What is an Auto Mechanic?
An auto mechanic is a person trained in repairing, replacing and maintaining parts of a car. The auto mechanic is employed not only when the car breaks down but also for regular maintenance as all the car manufacturers recommend a car maintenance schedule for efficient performance of the car. An expert auto mechanic can give an estimate for the time and cost of the car repair by just looking at the car or by partially disassembling it.
Educational Requirements for Auto Mechanics
Auto mechanics is a very specialized and technical field especially due to the advent of computerized systems. Having said that, people interested in pursuing a path in auto mechanics do need to be ready to get their hands dirty and be genuinely interested in cars. Taking electronics and physics courses during high school are a plus. Vacations can be utilized to work part time at garages as entry level car mechanics. For formal training, there are many automotive schools offering different programs for auto mechanics. The training is not just restricted to class room instruction but also practical experience. Courses taught in such programs normally include emissions, suspension, and power train repair. The most highly regarded certification program is the National Service for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), certificate program, which is a prerequisite set by most of the employers of auto mechanics.
Demand for Auto Mechanics
The car manufacturers have targeted all segments of the society by manufacturing various types of cars priced differently. This marketing strategy has led to an alarming growth in the number of cars world wide. In 2008, there were 250 million cars in the US. Hence, the demand for auto mechanics never goes down. The average salary for an auto mechanic is around $35,000 per annum.
An auto mechanic can enhance his career by training in some specific type of car or some specific car part e.g. brakes, windshield, etc. Such specialized auto mechanics are always in short supply; therefore, their job prospects are quite lucrative. An auto mechanic can stay ahead in his/her field by staying informed and continuously training and learning about the new advances in car technologies such as automatic transmissions, hybrid cars, etc. Auto mechanics can even work from home by giving car repair advice through the Internet. Another career path is going into professional auto mechanic teaching. The pinnacle of auto mechanics is the pit crew which is a specialized form of repairs of racing cars. It is a very challenging area for auto mechanics but pays quite handsomely (more than $70,000 per annum),.