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What it takes to be a Professional Mechanic

Career News October 21, 2015

Some people think that changing a tire can qualify you to be a mechanic. However, to be a professional mechanic, you need to have achieved in your academics as you will learn below. Also, learn the general work layout and remuneration details that an average mechanic receives before you can decide if you would like to just know the basics of the job or if you would like to get into professional work as a mechanic.

Job Overview of a Professional Mechanic

Mechanics generally deal with repairing and servicing of vehicles. Their work may range from fixing the brakes, working on a car’s engine; ignition controls units or even changing the grease in the vehicle. The work may also involve handling non-essential aspects of the cars, like installing a sub-woofer in the car or fixing the air conditioner.

In terms of educational levels, most employers prefer hiring people with post high school mechanic related programs or people who have undergone some apprenticeship related to the work of a mechanic.

Preferred Education Level: At least a high school diploma although most employer will choose candidates with a post high school certificate in mechanics
Other requirements: ASE certificate
Estimated job Growth rate (2012-2022): 9% for automotive technicians
Average salary (2013): $39,450 for automotive service technicians and mechanics

Educational Requirements Before Being a Mechanic

For starters, having a high school diploma might be all one requires to become a mechanic. However, to be a good mechanic and a professional one for that matter, attending a post high school training program in mechanics is a better place to start from. The following are also courses and programs that a student willing to pursue a career in mechanics can join.

Specialized high school training

If you attend a high school that offer training in Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES), enrolling in that course would give you an added advantage when looking for a job as a mechanic. Your course may however be rejected if the school that you attended was not certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

College Certificate and Associate’s Degree Programs

In case you’ve attended a high school that never offered any kind of automobile training, you may consider attending a college or technical university that offers either a certificate or an associate’s degree in mechanics. Usually, these kinds of programs do not take long, as they range from 6-24 months. The training can be anything from wheel alignment, fuel systems training or how to fix a malfunctioning car engine.

Certification

Though this is not compulsory, after graduating from college, you may seek certification from the ASE. If you got some training in high school or in college, you may be given a certificate after one year, otherwise the ASE normally award certificates to mechanics with at least two years of experience.

Employment Opportunities and Remuneration

As more people continue to purchase and use cars, mechanics’ jobs are likely to increase day by day. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the annual job growth at 9%, while the median salary for an average mechanic was $39,450 in 2013.

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