If you feel most comfortable in a pair of coveralls with a wrench in one hand and a ratchet in the other, you might want to pursue a career as an auto mechanic or automotive technician. These professionals diagnose and repair vehicles when they break down or suffer damage. Auto mechanic jobs offer flexibility in your schedule as well as an opportunity to work with your hands. You'll be responsible for a variety of tasks on the job:
Evaluating vehicles for mechanical failure
Using diagnostic tools to find the source of the problem
Test driving repaired cars
Maintaining shop equipment
Replenishing parts inventory
Some car mechanics work on privately owned vehicles while others focus on commercial fleets. Promotion opportunities include positions like service manager and master technician.
Auto Mechanic Job Education Requirements
Some auto mechanic jobs require applicants to have some college experience or a certificate from a trade school. However, most automotive technicians receive on-the-job training through apprenticeships or entry-level positions. Most employers prefer to hire professionals who have a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Auto Mechanic Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto mechanic jobs should grow at a rate of 9 percent, which matches the average across all industries. Over 700,000 vehicle mechanic jobs now exist in the United States, which means plenty of opportunities for young adults just starting their careers or older professionals who wish to switch professions into the automotive industry.
Auto Mechanic Job Salary Information
The median salary for auto mechanics hovers at $36,610 per year, or $17.60 per hour, according to the BLS. Other professions in the automotive industry sometimes pay better; for example, diesel mechanics earn an average of $42,320 each year. However, vehicle mechanics enjoy plentiful job opportunities and the ability to work on all types of cars.