Many people want to become mechanics as a way to pursue their passion for cars. They may have childhood memories of watching family members work on vehicles or just always had an interest in how things worked. While some people go on to have successful careers in the field, others find themselves frustrated by the difficulty of getting a job as an automotive professional.
While not all auto mechanics have formal education, it is usually recommended to attend a trade school. The length of time a person spends in a program will vary, but most programs are designed to offer the knowledge and skills that are required for an auto mechanic position. Some trade schools also offer apprenticeship opportunities, allowing students to earn an income and gain valuable experience at the same time.
Generally, employers prefer to hire mechanics with at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. This requirement helps the employer avoid the cost associated with on-the-job training. It is important to have a strong technical aptitude and a good work ethic, no matter what branch of the field a mechanic chooses to enter. A mechanic who has a desire to learn and a knack for mechanical work can quickly advance in their career.
The most experienced and skilled mechanics can command a substantial salary. For example, in Florida, a certified mechanic can expect to make an average of $61,000 per year. Mechanics car mechanic in other states may earn slightly less, but the field is still competitive and offers stable employment.
Aside from the pay, auto mechanics can enjoy other benefits. Most mechanics have a reliable work schedule and know how many hours they can expect to be on the job each week. They can also enjoy the benefit of a steady flow of customers. Unlike some other professions, most mechanics are not tied down to an office and can work at any of a number of locations during the day.
As the automotive industry continues to evolve, mechanics will need a broader set of skills than in the past. For instance, a mechanic who specializes in engines will need to be familiar with the latest electrical systems. The same is true for the steering and suspension systems, brakes and more.
Mechanics can also benefit from being certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification provides a boost in wages, and is often a prerequisite for some positions. This type of certification is typically offered by trade schools, and can be obtained by passing an exam. ASE certifications are valid for five years, and must be renewed every two years. As the world moves toward a greater dependence on electronic technology, mechanics will need to continually update their skill sets. It is a profession that can be lucrative, but it will only be successful for those who are prepared for the changing industry.