For those who love to be around cars, becoming an auto mechanic is a dream job. Auto mechanics repair and fine tune engines to their maximum running efficiency, install parts and accessories, and repair dented body panels. Obtaining a position as an auto mechanic means competing with other avid car lovers. Applicants can distinguish themselves from the pack by taking steps towards the career before approaching potential employers.
Follow Kangan Institute’s roadmap to learn what you need to know about the automotive industry and get on track to become an auto mechanic.
Automotive mechanics are required to inspect, repair and maintain cars and light trucks. You may work in automotive repair shops in national chains or private garages. Working as a mechanic can be highly demanding as it is not uncommon to stay in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time when making repairs. When training how to become a mechanic, it becomes clear that the work can be messy, especially when working with greasy car parts and tools.
Mechanics must be familiar with a wide range of automotive parts and how they work in order to correctly diagnose mechanical problems for your clients. You require the technical ability to use computer diagnostic and testing equipment. Mechanics need to be detail-oriented, due to their many checklists to follow and critical parts to examine. Depending on the environment, mechanics need some level of customer service training as some repair shops require a lot of interaction with customers. However, anyone who wants to learn how to be a mechanic will need to have strong enough communication skills in order to explain what’s wrong with a vehicle and what needs to be done to repair it.
Auto mechanics may be required to perform the following tasks:
- Discuss and explain problems with car owners or vehicle operators to discover faults, listen to engines, fit and operate special test equipment and test drive vehicles.
- Repair or replace worn and faulty parts by removing assemblies such as engines, transmissions, dismantle them and check parts, whilst referring to manuals when required.
- Reassemble, test, clean and adjust repaired or replaced parts or assemblies, use various instruments to make sure they are working properly.
- Carry out minor body repairs and minor trim repairs.
- Diagnose, repair and replace engine management and fuel injection components.
- Test and repair electrical systems such as lighting, instrumentations, ignition and electronic fuel injection.
- Inspect vehicles and issue roadworthiness certificates or list the work required before a certificate can be issued.
Those aspiring to become an auto mechanic can begin honing their skills during high school by taking classes that will teach them how to work with tools. If you have the option available you should take classes in automotive repair, electronics, computers, mathematics and English. Another way to gain insightful knowledge is to learn by observing friends or family members who work on cars. You can also learn customer service skills by working part-time as a sales assistant.
With the advancements and complex use of technology in modern automobiles means auto mechanics cannot rely on high school training and mechanical ability alone to obtain a job. Most employers require candidates to have a formal post-secondary qualifications. The Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR20720) provides training in a number of automotive areas including:
- Motor mechanics
- Auto electrical
- Parts interpreting
- Heavy vehicles
- Light engines
- Engine reconditioning
- Marine mechanics
Once obtaining a job, auto mechanics must undergo on-the-job training. This might take two to five years to reach the status of a fully qualified auto technician. Entry-level auto mechanics typically start as assistants to more experienced workers. They are not allowed to work on individual repairs until they gain more time on the job.
Salary and Job Prospects
The average salary for an auto mechanic is $48,519 with a senior salary of $62,142. Over the next few years, the number of job openings for auto mechanics is expected to be above average and will continue to rise moderately in the long term.
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