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A mechanic is an artisan, skilled tradesperson, or technician who uses tools to build, maintain, or repair machinery.
Most mechanics specialize in a particular field, such as auto body mechanics, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, auto mechanics, bicycle mechanics, boiler mechanics, and other areas.
A mechanic is typically certified by a trade association or regional government power. Mechanics may be separated into two classes based on the type of machines they work on, heavyweight and lightweight. Heavyweight work is on larger machines or heavy equipment, such as tractors and trailers, while lightweight work is on smaller items, such as automotive engines.
Auto mechanics have many trades within. Some may specialize in the electrical aspects, while others may specialize in the mechanical aspects. Other areas include: brakes and steering, suspension, automatic or manual transmission, engine repairs, auto body repairs or diagnosing customer complaints.
An automotive technician, on the other hand, has a wide variety of topics to learn.
Automotive Mechanic Job Description, Career as an Automotive Mechanic, Salary, Employment
Salary Median—$15.60 per hour
Employment Outlook Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Automotive mechanics inspect, service, and repair the engines, brakes, and other parts of cars, buses, and trucks. They also perform routine maintenance to prevent future breakdowns.
Diagnosing problems quickly and accurately requires analytical ability. It also requires a thorough knowledge of cars’ mechanical and electronic systems and competence with a variety of electronic tools, such as infrared engine analyzers and computers. Many mechanics consider diagnosing hard-to-find problems to be one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.
After locating the source of the malfunctions, mechanics often need to replace or repair faulty parts. Some mechanics specialize in particular kinds of repair, such as electrical or transmission problems. They usually work in special service shops.
Most mechanics work in automobile dealerships, automobile repair shops, and gasoline service stations. Many others are employed by federal, state, and local government agencies; taxicab and automobile leasing companies; and other businesses that repair their own cars and trucks.
Automobile manufacturers hire mechanics to make adjustments and repairs after cars come off the assembly line. Other mechanics work for large department stores that have facilities for servicing automobiles.
Education and Training Requirements
Employers prefer to hire applicants who are high school graduates. High school courses in metal work, mechanical drawing, science, mathematics, computer skills, and automobile maintenance are helpful. A number of advanced high school programs are part of the Automotive Youth Education Service, a certification program that prepares students for entry-level jobs. Participants often train under experienced mechanics for up to four years.
A growing number of employers require auto mechanics to complete training programs offered by trade, vocational, or community colleges. The programs
last from six months to two years and combine classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Some trade schools partner with automotive dealerships, which allow students to work in their service departments.
Certification is important—but not mandatory—in this field. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, the nationally recognized standard, can be awarded in eight different areas of automotive service. Applicants must pass exams and have two years of relevant experience to become ASE-certified mechanics.
To be recognized as master automobile technicians, mechanics must be certified in all eight areas of automotive service. Mechanics are retested every five years to renew certification. More than four hundred thousand service professionals have achieved ASE certification.
Getting the Job
School placement offices, job fairs, and apprenticeship programs can provide employment contacts and job leads. Job seekers can also apply directly to service stations, automotive dealerships, and repair shops. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job sites often list openings.
Over 30 percent of automotive service technicians work more than 40 hours a week. Many of them are self-employed.
How many hours a week does a mechanic work?
What are the work conditions for a mechanic?
Most mechanics work indoors, in shops with good ventilation, lighting, and heat. They frequently work with dirty, greasy parts and in awkward positions. Sometimes they must lift heavy objects. Minor cuts and bruises are common, but serious accidents are usually avoided by observing established safety procedures.
What are the different type of mechanics?
Whether you’re researching the different types of mechanic jobs out there or are in need of a specific mechanic, our list below can help.
- Auto Mechanics.
- Aircraft Mechanics.
- Diesel Mechanics.
- Heavy Duty Mechanic.
- Motorcycle Mechanic.
- Small Engine Mechanics.
- Boat Mechanics.
- Auto Body Mechanics.
Can a mechanic be rich?
Generally, mechanics make a decent living, earning a median annual salary of $36,600. But most are paid according to a “flat-rate” system, meaning that they only make money when there is actual work to be done. Meanwhile, each task only pays a pre-set number of hours, no matter how long it actually takes to complete.
What type of mechanic makes the most money?
The highest paid mechanic specialty is the repair of aircraft. On average, aircraft mechanics earned $64,090 per year in 2019, according to the BLS.
Weekly and Monthly Tasks
Here is a list of tasks that Automotive Master Mechanics do on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Repair, reline, replace, and adjust brakes.
- Confer with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.
- Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
- Repair or replace shock absorbers.
- Replace and adjust headlights.
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting
Exposed to Contaminants
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Experienced mechanics in large shops may advance to supervisory positions, such as repair shop supervisor or service manager. Mechanics who like to work with customers may become service estimators, who take clients’ orders for repairs and write up job orders for mechanics. Many mechanics open their own repair shops or service stations.
Employment of automobile mechanics is expected to increase as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Turnover in this field is high, so many openings occur each year. Automotive technology is becoming increasingly complex, so mechanics who have had formal training may find the most opportunities. Demand should also be high for those who stay informed about new developments in this field, such as alternate fuels technology.
Most mechanics work between forty and forty-eight hours per week, but many work longer hours during busy periods. Mechanics frequently get paid at higher rates for overtime.
Most mechanics work indoors, in shops with good ventilation, lighting, and heat. They frequently work with dirty, greasy parts and in awkward positions. Sometimes they must lift heavy objects.
Earnings and Benefits
Salaries vary, depending on location and mechanics’ experience. In 2004 the median wage of all automotive mechanics was $15.60 per hour. The most experienced mechanics earned more than $26.33 per hour. Apprentices started at about sixty percent of the standard wage and received increases throughout their training.
How many hours does an aircraft mechanic work?
From small piston-engines to jumbo turbine-powered jets, aircraft mechanics are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and inspecting aircraft. Yet, the type of work that aviation maintenance technicians do depends on the company or airline.
Major airlines, like Delta, operate almost continuously, so being an aircraft mechanic is not typically a boring 9-to-5. It is hard but valuable work that requires an alert and responsible technician. The safety of aircraft pilots, crew, and passengers takes priority.
If it is something you are interested in, seek out companies who offer overtime. Overtime work can be beneficial to develop skills in newer aviation mechanics. It can also be helpful for extra pay! Availability depends on the aviation company or airline, and personal drive.
So, how many hours do these aircraft mechanics work?
The answer: It depends.
The most significant factor in deciding how many hours aircraft mechanics work are the employers. Airlines, MRO facilities, and private fleets all have schedules to which employees adhere.
Schedules and shifts may change frequently. It might be frustrating at times, but it is a positive learning experience for newer aviation mechanics. Also, it allows newbies to work on projects they may not typically work on during regular shifts.
Overtime Hours and Pay
Much like other industries, schedule and workload will vary company-to-company and position-to-position. Some aircraft mechanics may work a 40-hour workweek. Others may seek a position where overtime is necessary and mandatory. It is important to note that all manufacturers, airlines, and private aviation companies all have their own sets of rules when it comes to overtime. NAA’s Career Services department can assist you in finding the right fit for your needs and desires.
The choice is yours!
When considering what airline or aircraft maintenance company to work for, remember to inquire about the set hours and expectations. Or you may want to work 40 hours and call it a day. Ultimately, the choice is yours!
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