There’s nothing better than taking your car in for repairs and having a knowledgeable auto technician assure you that they can repair the issue you’ve been having and keep your vehicle on the road.
Automotive Technicians and Mechanics provide automotive repair services for individuals, corporations, and institutions that keep our cars and trucks running in tip-top shape.
Read on to learn more about what Automotive Technicians and Mechanics do.
Later, we discuss the pros and cons of becoming an auto tech and provide insights into the field.
Table of Contents
- What is an Automotive Technician?
- What Do Automotive Technicians Do?
- Pros of Being an Automotive Technician or Mechanic
- Cons of Being an Automotive Technician
- 14 Pros and Cons of Working as an Automotive Technician and Mechanic – Summary Table
- Should You Become an Automotive Tech?
What is an Automotive Technician?
Automotive Technicians can go by many names, however the role and job duties performed are usually the same.
They may be called any of the following:
- Auto Mechanic
- Automotive Service Technician
Regardless of the name, we rely on these professionals to keep our vehicles running.
What Do Automotive Technicians Do?
If you’re thinking about becoming an auto tech, it’s essential to understand what a day in the life of a mechanic looks like.
Below are a few examples of job duties that mechanics are tasked with.
Automotive Technicians and mechanics spend most of their time inspecting vehicles to identify potential problems with mechanical, electrical, and other components that may keep a car from running smoothly or at peak performance.
Vehicle Diagnostics and Reporting
Today’s mechanics and Auto Techs use the latest diagnostic tools and automotive equipment to identify the root causes of issues and determine the best route to repair or replace offending parts and services.
They may also perform diagnostic services with state or local authorities requiring safety testing like vehicle emissions and other environmental protection protocols.
Recommending Repair Solutions
Auto Techs and mechanics must learn and use customer service skills to communicate with customers, clients, and colleagues about repair procedures and costs and to answer service-related questions.
Mechanics recommend the best repair solutions for customers based on the expected costs of the repair, expected time to complete, and other factors typically included in a quote that follows a diagnostic.
Along with vehicle inspection and diagnosis, a large chunk of auto mechanics’ time is spent on the repairs needed to make or keep an automobile running in tip-top shape.
Most auto mechanics have a standard hourly rate that they charge for the time spent servicing a vehicle.
Automotive mechanics can typically repair cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Master Mechanics and other credentialed auto techs may be tasked with repairing more complex vehicles and related equipment.
Preventative Vehicle Maintenance
Proper vehicle maintenance is the key to keeping a vehicle running and avoiding costly repairs.
It is up to car owners to follow recommended maintenance schedules provided by certified mechanics and automotive technicians.
Trained automotive Technicians and Mechanics perform regularly scheduled preventative maintenance like engine tune-ups, brake repairs, oil changes, and tire rotations to prevent breakdowns or malfunctions.
Pros of Being an Automotive Technician or Mechanic
Many Automotive Technicians and Mechanics say they love their jobs and their work.
A few pros of being an automotive technician describe some of the perks of being a mechanic.
#1. – Job Demand
With millions of vehicles on the roads worldwide, the likelihood of the role of automotive technicians or mechanics becoming obsolete is extremely low.
Automotive Technicians who go on to learn new skills, including automotive repair certifications and endorsements, can create lifelong careers in the field.
#2. – Variety of Job Settings and Work Environments
Because the demand for skilled mechanics and auto techs is so high, many technicians can choose from a wide variety of job settings and work environments.
#3. – Unique Problem-Solving Opportunities
If you’re the type of person who loves facing a challenge and finding unique ways to solve problems, then being an automotive technician or mechanic may be just the career path for you.
Skilled automotive technicians often face complex challenges in repairing or replacing automotive parts and services in complicated repairs.
#4. – Versatile Skill Set
The repairs skills gleaned by automotive technicians can translate into various careers.
A versatile skill set means that automotive technicians can easily branch out into new related careers or even start their own repair business after working as a technician.
#5. – Job Satisfaction
Automotive techs who successfully solve problems keep today’s consumers, families, individuals, and businesses on the road.
Having a direct hand in keeping people moving leaves many auto techs with a sense of pride and satisfaction after completing a successful repair.
#6. – Competitive Pay
Skilled mechanics with additional endorsements and master skill sets can enjoy high-paying careers that don’t require them to work odd or long hours.
