what is an automotive mechanic?

Automotive mechanics go by several names, including service techs and automotive technicians. Whatever job title you have, your job focuses on repairing and maintaining vehicles. You help customers ensure their cars and trucks are functioning properly. This job requires you to be highly skilled and comfortable working with all sorts of tools and machinery.

As an automotive mechanic, you get to fully explore all the inner workings of motor vehicles. You are often responsible for things like identifying problems and suggesting repairs. At some jobs, you'll also perform maintenance such as changing oil or rotating tires. Automotive mechanics work with almost every part of a car, including the engine, electrical components, and transmission.

Many automotive mechanics work at car repair or auto body shops where they fix customers' cars. Some may also work with dealerships or car manufacturers to ensure cars run properly before being purchased. Other potential employers include construction businesses and manufacturing industries that need help with their vehicles.

Would working as an automotive mechanic suit your passion for vehicles? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an automotive mechanic role.

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average automotive mechanic salary

Being an automotive mechanic is a great way for you to earn a moderately high salary without needing extensive education. Compared to many other jobs that can be done without a college degree, this job pays very well. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average wage for a mechanic is $46,880 per year. Many mechanics get paid an hourly wage, and the hourly average pay is $22.54 per year. Like any other job, there's some variation in pay depending on where you work and what you do. Some automotive technicians make as little as $29,000 while others earn as much as $75,000.

factors that affect pay

If you're interested in a higher-paying job, make sure you're working in the right industry. BLS reports show that mechanics working for dealers make the highest salary while those working for automotive part stores make the lowest salaries. In this job, having more experience and working longer hours is a plus. Since you often get paid on an hourly basis, you could pick up more hours or work overtime to increase your wages. Having more experience also ensures a higher salary because it means you are able to work on more complex projects or work independently.

Wondering what you can earn as an automotive mechanic? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of an automotive mechanic is.

male standing next to a train coach
male standing next to a train coach

types of automotive mechanic

This job comes in several shapes and sizes. Here are some common examples of the types of positions automotive mechanics fill:

  • lube and tire technician: These automotive mechanics focus on performing a lot of routine maintenance at an express service store.
  • auto glass technician: If you're a glass technician, you primarily replace and install auto glass.
  • mechanic assistant: This entry-level position involves simple tasks like moving cars around, fetching parts, and cleaning vehicles.
  • general automotive mechanic: Being a general mechanic means you work on a variety of vehicles and perform a variety of tasks depending on what your workday is like.
  • senior automotive technician: A senior position involves more responsibility. You'll work on more complex vehicles and may manage other service techs or assistants.

working as an automotive mechanic

Being an automotive mechanic is never boring. You'll get to perform a lot of interesting jobs that require both intelligence and physical dexterity. Keep reading to see what your typical workday will look like.


automotive mechanic skills and education

So how do you become an automotive mechanic? If you're interested in this career path, you'll be happy to hear that it's fairly easy to become a mechanic. You don't have to spend years in school or have decades of experience beforehand. Instead, you just need to have some basic education, commonsense skills, and the willingness to learn.

male driving a truck
male driving a truck

FAQs about working as an automotive mechanic

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about automotive mechanics.

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