How to Become an Auto Mechanic

Written by

Beatrice Harrison


August 14, 2014


how-to-become-an-auto-mechanicAuto mechanics are trained professionals that have the skills to fix and work on cars. The automotive industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and most people in the U.S. own some type of automobile. As with many things, automobiles need routine maintenance and occasionally have problems that need to be fixed. This is the job of the auto mechanic.

What does an auto mechanic do?

Auto mechanics (also called car mechanics) check, maintain and repair automobiles. These vehicles run on gasoline, alternative fuels, or electricity. When a problem occurs, the car mechanic notes the described description and then performs diagnostic tests to find the problem. They check to see if the systems and components are working right and then isolate the areas that may be contributing to the problem. Car mechanics often test drive the vehicle or use many different types of testing equipment. The tests give insight if the part can be repaired or if a new one must be installed.

When performing routine inspections, auto mechanics test and lubricate the engines, change oil, and check the other major parts. Sometimes parts that are worn are repaired or replaced before they cause problems. Car mechanics typically follow a checklist to make sure they inspect every critical component.

What kind of training & skills does an auto mechanic need?

Auto mechanics need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer candidates with postsecondary training. Some high school programs participate in partnerships with automotive manufacturers and franchised automotive dealers called Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES). Many vocational and technical schools offer automotive training programs and community colleges offer associate degrees. These programs offer classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Many automobile dealers and manufacturers sponsor associate degree programs at postsecondary schools around the country. Most auto mechanics complete on the job training through education programs or offered by their employers. They also attend periodic training and seminars to improve their skills.

What are the prospects for a career as an auto mechanic? Job Outlook

Employment of auto mechanics is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% through 2016. The increased production of motor vehicles, increasing population, and more families purchasing additional vehicles will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be very good, especially for auto mechanics that have formal automotive training and extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace auto mechanics that retire or leave the field for other reasons.

Auto mechanic salary: How much do auto mechanics make?

As of this year, the middle 50% of auto mechanics earned an annual auto mechanic salary of between $28,912 and $38,352. The highest 10% earned an annual auto mechanic salary of more than $43,690.

A career as an auto mechanic is a great choice for people who have a strong interest in the field of automotive technology. Auto mechanics must have a thorough knowledge of automobiles and be able to quickly identify the source of a problem. Good reasoning skills, strong communication skills, and good analytical skills are also essential for anyone who is considering whether and how to become an auto mechanic. Those interested in being an auto mechanic may also want to become an elevator mechanic or be an aircraft mechanic.

Becoming an Auto Mechanic Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an Auto Mechanic? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Want to become a mechanic? Check out our list of the best auto mechanic schools to receive the skills and training required to have an edge when applying for auto mechanic jobs.

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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