What Does A Mechanic Do? (With Skills And Qualifications)
Updated 27 February 2023
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Mechanics are service technicians responsible for inspecting and repairing vehicles and machinery. These professionals can become motorcycle, general, auto body, diesel, heavy equipment and small engine mechanic. If you have an affinity and passion for machines, learning more about this job role can help you understand whether it is a good career choice. In this article, we answer “what does a mechanic do?”, how much they earn, explore the types of mechanics and discover the skills and steps required to become a successful mechanic.
What does a mechanic do?
A mechanic is a specialised professional who maintains, inspects and performs repairs on machinery based on the diagnosis. These professionals know how mechanical parts work together and often use diagnostic software to understand and troubleshoot machinery problems. Apart from conducting repair work, some of the typical day-to-day job responsibilities are:
perform the mechanical repair to ensure machinery like cars and light trucks work as expected
work with customers to understand their concerns and diagnose their problem
explain vehicle or machinery repair to each customer
provide itemised work estimation for customers who request a repair
monitor inventory of spare parts and ensure sufficient availability of inventory
maintain accurate and updated records of preventive maintenance
operate tools, equipment and types of machinery as per safety procedures
conduct vehicle inspection and tell customers potential issues that may arise in the future
use the latest technology and diagnostic equipment to find a potential problem with a machinery
Types of mechanics specialisations
Depending upon the type of machines a mechanic wants to repair, they can choose from a variety of specialisations like:
General mechanics: A general mechanic is a professional who inspects and repairs vehicles ranging from cars to light trucks.
Motorcycle mechanics: These professionals carry out preventive maintenance, minor repair work and complete restoration of smaller cycles, like bikes, mopeds and motorcycles.
Heavy-duty equipment mechanics: These professionals inspect and repair heavy-duty equipment like engines, hydraulic and electrical systems. These mechanics work in industries like agriculture, farming, construction and industrial development.
Diesel mechanics: Diesel mechanics work on vehicles like cars, trucks,and buses that use diesel. They maintain and restore public transport vehicles like buses, ambulances and fire engines.
Auto body mechanics: An auto body mechanic is responsible for replacing or restoring old or damaged parts of a vehicle, including bumper, taillight, headlight and panels.
Small engine mechanics: They service and restore boats, motorcycles and even outdoor power equipment. Though they are like automotive mechanics, they work with smaller-scale engines.
Related: Diesel Mechanic Job Description (Key Skills And Duties)
Average salary of a mechanic
The average salary of a mechanic is ₹14,417 per month. Their salary may depend upon many factors, like skills, experience and job location. Other factors may include the mechanic's specialisation. For instance, the average salary of a diesel mechanic is ₹19,169 per month, whereas the average salary of a general mechanic is ₹16,428 per month.
Skills of a mechanic
Here are some skills to master for becoming a successful mechanic:
Problem-solving skills help mechanics understand the problem with a non-functional machine and repair it by finding solutions. Employers prefer mechanics who can handle problems and find solutions to easy and complex problems, regardless of how long it takes. Problem-solving is beneficial when seeking repair solutions that fit your customer's budget and requirements.
Attention to detail
When fixing machinery, a mechanic gives great attention to detail. This allows them to concentrate and repair the machine in the first attempt. Providing fast and accurate repair of the machine can cause higher customer satisfaction and ensure repeat business. This skill set allows them to handle small machinery parts skilfully and ensures there is no need for additional repair.
For efficiently completing a repair job, a mechanic requires an organised workspace. Employers prefer candidates who can maintain their workspace as it allows a candidate to easily find parts and tools required for checking or repairing a machine. Keeping an organised workspace helps you and others to complete the repair work without wasting time.
Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples
Understanding of machinery
For properly repairing a machine, a candidate requires in-depth knowledge of various machinery and vehicle parts. This includes knowing the motor, electric circuit, engines and other complex mechanisms used in a vehicle. While every machine or vehicle is different, having a basic understanding of the working of each machinery can help you carry out the repair work. Also, it can help you communicate why a vehicle is not working as expected.
For a mechanic, the ability to easily explain complex mechanical problems to customers is essential. Often, you discuss a potential problem with a customer and explain the steps you would take to repair the machine. This requires excellent verbal communication skills. Mechanics may use their communication skills to interact and collaborate with other mechanics.
Ability to use technology
Today, most machines use advanced technology and employers prefer mechanics who can handle technology along with wrenches and pliers. Most companies hiring a mechanic look for technology savvy and motivated individuals who stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Also, these professionals are ready to explore and learn new technologies to expand their skill set and efficiently complete their job.
Employers want candidates who display a great attitude of dedication and determination toward their mechanic job. Employers prefer candidates who do not hesitate to get their hands or clothes dirty when repairing a vehicle or machinery. Employees with excellent work ethics are often reliable, disciplined and dedicated.
Related: Strong Work Ethic Skills: Top 10 Values To Develop
Having a basic understanding of using a computer system is essential for a rewarding career. For instance, when working as an auto mechanic, you may connect the car or vehicle with a specialised computer to perform a diagnostic test to understand the problem. Also, many repair shops use computers to store customers' information, inventory and schedule, making this an essential skill for becoming a mechanic.
Related: Basic Computer Skills: Definition And Examples
Work environment of a mechanics
Most mechanics work in car repair shops or independent shops. Their typical working hours are from nine to six, but they often work overtime to meet the growing demand. As a mechanic, it is critical to comply with all safety regulations related to using different machinery. As your work involves repairing vehicles, this job requires long-standing hours on the concrete floor in a garage setting. The work environment can be strenuous and requires physical stamina to perform all job-related duties. This job does not require travel because a mechanic usually repairs the cars in a garage or shop.
How to become a mechanic
Follow these steps to become a mechanic:
1. Complete your 10+2
The first step in becoming a mechanic is completing your 10+2 in any stream. It is important to have basic knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics. This is often a bare minimum requirement for getting admission in vocational training, diploma or certificate program related to mechanics.
2. Choose a specialisation
Choose a mechanic's specialisation you want to pursue based on your area of interest and vehicles you want to repair. For instance, if you have an interest in repairing agricultural machinery, consider become a heavy-duty mechanic or if you want to maintain vehicles that operate on diesel, focus on becoming a diesel mechanic. Choose your specialisation wisely because it shapes your career path.
3. Enrol in a specialised vocational course or training
Based on your specialisation, you can enrol in a relevant diploma-level vocational course. While most courses prefer candidates with a 10+2 certification, many colleges accept students with a secondary school certificate (SSC). Such vocational courses provide students with the technical skills to execute while inspecting, repairing and maintaining a vehicle.
Related: Vocational Training: Definition, Types And Examples
4. Gain experience
Start gaining experience by working, observing or job shadowing a mechanic. Job shadowing for a week or two can help you understand the job role and the skills required for a successful career. Another excellent way of gaining experience is completing a paid or unpaid internship in a vehicle repair shop.
5. Create your resume and apply for jobs
Create a resume and list all your relevant skills, qualification, certification and experience. In your resume, add a profile summary, which is a synopsis of your goals and aspirations. After creating your resume, search for a job and apply for all relevant jobs. But, remember to tailor your resume for every job application.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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