Unless you live in the middle of a highly walkable downtown area with lots of public transit options nearby, you probably rely on a car, truck, or SUV to get you from point A to point B, and you’re certainly not alone. In fact, there are approximately 276 million motor vehicles on the roads in the United States today.
All those vehicles require routine maintenance and servicing, and each and every year, some percentage are involved in a collision and need new parts or repairs.
As a result, auto technicians and mechanics are always in demand and are highly valued for their skillset and ability to diagnose and repair damaged vehicles. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of becoming an auto mechanic.
What Does an Auto Technician Do?
Auto mechanics and technicians (sometimes called service technicians) are responsible for performing inspections, maintenance, and repairs on cars, trucks, and SUVs. They typically work in auto body shops or dealerships, but some travel around as mobile mechanics.
As an auto technician, your duties may include:
- Identifying and diagnosing issues using computerized equipment
- Running tests on various parts and systems to ensure they’re in working order
- Performing emissions inspections and safety checks
- Repairing or replacing components ranging from transmissions and air conditioners to brake pads and mufflers
- Disassembling and reassembling parts
- Performing routine maintenance such as oil changes, engine tune-ups, and tire rotations
- Conducting test drives
- Preparing paperwork to accurately summarize the work performed and explaining it to clients
Why You Should Pursue An Auto Body Technician Career
If you’re reading this, you’re likely considering (or are at least curious about) a career as a car mechanic. At Mackin’s Auto Body, we know how rewarding this line of work can be, and we look forward to welcoming you into this exciting field. Here are our top 8 reasons to pursue a career as an auto technician:
1. Competitive Pay With Income Growth
The median pay for an automotive technician is $21.18 per hour (or $44,050 per year). If you choose to specialize in a particular area, pursue master-level certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), or decide to start your own auto repair business, your earning potential may increase substantially.
2. Work With Cutting-Edge Technology
As is the case with many fields, the automotive industry has become increasingly technical in recent years. Modern vehicles rely heavily on what we call “auto tech,” and today’s mechanics get to work with these new electronic systems and components, as well as the more traditional mechanical ones.
3. Every Day Is Different
If you can’t stand the idea of sitting at a desk all day doing repetitive tasks, we don’t blame you. As an auto tech, no two days are exactly alike, and many people really enjoy the variety of work. You’ll be working with nearly every mechanical and electronic system in vehicles, so there will be new challenges and learning opportunities each and every day.
4. Avoid Massive Student Loans
In case you haven’t heard, four-year college tuition is extremely expensive, and many students find themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they even receive their degrees. Opting for a trade like auto repair gives you the option to go to community college or a vocational school instead. You may also be able to secure an apprenticeship, allowing you to earn money (rather than spending it) while you learn the trade.
5. Problem Solving & Working With Your Hands
There’s nothing quite like fixing something with your bare hands. Working as an auto technician, you’ll get to use your mind and body to solve problems and come up with solutions, and the variety in the work will make each job that much more rewarding.
6. Make a Meaningful Difference
People often don’t realize how much they rely on their car until they can’t drive it. At Mackin’s Auto Body, we love helping our customers understand what’s wrong with their vehicles, performing the necessary repairs to the highest standard, and getting people safely back on the road and back to their normal lives. As an auto tech, the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel after a job well done may turn out to be one of your favorite parts of your new career.
7. Fix Your Own Vehicle
Let’s be honest: having the ability to maintain, diagnose, and repair your own vehicle without having to take it in is pretty awesome. While this alone may not be a reason to pursue a career change as an auto technician, it sure is a nice perk and will likely save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over time.
8. Opportunities for Advancement
As an auto mechanic, you have the opportunity to advance your career with additional training and/or specialize in a particular area, such as brakes, heating and air conditioning, transmission, suspension and steering, engine repair, electrical systems, etc.
If you want to achieve a higher salary, have additional flexibility, and take on more advanced tasks, you can pursue advanced certification through the ASE and become a “master mechanic.”
Want to work at Portland’s Premier Auto Body Shop?