The amount of education and training an auto mechanic has directly translates into earning potential.
#7. – Career Growth Opportunities
Ambitious techs who want to advance their careers can take related skills training to earn certifications or endorsements that qualify them for higher-paying positions or open up their automotive repair shops and hire employees.
Cons of Being an Automotive Technician
While many auto techs say they love their jobs, some mechanics focus on the cons of the job. Below are examples of common complaints that go along with being an auto mechanic.
#1. – Taxing Physical Demands
Although working as an auto mechanic can be a satisfying and rewarding career, the day-to-day physical demands of the job that involve long periods of standing, lifting, bending, carrying, and awkward positioning can lead to repetitive motion injuries, chronic pain, or accidents on the job.
#2. – Work Environment
If cleanliness in your work environment is at the top of your list of requirements for a new job, then becoming an automotive mechanic may not be the best idea.
Working as an automotive tech isn’t always the most ideal environment.
While some technicians work in quiet, well-lit settings with low-decibel power tools and equipment, others are subjected to harsh outdoor work environments or environments that are constantly filled with dirt, debris, traffic, and ear-splitting noise.
#3. – Unpredictable Workload
While the hours and days an auto mechanic is scheduled to work can be firmly set in stone, that doesn’t mean the workload will always be the same.
Some automotive repairs and services can take just a few minutes to complete, while others can drag on for hours, days, or even weeks, depending on the solution.
#4. – Customer Service Challenges
Most mechanics and automotive technicians have basic customer service skills that can lead to many positive interactions with customers, but there are isolated and rare cases of customer service issues going awry when technicians aren’t equipped to handle the demands of an angry customer.
Many companies now require their auto techs to undergo customer service training to ensure they know how to handle themselves and de-escalate irate customers in extreme situations.
#5. – Workplace Hazards
Along with being exposed to a steady stream of noise, grease, and debris, mechanics are often exposed to a wide variety of automotive chemicals that can be hazardous or toxic if inhaled, ingested, or spilled on the skin.
They also face hazards from sharp, heavy, and pointy automotive repair tools that can cause an accident when out of place.
#6. – Workplace Stress
The demands placed on auto mechanics and technicians can be extremely high.
Expectations from their families to bring home competitive pay can conflict with a steady stream of demands from their employers, and customers who want immediate answers to questions that can take weeks to answer can leave auto techs feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
Stress in the workplace can quickly transfer over into the home life of a mechanic if they aren’t careful.
Auto techs must learn how to separate the demands of work and home life to maintain emotional balance.
#7. – Repetitive Tasks
Some automotive technicians find their jobs dull or monotonous when they consistently complete the same repetitive tasks.
Along with boredom, engaging in repetitive tasks can also lead to workplace injuries related to repetitive motion that can jeopardize a mechanic’s finances for indefinite periods.
Technicians who want to add spice or variety to their daily work routine may be limited to taking automotive work that requires repetitive tasks if they cannot qualify for endorsements or credentials that could lead to advanced positions.
14 Pros and Cons of Working as an Automotive Technician and Mechanic – Summary Table
|Pros of Being an Automotive Technician or Mechanic
|Cons of Being an Automotive Technician
|#1. - Job Demand
|#1. - Taxing Physical Demands
|#2. - Variety of Job Settings and Work Environments
|#2. - Work Environment
|#3. - Unique Problem-Solving Opportunities
|#3. - Unpredictable Workload
|#4. - Versatile Skill Set
|#4. - Customer Service Challenges
|#5. - Job Satisfaction
|#5. - Workplace Hazards
|#6. - Competitive Pay
|#6. - Workplace Stress
|#7. - Career Growth Opportunities
|#7. - Repetitive Tasks
Should You Become an Automotive Tech?
If you’re looking for a rewarding career where you get to work with your hands in a wide variety of environments, you might want to consider becoming an automotive technician or a mechanic.
The job roles of auto techs can range from mundane to challenging, depending on their experience level and years on the job.
They work in dirty environments, often with grease, grime, and noise.
Before you take the plunge and begin training to become a mechanic, weigh the pros and cons of becoming an automotive technician against your skill set and career expectations.
If you feel that this career path is the best fit for you, move on to the next step of learning about automotive technician and auto mechanic schools in your area.