perform by Mechanic. It is also expected that a mechanic is also familiar and knowledgeable about the various tools, equipment and procedures used in auto repair shops for troubleshooting and repairing vehicles. Familiarization with computers and software dedicated for specialized use in auto repair shops and in vehicles as a result of advancement in Automotive Technology is also always a plus factor.
Although a High School Diploma or GED (General Equivalency Diploma) could provide a good general background for prospective mechanics, high school graduates essentially need further automotive classes to become fully qualified. Most employers prefer that automotive service technicians and mechanics complete a program at a post-secondary institution. Once employed, industry certifications are usually needed in addition to that.
The best preparation for an entry-level position as a mechanic is being able to complete a vocational or other post-secondary education program in automotive service technology. This will provide an intensive career preparation through attending automotive classes and hands-on practice which usually take about 6 month to a year.
One may look for short-term certificate programs in brake maintenance and engine performance during this process. Post-secondary program graduates in automotive service technology don’t typically need that much on-the-job training as service technicians. On the other hand, those who have not completed post-secondary education should start as trainee technicians, technician’s helpers or lubricant workers.
Certifications acquired by service technicians in series of different training programs on automotive service technology, can provide good proof of their competence, familiarization and education – which usually brings higher pay.
A certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the standard credential for mechanics. This applies to a variety of different specialty areas such as automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, light vehicle diesel engines, electrical systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air-conditioning, manual driven trains and axles and suspension and steering.
A technician must also have at least 2 years of experience or relevant schooling and 1 year of experience and pass an exam to become certified. You may earn ASE Master Technician status by being certified in all eight automotive areas.
Aside from the training and certifications that one needs to acquire to be able to work in an auto repair shop, there are other qualities that are expected from a mechanic. Employers are also expecting their mechanics to possess good orientations in customer-service, keen attention to details, as well as mechanical and troubleshooting skills.