Inside Mechanic Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Mechanic Careers

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Career Background


Mechanic

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  How to Prepare for the Job
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Career Video

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:

Like

"the feeling of accomplishment I get when a job is over and the customer is satisfied. Satisfied customers will you give word-of-mouth advertising and nothing works better than that."

Dislike

"dealing with customer and employee complaints."

Career Overview

Individuals who enjoy working with tools and repairing machinery are ideal candidates for a career as a mechanic. A skilled worker in repairing vehicles, machines, and tools, mechanics use a variety of traditional and computer diagnostic equipment to identify and fix problems. Mechanics generally specialize in one or more areas such as automotive, aircraft, small engine, air conditioning and refrigeration, and industrial machinery, among others. Mechanic careers have become more technical over the years as computer systems have played a larger part in the operation of vehicles and machinery. As a result, mechanics must stay abreast of technology and are at an advantage in the workforce if they have completed a specialized training program at a trade, vocational, or community college.

Mechanic Career Skills

Mechanics generally have a passion for vehicles and machinery and enjoy keeping on top of changes in their technologies. They should have a strong technical aptitude and like working with their hands and tools. Mechanics should also possess good diagnostic and problem-solving skills and be able to use all necessary resources to quickly identify and fix problems. Many jobs, such as automotive mechanics, require good communication skills in order to effectively communicate with customers. In addition, mechanics should have a solid work ethic and be committed to working honestly to quickly solve and repair problems for customers.

Education

Individuals interested in entry-level mechanic careers have traditionally only needed a high school diploma or GED, with most training occurring on the job. However, due to the increasingly technological nature of the career, candidates ideally will have some formal technician training in their specialty. Many mechanic programs combining classroom work with hands-on experience are offered through trade, vocational, and community colleges, and generally take from six months to two years to complete. In addition, certification is preferred by many employers in certain fields such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, a nationally recognized standard for automotive mechanics.

Career Options

There are many areas of specialization that a mechanic can pursue. The following are a few examples of mechanic career choices:

  • Automotive mechanics service and maintain automobiles such as cars, trucks, and buses. Mechanics must have knowledge of mechanical and electronic systems and be able to identify automotive problems using diagnostic tools. Upon locating any problems, mechanics are responsible for fixing any parts and providing quotes to customers. In addition to repair work, mechanics may also perform regular maintenance on vehicles to prevent future problems.
  • Aircraft mechanics inspect, service, and repair aircraft, including engines, landing gear, instruments, and all other parts and accessories. Mechanics must have a thorough knowledge of airplanes in order to perform scheduled maintenance to ensure that they are kept in optimal condition, as well as make repairs and complete FAA inspections. Aircraft mechanics may work for private companies, the military or commercial airlines.
  • Industrial machinery mechanics keep industrial equipment and machinery in good working condition. The machinery worked on depends on the industry, with mechanics working on a wide variety of machinery including cranes, pumps, conveyor belts, and hydraulic lifts, to name a few. In addition to regular maintenance of machinery, mechanics identify and fix any problems, and perform any necessary tests.
  • Small engine mechanics repair and service a wide range of power equipment, from lawnmowers and tractors to chainsaws and jet skis. Mechanics usually specialize in one type of equipment, and uses various tools to diagnose any electrical, mechanical, or fuel problems, and make repairs accordingly. In addition to repairs, they may also perform periodic maintenances to ensure smooth operation of the equipment.