Are you good at fixing things and finding the solution to mechanical issues? Do you love tinkering with cars and enjoy nothing better than getting under the hood and determining what could be causing a glitch in the works?
If you answered “yes” to both questions, it is possible that a career as an auto mechanic might be rightfor you. The following job guide will give you key insights into the career outlook for auto mechanics, training requirements, and the beginner auto mechanic salary.
Auto Mechanic Career Outlook
Before inspecting the typical auto mechanic salary, it is important to recognize the duties associated with this role. Auto mechanics work closely with customers to identify and gather details regarding issues their cars are experiencing. After discussing any signs and problems the vehicle has been displaying, the auto mechanic must carefully review and analyze the mechanisms in the car to see what the source of the problem might be.
With the age of modern technology, auto mechanics use digital diagnostics to run comprehensive vehicle tests, enabling them to identify and resolve the issue efficiently. Once the problem has been diagnosed, the auto mechanic disengages and removes car parts which have run their course from overuse or are not functioning correctly. After these parts have been removed, the auto mechanic can install used or new vehicle parts as needed.
Besides these duties, auto mechanics also complete regular vehicle checkups and maintenance and change the oil, filter, and belt based on car manufacturer specifications. It is the job of the auto mechanic to discuss any expected costs and changes that need to be made with the customer, so they know of the issues at play and can plan for any unforeseen costs.
The auto mechanic salary varies based on the employer you work for, but there are a variety of career options within this field. Many auto mechanics, particularly at the beginning of their career, work for entities like car dealerships, oil change stations, gas stations, tire retailers, and repair shops. These settings are an excellent way to hone your skill set as an auto mechanic and build your knowledge and expertise.
Over time, it is possible for auto mechanics to diverge from working for these types of employers and set up shop for themselves. You may do this immediately upon entering the field, but it is advisable to gain experience under your belt before doing so. Auto mechanics who start their own business not only perform the typical duties associated with the job, but work in management roles, managing and training staff members, handling advertising, and pricing car repair services.
Job Growth Potential
The job of an auto mechanic is one which is growing at a healthy rate when compared to other professions. This is fantastic news for the auto mechanic salary. As auto mechanics are always in high demand to service and repair vehicles, there are plenty of opportunities to get in on the ground floor and work your way up while still earning a comfortable living.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that auto mechanic roles will increase by approximately 6% by the year 2026. It is anticipated that more cars will be on the road in coming years. It is also foreseen that modern technology will continue to advance vehicles to where they will be highly dependable and repairs will not always be required. However, cars, no matter how advanced, will always need fine tuning and alterations made. There is no danger of this field dropping in demand anytime soon.
Education, Skills And Job-Readiness
There are various educational options to enter the auto mechanic field. To earn on the higher end of the auto mechanic salary spectrum, you will want to obtain as much training and on-the-job experience as you can. Many auto mechanics obtain their associate’s degree in automotive technology or a similar discipline. Others complete a training program during high school or through vocational study. Some find great success completing an auto mechanic apprenticeship and receiving hands-on experience.
Whichever route you choose, it is important to realize that auto mechanics must always learn and add to their knowledge base to stay in line with modern technological advances in vehicles. New and improved models are constantly entering the market, so it is essential to maintain a fluid knowledge of vehicle types, their inner mechanisms, and unique functionalities.
Another key part of the training process to become an auto mechanic and earn an excellent auto mechanic salary is to fine tune and grow skills relevant to the field. Auto mechanics must possess a number of important skills to diagnose issues and fix vehicles. Professionals in this field must also have good people skills, as they work constantly with other mechanics, managers, and a diverse customer base.
On the technical side, auto mechanics need to be well versed in auto body repair, brake resurfacing, brake repair, changing and fixing tires, car tune-ups, tests, and car inspections. It is key to be able to diagnose, direct, and repair everything from specialized engines to general auto issues.
Auto mechanics must have a working knowledge of HVAC systems, oil changes, lengthy vehicle repairs, minor repairs, car mechanisms, part building, and installation. On the business side of things, auto mechanics need to be good at sales, record maintenance, service writing, service advising, management, problem solving, teaching team members, and customer interaction.
Preparing For The Interview
If you have completed your education and training, and are getting ready to interview for auto mechanic positions, there are general questions you should expect to answer. These vary slightly based on the employer and environment you could work in, but will probably be posed to you over the course of the interview.
You will be asked why you want to work for the garage or repair shop in the first place, what your education and training has been, and what the most complex vehicle problem you have ever had to fix was. You may also be questioned regarding your experience fixing car dents and alignment issues. Auto mechanic employers will typically ask about key elements of steering and suspension to gauge your head knowledge and problem-solving capabilities.
You should expect to answer questions regarding issues you have faced installing or fixing HVAC systems and respond to queries regarding your method for a complete car inspection. Employers want to assess how you treat and handle customers as this is an integral part of the role. They will probably ask you to discuss a situation in which you faced a demanding or upset client, how you managed the scenario, and what you might have changed if the opportunity presented itself again.
Auto Mechanic Salary For Beginners
The typical auto mechanic salary varies based on some primary contributing factors. For instance, the location and employer you work for will often determine the auto mechanic salary you enjoy. Working for a small body shop may not pay as well as working for a large dealer would.
Your education, training, and on-the-job experience correlates directly with the auto mechanic salary you can expect to earn. If you have very minimal experience and little formal training, you cannot expect to receive a high wage, at least at the start. If you prove yourself and learn quickly, there may be definite room for advancement. However, in the immediate sense, the more head knowledge and training you have the better your auto mechanic salary prospects will be.
The highest auto mechanic salary is usually paid to individuals employed by government agencies and larger dealers. Auto mechanics who go into business for themselves may also earn a much higher wage than the average professional just entering the field. If you work for a gas station or smaller outlet, you might expect to earn on the much lower end of the auto mechanic salary spectrum.
With these facts in mind, the average auto mechanic salary falls around $38,000 per year. However, this number is prone to distinct variation. Those earning a much lower auto mechanic salary could bring home as little as $21,000 per year, while those earning above average might receive $64,000 per annum at a minimum.
Another factor to consider when examining the average auto mechanic salary is how you are paid. Some auto mechanics receive a commission-based salary while others are paid hourly. A number of professionals in the field take on outside customers apart from their employer to earn extra money on the side. Another excellent way to increase your auto mechanic salary is to search for vehicles with distinct issues that need to be fixed, buy them, repair them, and sell them for a sizable profit.
The job of an auto mechanic is an interesting and varied one, requiring individuals with a keen eye for detail, technological and mechanical prowess, and an aptitude for diagnostics and repairs. The auto mechanic salary you earn, particularly as a beginner, will depend on the education and training you have received and the employer you choose. Bear this in mind when determining the route you will take, so you can ensure you start out in the field set on the path to success.