How to Find a Job As an Auto Mechanic

An auto mechanic works on cars, trucks and other vehicles to repair and maintain them. He or she may inspect the vehicle for problems, diagnose the problem and make repairs, or work on a team to install new parts. This career requires good math and analytical skills, as well as physical strength and dexterity. Auto mechanics often receive on-the-job training to learn the trade, although some pursue postsecondary education or certification through vocational schools.

The average salary for an auto mechanic is $31,500 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mechanics who work at car dealerships tend to earn the highest salaries, followed by those at automotive part stores. However, these numbers vary based on geographic location and level of experience. Those who have completed postsecondary education and earned ASE Automotive Service Excellence  certification earn higher wages than those without certification.

Despite the fact that automobiles aren’t what they once were, the demand for auto mechanics remains steady. People are keeping their vehicles longer and upgrading them more frequently, so there is always a need for skilled workers to keep up. Additionally, the field is relatively immune to economic fluctuations, as a car is typically a necessity rather than a luxury for most Americans.

As technology advances, it’s becoming more important for mechanics to understand the computer and electronic systems of modern vehicles. Changing tires, for example, now requires special equipment and knowledge of how to connect and disconnect the sensors. The same is true for more routine tasks like changing the oil. The computers in cars spit out a stream of data, but it’s up to the mechanic to interpret what that data means and how it should be fixed.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many auto mechanics have stepped down from their careers or moved to other states, which has left some shops short of help. Channi Singh, who runs 10 auto shops in New York and Long Island, says he is having trouble finding new technicians because the industry is aging and not attracting younger people.

One of the best ways to find a job as an auto mechanic is to network. Talk to friends and family members who work in the industry, or attend career fairs and other events where you can meet potential employers. Additionally, online reviews and recommendations are often a great way to find a trusted mechanic.

Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to take the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation – or NATEF – exam to become certified as an automotive mechanic. Some vocational schools also offer training that can prepare you for the ASE certification exam. However, it’s important to note that these programs do not count as actual work experience for ASE certification purposes. Therefore, you should consider working as an apprentice in your area of expertise to get hands-on experience in the field. After completing the ASE exam, you’ll be ready to start searching for mechanic jobs in your region.