Automobile repair is not only an interesting field to me, also I feel automobile maintenance is necessary knowledge to have in today’s auto market. Like studying for school or learning the skills of a job; I feel knowing how to repair a vehicle will produce a cost effective lifestyle, and take out all the hassle anyone who owns a vehicle encounters everyday. How many Americans can change their own oil that don’t work as mechanics, or what is the average repair bill for a same day repair are questions that bring concern to how becoming my own handyman makes a productive choice.
I decided to explore the topic a little more to get a better understanding of the requirements to become an auto mechanic, for I have decided to become certified in Automotive Technology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(definition)- “an auto mechanic is a technician that inspects, maintains and repairs automobiles and light trucks that run on gasoline, electricity or other alternative fuels; like ethanol”.
Auto mechanics play a very important role in maintaining and keeping vehicles running efficiently.
The field of auto mechanics reveals a long history, specialized schooling and strong career objectives for anyone that would like to choose this field as a career. There are certain requirements to become an auto mechanic, and a student can get the basics of automobile repair by taking a vocational class in high school. The course is not really considered training, but the class gives a basic knowledge of what mechanics do.
To be considered a qualified auto mechanic; completing training at a post- secondary school like Pinellas Technical Education Centers or at a community college are the best choices, but the college aspect is not as much hands on as the secondary school. “PTEC consists of 2 years of intense training”(brochure), and the community college usually offers an associate degree for this field that also takes 2 years to complete the coursework. With these types of training, getting the most up to date training needed is essential; like using computer systems to detect problems with cars.
Another form of training involves working as an apprentice to a master technician so questions are answered from experience . When all the formal training is completed a mechanic is considered certified when receiving a ASE Certification. This stands for Automobile Service Excellence Certification. The Bureau of Labor statistics suggests that individuals who live in large cities should get certified to help them with their search for jobs. An auto mechanics basic job function is performed in some type of repair shop, and working 40 plus hours a work is expected with such high volume of vehicles to work on.
Sometimes work can continue into the weekend, along with performing work on the side to help earn some extra money. The working environment for the job involves identifying and fixing problems that deal with the car in a repair shop. Most of the time repairs are done indoors in a large, open garage like facility, including mechanics to get dirty due to all the grease repairs performed daily. These functions are real important that this does not bother someone who might want to do this as a job, for some of the grease and dirt is almost impossible to get completely rid of.
Many shops have now included electrical technology as part of their services due to the fact that most cars have specialized computer systems. “This new service has increased the mechanics skill level greatly” (resource). “Many repair shops rely on these computerized systems to help in identifying problems related to the car” (Ly). The term auto mechanic is slowly fading away, and many mechanics are now being labeled as service technicians.
The change in the name comes from the fact that working on many different parts of the car, and computer systems that require additional and more advanced training. Auto mechanics make a pretty good living. Starting out as a new auto mechanic the annual income will range between $25,000 – $35,000. The next level mechanic could make $35,000- $45,000. After that the pay can be anywhere from $45,000 up to $100,000, for the higher pay range is for a Master Mechanic. It would be best to try and achieve the highest level of pay to make this job worthwhile.
This is not exactly a goal that I am going to set forth for myself to achieve because simply auto work is all I’m interested in. Many Master Mechanics work for luxury car manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and Porsche. The future for service technicians looks very bright. For the next 3 years the auto mechanics field will see an increase close to 10- 20%. This increase is due to many technicians retiring, and due to an increase in cars being purchased. Dealerships and independent car repair shops will be the main employers of service technicians.
The outlook continues to look positive for auto mechanics even though economic downfall is predicted to continue. In conclusion, auto mechanics is a very diverse field that requires complete dedication and skill to help become successful. Mechanics involves a long history, specialized schooling and the desire to achieve. Auto mechanics has evolved into a very complex and sometimes challenging field, and the future job outlook for this field is great and it is a very good choice for anyone interested in pursuing this career.