An auto mechanic is a person who fixes automobiles. They carry out diagnostic, repair, and maintenance services for vehicles. For anyone who has an interest in vehicles and does not mind the dirty and sweaty nature of the job and the irregular hours, becoming an auto mechanic can be an ideal career path.
Many times, people tend to be apprehensive about going into certain careers because they are not sure if those careers are good enough or will be profitable for them in the long run. This is most often seen in blue-collar jobs like auto mechanics. However, just like other careers out there, being an auto mechanic is a good career opportunity. This depends on a person’s interest, dedication, and the amount of time and effort one puts into it. The time and effort an individual spends on honing their skill in the field makes all the difference between a good auto mechanic who will always have employment opportunities and a bad one who will struggle. Considering that an average household owns at least one vehicle, which will certainly require professional maintenance and repair from time to time, an auto mechanic will never really go out of jobs. Therefore, a career where jobs are constantly available can be said to be a good one, just like the case with auto mechanics. So for anyone at a crossroads about whether or not to proceed with a career as an auto mechanic, the answer is yes, a career as an auto mechanic is a good one. But first, how does one become an auto mechanic?
Steps to Become an Auto Mechanic:
- Develop the interest to become an auto mechanic. Every career path starts with an interest that grows as one begins to learn more about it.
- Pick the classes which are relevant to the field while in school. This will gradually improve one’s knowledge and aptitude in that regard.
- Get a high school diploma or a GED at least. This is the basic education requirement to become an auto mechanic.
- Take up vocational training or a certificate course in the field. This provides in-depth knowledge on everything required from an individual to become a professional in the auto mechanic field.
- Gain hands-on experience to develop the skills learned. This can be done by interning and providing assistance to established professionals while working on real-life situations and practicing what was learned in the vocational school.
- Get licensed to practice. The individual has to make findings on the requirement to become a licensed auto mechanic in their location and work towards getting that license to be able to practice as a professional auto mechanic.
- Congratulations, you’re now ready to work as an auto mechanic.
After starting work as an auto mechanic, the individual still needs to learn more and continually improve their current skill set and acquire new ones, both professional and interpersonal skills. Basic professional skills include Understanding how vehicles work, proficiency in diagnosis and repair of automobile engines and other parts, ability to use and maintain the tools and machines used on the job, and other mechanical skills. Interpersonal skills like customer service relations and people skills, problem-solving skills, ability to work effectively in a team, and professionalism. Like with many other careers, the automobile industry makes new improvements and developments with each passing season. As such, to be on top of the game as an auto mechanic, one needs to constantly improve on and update themselves to keep up with the changes in the industry.
Where Can an Auto Mechanic work?
Being an auto mechanic is a flexible career, and job opportunities are aplenty, making it a good career to go into. Some places an auto mechanic can work include:
- Vehicle manufacturing and assembly plants
- Car rental services
- Gas stations
- Repair workshops
- Parts and accessories shops
- The motorsports industry
- Running an individual garage
- Becoming a professional auto mechanic trainer
Among other places.
How Much Money Does an Auto Mechanic Make?
While passion for the job is a good driving force in any career, the pay at the end of the month is an important factor to consider when making career decisions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average auto mechanic in the US makes above $20 per hour and earns at least $40,000 per year. There is also a possibility to earn more than that depending on the organization where the auto mechanic works, their skills, and the location/ city they work in. This means that an auto mechanic can live comfortably off their earnings as a professional in the field. Hence it is a good career to go into.
Some Benefits an Auto Mechanic Can Get On The Job
Apart from the salary and bonuses, most auto mechanic jobs give employee discounts on services, employee assistance programs, disability insurance -which is key, as employees have a high risk of getting injured on the job- and other healthcare insurance paid to time off, paid sick leave, retirement benefits, among others. But, again, the extent to which these benefits are given depends on the organization’s policy where the auto mechanic works.
Other Benefits an Auto Mechanic Can Get
Since a college degree is not a strong requirement to become an auto mechanic, this takes away student loans from the individual. In addition, the cost of the vocational training, certifications, and license required for auto mechanics to practice cannot be compared with the cost of attending college, for which many students take out huge loans to pay for. Thus, auto mechanics can quickly pay off any loans they might take for their training instead of still paying off college loans for years after graduation like other careers.
There is also a level of independence, job autonomy, and satisfaction that comes with the job. Auto mechanics have room for creativity, can fully utilize all their acquired skills, and depending on their employers’ policy, some auto mechanics can run personal gigs on the side to augment their earnings.
Job Satisfaction and Growth Opportunities
Many auto mechanics say they are quite satisfied with the job and can live well with their earnings. The average auto mechanic enjoys the challenges and complexities of the job, and overall, it finds it a rewarding career path. There are various areas in the auto mechanic field one can specialize in, and there is plenty of room to grow and develop in the field. In addition, the automobile industry is rapidly changing. New areas are springing up within the field, which means auto mechanics can take advantage of this to boost their working experience. The more skills they acquire, the more opportunities they have to grow in the industry, and as everyone knows, the higher one gets in a field, the more they earn.
Being an auto mechanic is indeed a good career in terms of income, job stability, and satisfaction. After an individual completes all the necessary steps required to become an auto mechanic, there are many job opportunities in the field to choose from. In addition, the auto mechanic market is not overly saturated. As long as there are vehicles on the road, there will always be jobs available for auto mechanics. While it can be a physically demanding job with irregular hours and without the prestige of some other careers, being an auto mechanic is still a good and rewarding career path to explore.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can anybody become an auto mechanic? Yes, anybody can become an auto mechanic after getting a high school diploma and undergoing necessary vocational training.
- Does one need a college degree to become an auto mechanic? No, a high school diploma is enough.
- Do auto mechanics earn a lot of money? Auto mechanics earn a decent amount of money on the job.
- What is the retirement age of an auto mechanic? Auto mechanics can work for as long as their strength and health can allow. However, a good number of them move on to less physically demanding roles in the field as they get older.