How To Become A Mechanic
A mechanic repairs and maintains cars, trucks, and other vehicles. A mechanic inspects vehicles, works with diagnostic equipment, makes repairs, and does routine maintenance on vehicles. In this position you will be keeping cars and other vehicles safe and on the road. A person can become a mechanic by enrolling in a college certification program or by learning on the job.
Why Become a Mechanic
Cars are an important part of our everyday lives. We need them to get to work and to school; we need them to run our daily errands. When we have car troubles, we usually head to the mechanic so they can help us. A mechanic specializes in everything about cars.
A mechanic must be knowledgeable about the workings of a car or any kind of vehicle. They must be able to recognize the symptoms of different problems that vehicles can have, and make a diagnosis. They must be able to make repairs and maintain vehicles. People may bring their cars into a repair shop to have their oil changed, tires rotated, and other kinds of routine maintenance.
A mechanic must have good customer service skills and be able to explain what is wrong with the car to other people.
Mechanics are an important job occupation because they keep everybody’s cars on the road and in safe condition. This is a good job for somebody who loves cars and knows everything about them, enjoys working with their hands and tools, and likes customer service and working with people.
Mechanics should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Good with Hands
- Enjoy Using Tools and Technology
- Great Customer Service
- Good Communicator
- Problem Solver
Mechanic Work Environment
Mechanics will usually be working indoors. Mechanics work inside of a repair shop, and clients will bring their cars, trucks and other vehicles in to have them inspected and repaired. There are many challenges working in this environment. There are a variety of tools and machinery, which a mechanic must know how to use. Mechanics move under, inside and around vehicles in order to perform their work.
This occupation involves standing for long periods of time. Repair shops can be noisy. These tasks can be dirty, hot, and exhausting to perform. There is a risk of injury involved with this work. This occupation involves working directly with customers who come into the repair shop. This is typically a full time job with regular hours.
The median wage for a diesel mechanic was $38,470 annually in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many mechanics receive a commission instead of an annual salary. Under this system, a mechanic’s weekly earnings will depend on the amount of work completed. Mechanics who serve more customers have the ability to earn a higher paycheck. Some repair shops may choose to pay mechanics an hourly rate instead of commission.
Average Mechanic Annual Salary
The average annual salary for mechanics is $42,660 a year. Salaries start at $22,610 a year and go up to $65,430 a year.
Average Mechanic Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a mechanic is $20.51. Hourly wages are between $10.87 and $31.46 an hour.
Stats were based out of 639,700 employed mechanics in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Mechanics
- 1. Alaska $27.48 / hr $57,150 / yr
- 2. New Jersey $23.75 / hr $49,410 / yr
- 3. Maryland $23.44 / hr $48,760 / yr
- 4. Washington $23.22 / hr $48,290 / yr
- 5. Connecticut $23.13 / hr $48,110 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Mechanics
- 1. Fairbanks, AK $28.34 / hr$58,960 / yr
- 2. San Francisco, CA $27.83 / hr$57,880 / yr
- 3. Anchorage, AK $27.11 / hr$56,400 / yr
- 4. California, MD $26.70 / hr$55,530 / yr
- 5. Ann Arbor, MI $26.52 / hr$55,150 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Mechanic Career Outlook
The diesel mechanic industry is expected to grow by 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is slower than the average for all occupations in the United States.
Cars, trucks and other vehicles will always be an important part of our economy. People will continue to depend on them for personal and professional use. Mechanics are necessary in order to keep cars and other vehicles in the best possible condition. Mechanics routinely inspect vehicles, do repairs, and maintain them. There will be many jobs for mechanics in the future. The car industry is evolving and mechanics will have to learn how to service different types of cars, such as hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and more.
There is no degree required to become a diesel mechanic. If you have a high school diploma, you can apply for a job as an assistant or an apprentice. Some higher education is encouraged if you would like to learn more about this exciting career choice.
Step 1: Associate’s degree. There are many community colleges and vocational programs that offer programs in mechanics. You can receive an associate’s degree in mechanics or automotive technology. A formal training program is a great way to learn more about this industry. Many colleges make it easy to earn a degree, with part-time and night classes a possibility. You can earn an associate’s degree in two years.
Step 2: Receive training. Another great way to learn about this job is to become an assistant or apprentice at a repair shop. When you work as an assistant or an apprentice, you will receive extensive training about everything in the field of automotive technology. Tasks may include driving vehicles around the shop, cleaning equipment and tools, checking fuel, and more. After three or four years, you will receive a certificate of completion of your training.
Step 3: Become certified. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certifications for mechanics. ASE certification is available in nine different specialty areas: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, light vehicle diesel engines, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air-conditioning, manual drive train and axles, and suspension and steering. Mechanics must pass the exams that ASE administers in order to receive the certification. These certifications often bring a higher rate of pay and reputation for mechanics.