While auto mechanic occupation may be disregarded because it requires stringent training as well as the fact that it is physically demanding, it is one of the most popular, promising and rewarding careers that is undertaken. The auto mechanic can also be referred to as automotive technician, motor mechanic or car mechanic (Orr, 8). The auto mechanic is a career for individuals who repair and inspect light trucks as well as cars. Individuals who have skills in these area work on a variety of automobile make or specific make of an automobile. Some auto mechanic deals with a specific part of an automobile. They can work in workshops or can be mobile such that the vehicle owners may get services without necessarily bringing their vehicles in the workshop. Their responsibilities include inspecting, maintaining, and repairing vehicles of these nature (Workable). Their success in their work is based on their ability to diagnose the problem quickly and accurately as well as identifying ways of responding to the problem to make the automobile work efficiently again. Habitually, they have to estimate and quote the most appropriate prices to their clients before beginning their work or primarily after accomplishing part of the repairing, disassembly or inspection (Orr, 13). Similarly, their assignment may entail repair of an explicit part or replacement of specific parts of the automobile.
The work of an auto mechanic is physically demanding and strenuous and thus requires individuals who are dedicated and devoted to their duties. For instance, it might involve staying in uncomfortable positions and lifting heavy objects for an extended period. Occasionally, the auto mechanics work in harsh conditions including extreme temperatures. Besides, according to Turpin (62), some auto mechanics, depending on the automobiles that they are repairing or inspecting may be exposed to toxic chemicals during their work. Accordingly, auto mechanics are advised to take appropriate protective measures while executing their tasks. Auto mechanics work in numerous of automobile service settings including tire stores, car dealers, gas stations, oil change operations, and workshops or full-service repair shops. Some of the auto mechanics work in their own business where they manage their business including setting prices, supervising staff and advertising (Doyle).
In many countries that are developed, including the United States, many schools and programs offer rigorous training to the individuals who are interested in becoming skilled auto mechanic (Orr, 22). The institutions dedicated to these tasks provide competent skills that enable graduates of automotive technicians, or mechanics acquire valuable and proficient skills in this field. There are many areas that the individuals can receive training including automobile maintenance and repair, electronics, collision repair, restoring and painting, heating systems and air-conditioning as well as truck and diesel mechanics (Sclar, 13). The training is rigorous in that the automobile mechanics are evaluated after receiving training to verify the skills, knowledge level and their ability to repair, inspect and carry out other maintenance tasks before they are certified to commence their work in this industry.
The training program must fulfill specific standards that have been established by the United States’ automotive industry. For instance, in the United States, The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has been bestowed with the responsibility of evaluating the training programs to ensure that they are within the standards (Sully, 19). Some auto mechanics are certified by the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a professional certification body with specific standardized method valuable for testing the level of knowledge and skill acquired by the auto mechanics. According to Press (51), although it is not a legal requirement that ASE should certify a mechanic, some companies prefer promoting or hiring the auto mechanic who has been approved by ASE by passing specific tests.
Necessary skills in vehicle motor vehicle maintenance is an essential part of a mechanic’s duties especially in the modern industrialized world (Joyner). An automobile ought to be checked regularly by the auto mechanic to verify that such vehicle is suitable to be used by humans from place to place. However, most of the auto mechanics are consulted when an automobile show signs of malfunction. The auto mechanic also carries out preventative maintenance, as a fundamental part of their job to remove some of the parts that may not be functional and which can cause other problems when the engine is running (Rossen). At the same time, auto mechanic schedule and replace some of the parts before they reach the situation where they can fail to function leading to more expensive damage to the motor vehicle owner. While the automobile owners rarely undertake such practice involving preventive maintenance and scheduled maintenance, it is the most valuable practice by the auto mechanic that can prevent vehicles from causing accidents or becoming expensive regarding repair.
There are rapid changes and advancement in technology in contemporary times, and thus the mechanic’s job is changing and evolving from being purely mechanical in the conventional times to include complex electronic technology in the contemporary times (Gresham). In modern times, vehicles possess composite electronic and computer systems that require a mechanic to have a more comprehensive knowledge and understanding that it was in the past. The increasing changes in the convoluted nature of the modern technology incorporated in the automobile compel leaders in the independent workshops, and other automobile industries provide sophisticated computers capable of diagnosing automobiles. Each auto mechanic or a technician who lacks such computers are unable to identify the problem and hence may be unable to diagnose the problem and repair a vehicle (Press, 34). Simultaneously, the technologies used in automobiles keeps on changing, and thus the mechanic must be ready to learn the new changes in systems and technologies to enable them to remain relevant to the industry. Consequently, they must embrace research to enable them to update their skills and knowledge in diagnosing and repairing skills failure to which they will lag behind or be unable to handle specific problems that require advanced and high-level expertise (Sully, 71). Internet information and other specific sites such as YouTube provide valuable information to auto mechanics
While stringent training is required for some mechanics, especially the ones destined to work in motor vehicle assemblage factories or other industries, some may be trained by other qualified auto mechanics until they acquire sufficient skills to work on their own (Labrecque, 62). Such local arrangements are common in developing countries where sophisticated training may be expensive. For one to train as an auto mechanic, high schools knowledge is adequate to cope with the programs offered. However, the most auto mechanic may be expected to complete the certificate program or associate degree before undertaking the training depending on the where that they are expected to work after training (Jozefowicz, 16).
Some mechanics have certificates or associate’s degrees in automotive technology. The training programs must combine classwork and real-world experience through rigorous practical exposure to enable the auto mechanic to acquire both knowledge and skills sufficient to handle their assignments (Marlowe, 46). Both on-the-job training and formal schooling may take up to five years for an individual to be considered fully qualified to handle an automobile and carry out repairing responsibilities successfully. However, completing training does not mean that the automobile technician has finalized the entire course. The reason is that many changes occur depending on the innovations being developed by various motor vehicle companies (Automotive training center). Accordingly, mechanics must continually update themselves continually to enable them to respond to all the problems that automobiles may develop at any given time.
In companies like Ford or General Motors, the student is required to have completed the internship with either local repair or another car manufacturer (Marlowe, 67). During the internship, which is similar to the entry-level service, the student is likely going to be paid for their service and time at the working station. Some the schools that offer specialized training to their students such that students have sufficient skills in handling specific models (Labrecque, 39). In such situations, the students will be employed based on the model that they have trained. Other schools over generalized training such that their students can handle several models. Such graduates can be employed or work in the variety of workshops. Some of the courses offered during training include automotive emissions, math, engine diagnosis, steering, and suspension as well as digital devices in computers (Jozefowicz, 45). Additionally, students undertake stringent apprentice work if they have to be efficaciously considered to have comprehensively completed the course.
While it has already been established that training takes five years, specialists, such as those who are interested in specializing in specific areas may require undergoing additional one to two years of training before being considered to be fully trained (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Since the training is demanding, patient and precision skills especially when it comes to hands-on experience is required of an auto mechanic. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto mechanic earn up to $38,470 per year which is equivalent to $18.50 per hour. The employment level in this industry dealing with automotive service for mechanics and technicians is expected to grow 6 % between 2016 and 2026, which constitute average growth when compared to other occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Auto mechanics working for automotive dealers, government agencies or own their workshops earn salaries that are much higher than average. Correspondingly, some technicians dealing with auto service earn commissions depending on the on the amount of work that they perform. Mechanics were working for gasoline stations, and private service outlets often earn less than the average wage (Doyle). Accordingly, employment opportunities for trained jobseekers are described as one of the best, mainly because it does not require competitive academic qualification.
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