What is an auto mechanic? When we think of a mechanic, perhaps the most popular image that comes to mind is an auto mechanic, or someone who repairs cars. As you probably know, cars break down all the time, and most people don’t know how to fix them, even though some of us might pop open the hood and try (I’m looking at you, gentlemen!).
Auto mechanics, also known as auto service technicians or a car doctor, typically work in an auto repair shop or a dealership, and most are trained to identify and repair issues that arise with common cars. While they typically work on the traditional mechanical components of cars such engines, transmissions and brakes, they are also trained in the electrical components, such as steering and lighting, as well. Given the ever increasing focus on environmental concerns in the U.S. and abroad, it is also becoming more common for traditional auto mechanics to be trained on vehicles running on alternative fuels like ethanol and electricity in addition to standard unleaded fuel. Some of the typical skills and duties that an auto mechanic have are:
– Basic care and maintenance of cars
– Identifying mechanical problems using diagnostics
– Repair and replacement of parts
– Communicating to customer what the problem is
– Standard tune up’s
In addition to having a general knowledge of how cars work, some auto mechanics will also be trained further in a particular specialty, depending on the auto repair shop. Some of those specialties include:
– Air Conditioning Repair
– Steering and Suspension
Training and Certification
No formal mechanic school training is required to become an auto mechanic, however many individuals to choose to go to one of the many great schools that are out there to further their training and become an expert in the field. While no school training is required, there is a certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence that is the standard credential for auto service technicians. Completing the certification exam may bring the technician higher pay, and might be required by their employer.
Auto Mechanic Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an automotive mechanic as of May 2010 was $35,790. Many mechanics working for dealers and shops may also receive a commission in addition to their salary or hourly wage. The commission is typically based off the labor cost that is charged to the customer.
The job outlook for qualified service technicians looks to be very good over the coming years, with employment in the category expected to grow by 17 percent by the year 2020. As the population grows, so will the amount of cars on our roads, therefore more mechanics will be in demand as a result. Additionally, people are keeping their cars for longer periods of time now, so maintenance requirements for older model vehicles will continue to rise in demand.
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