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Auto Mechanic Education Requirements and Career Duties

Job Descriptions January 16, 2013

Auto mechanics perform the inspection and repair of trucks and automobiles.  Additionally, they perform oil changes and tire rotations among other basic maintenance requirements. Automotive mechanics can enroll into training programs that cover a wide range of coursework including brake systems, engine repair, and manual and automatic transmissions. In this article, we will discuss the various requirements an aspiring auto mechanic has to satisfy in order to pursue their career.

Auto Mechanic Job Responsibilities

Auto mechanics engage in the diagnosis and repair of various complex mechanical issues in trucks and automobiles. Belts, fuel systems, brakes, electrical systems, engines, and manual and automatic transmissions are among the various automobile parts they work on. Computers and electronic components have primary control over modern automotive systems, including braking, transmission and steering systems. Hence, auto mechanics are required to have experience working with today’s electronic technology as well as conventional hand tool skills. Auto mechanics employed by large shops gain valuable hands on experience in specialized areas of specific repairs. Jobs of auto mechanics can be classified in various ways including those of brake repairers, front-end mechanics, automotive air-conditioning repairers, tune-up technicians, and transmission technicians (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov)). Automobile dealerships and automotive repair shops are the most common work settings in which auto mechanics find work, apart from vehicle equipment rental firms, automotive part stores and tire stores.

Auto Mechanic Education Prerequisites

Auto mechanics are required by most employers to have completed formal training in a postsecondary school. These professionals can aim for entry-level jobs by completing some programs offered by high schools. Such coursework includes training in basic automotive technology and collision repair. Vocational schools and community colleges are the educational institutions that provide majority of associate degree programs and certificate programs. Coursework includes training in diverse areas such as engine reconditioning, automotive electricity, engine performance analysis, brake systems, manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, engine repair, automotive electrical systems, steering and suspension systems, and manual drive trains and axles. Candidates enrolled in an automotive technology program are required to participate in a lot of hands-on training. Students can also seek internships at car dealerships or local service centers while they are still enrolled in such programs.

While auto mechanic certification is not mandatory, candidates who want to remain competitive in the profession often seek certification. In order to qualify for certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), auto mechanics need to have two years on the job experience, in addition to passing a written examination.

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