Mechanics identify and repair problems with vehicles. You need to be familiar with the different automobiles and the issues that can arise. But most importantly, you need to know how to fix these problems so the customer can get back on the road.
Follow this quick guide to become a mechanic.
Education and training
Some mechanics opted for a vocational training program at high school, while others attended community college to train. The high school program spans over three to four years, and you will learn to inspect, repair and maintain a vehicle. You will learn about the systems within the vehicle, such as electrics, braking, transmission and much more. Vocational training is much more hands-on, so you will get real-world experience fixing vehicles.
Once you have completed your training program, you will train under the supervision of an experienced mechanic. You can learn the tricks of the trade, and how to communicate with customers.
Customer communication is a big part of a mechanic’s job, and it takes time to learn. You need to learn to identify what’s wrong with a vehicle from the customer’s description. You may need to explain the inner workings of the car to the customer without using too much technical language.
Certification and license requirements
Some states require mechanics to have a license. You may need to take a few exams to obtain the license. You can also complete voluntary certifications to enhance your portfolio. Just bear in mind that these certifications often require more examinations.
Essential tools and equipment needed
Every mechanic needs a collection of essential tools to get started. A hammer is the most basic tool you can have. It can help you with suspension and engine work. A wrench is a fantastic addition to your collection of tools. You need a set of wrench parts in different shapes and sizes. You could even add some speciality wrenches if needed.
You also need a utility knife, flashlight, oil drain pan, spark plug gapper and a pair of heavy-duty scissors. You can expand your collection of tools as you become a more experienced mechanic. You might find yourself reaching for some tools more than others. You can always replace these items with better quality models in the future.
An auto mechanic earns around $36,610 every year in the United States. Some can earn less than $20,810, and others can reach up to $60,000. You may charge an hourly rate or commission base. It depends on where and how you work.
Once you have qualified as a mechanic, you should continue to expand your skillset. Over time, you can learn new specialities and potentially run your own mechanic business.