How to Become a Mechanic in 3 Simple Steps

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What is a Mechanic

Auto mechanics perform just about every and any task on a wide range of auto vehicles. They carry out maintenance, repairs, perform safety checks, and more. The role can involve working on any size auto vehicle and can offer some challenging tasks as more modern vehicles become more complicated. If you are interested pursuing this career keep reading and learn how to become a mechanic.

What Does a Mechanic Do?

Elements of the role of auto mechanic has changed vastly over the years. Modern vehicles are advancing in technology at a fast rate. So, there is a need for an auto mechanic to be continually learning about new advancements and taking part in training.

A lot of auto mechanics choose to specialize in a certain type of vehicle, an area of repairs, or the type of service they offer. You could, for example, specialize in engine maintenance and rebuilds, or transmissions, or even just the safety equipment inside vehicles.

There is certainly more emphasis on electronics with modern vehicles. Being able to use computer systems and hand-held devices is now an everyday part of most auto mechanics roles.

Mechanics work in workshops. There are some auto mechanics that operate remotely helping motorists that have broken down. But there are a large amount of tools needed to perform most of their role so the majority of work is carried out in a workshop, The hours of work are pretty typical of a 9-5, although working overtime is not uncommon to complete a job to meet a customer’s deadline.

The key duties of an auto mechanic include:

  • Inspecting and testing auto vehicles for faults
  • Repairing and carrying out maintenance on auto vehicles
  • Diagnosing problems and preparing quotes for customers
  • Filing paperwork and recording vehicles repairs and details

Most auto mechanics either work for themselves in their own garage, or the work in a garage for a larger company. There are some huge nationwide companies with hundreds of garages and thousands of employees.

Mechanics make about $47,580

Desirable Skills of an Auto Mechanic

Being an auto mechanic is both a job for life and a job some people do for a few years. There are some desirable skills that help people take to being a mechanic easier than others. Like all jobs, it’s not for everyone. Here are some skills that help people be better auto mechanics and find more success in the role.

Good Stamina and Strength

There is a lot of heavy lifting and long hours working underneath, or leaning over vehicles. This can take its toll on the body and is one reason that older people find it more difficult to be an auto mechanic. Being in good physical shape makes the role a lot easier.

Maintaining Continual Development

As mentioned earlier, there are continual advancements and developments in the auto vehicle industry. If you want to stay competitive with other garages and keep your knowledge up-to-date there is the need for continual development.

Good Team Skills

Auto shops only operate well by having a team of people. From the staff working on the counter securing customers, the staff managing stocks, and the mechanics. Having good team skills is vital to the whole garage operating smoothly, and effectively.

Passion for Auto Vehicles

Like with any job, if you have a passion for your work you are going to enjoy the role a lot more, and will be much better for it. A lot of young men growing up love vehicles, and it’s been a natural progression to work in the industry for many.

Reliable and Able to Work to Strict Deadlines

Customers vehicles are often their lifeline or even their business. Auto mechanics are often expected to turn around some repairs very quickly, and missing a deadline can damage the relationship with the customer. Being reliable and working to deadlines is a very key part of the role.
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what is a mechanic

Becoming a Mechanic

Step 1: High School Requirements

High School Courses for Mechanics

Mathematics Classes

Mathematics classes are really important for mechanics as they will use metrics and calculations daily when examining a car and trying to find a problem. Also the problem solving mentality of mathematics will help them when trying to find what the problem is at a broken car.

Computer Classes

Last generation cars have complex computer systems, software and applications performing a wide range of services. If there is a problem to these computer systems the mechanic should be able to detect the problem and send their client to an expert.

Automotive Repair

While auto shop classes are not offered as much as they used you should make sure to take them. If not possible a lot of schools offer automotive classes in cooperation with Automotive Youth Education Systems so make sure to ask your teachers and take a relative automotive repair class.

Step 2: Get Official Training

Automotive Mechanic Certificate Program 4 months 1 year

Automotive Mechanic Certificate Programs provide students with the basic automotive skills for entry level positions in automotive repair shops. They are 6 months to 1 year programs consisted of 30 to 43 semester credit hours. The admission requirements are a high school diploma or a GED.

Core Courses (17 credits)

  • Introduction to Automotive Technology
  • Engine Repair
  • Brake Systems
  • Engine Performance
  • Manual Drive Train and Axles
  • Electrical Systems

Specialty Courses (13 credits)

  • Steering and Suspension Systems
  • Automatic Transmission and Transaxle
  • Heating and Air-Conditioning
  • Alternate Fuel Technology

The cost of an automotive mechanic certificate program is $3,885 – $9,600.

It is really important to talk with college or university you want to go and get all your questions answered.

Click the red button below and get free information about accredited automotive mechanic certificate programs near you
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Associates Degree in Automotive Service Technology program 2 years

These programs are built to offer their students an in depth study of the most popular trends in the automotive field. They are 60 to 100 semester credit hours and are offered mostly on campus. The admission requirements are a high school diploma with a GPA over 2.8.

General Education Requirements (25 credits)

  • College Mathematics
  • English Composition 1
  • English Composition 2
  • Economics
  • Oral / Interpersonal Communication
  • Sociology, Introduction to
  • Psychology, Introduction to
  • Technical Math

Core Courses (40 credits)

  • Auto IT for Transportation
  • Auto Service Fundamentals
  • Brake Systems
  • Steering & Suspension Systems
  • Electrical & Electronic Systems 1
  • Electrical & Electronic Systems 2
  • Climate Control Systems
  • Engine Repair 1
  • Engine Performance 1
  • Auto Instrumentation & Testing
  • Electrical & Electronic Systems 3
  • Manual Drive Train & Axles
  • Advanced Chassis Systems
  • Engine Repair 2
  • Auto Transmission/Transaxle
  • Engine Performance 2
  • Auto Service Simulation
  • Technical Reporting

The cost of an automotive service technology associate degree program is $19,630 – $31,500.

It is really important to talk with college or university you want to go and get all your questions answered.

Click the red button below and get free information about accredited automotive service technology associate degree programs near you.
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Step 3: Get Certified

The most standard organization issuing certification for auto mechanics is the National Institute for Automotive Excellence. There are over 40 certification test available covering all the aspects of the automotive industry. Also there are different certification tests depending on the working experience and the training of the candidate.

Requirements

At least two years of working experience (varies depending on the certification test)

Examination: 

40 to 75 multiple choice questions (varies depending on the certification test)

Cost: $73 – $110

How Long Does it Take to Become a Mechanic and How Much Does it Cost?

Option 1 : Certificate

Degree Time Cost
Certificate 6 months to 12 months$3,885 - $9,600
Certification -$73
Total 6 months to 12 months$3,958 - $9,673

Option 2 : Associate’s Degree

Degree Time Cost
Associates Degree2 years$19,630 - $31,500
Certification -$73 - $110
Total 2 years $19,703 - $31,610
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