Few careers provide the same stability and demand than as the auto mechanic. Even in tough economic times, people still need to have their cars serviced and tuned up. In fact, with the recent recession many people are choosing to service their cars more often to keep them running longer instead of purchasing a new vehicle. However, just because there is demand for auto mechanics doesn’t mean there is not competition. It is not enough to simply become a mechanic, but you must also set yourself apart from the rest. The following four traits make the difference between a simple mechanic and a good mechanic.
A mechanic with formal education and training immediately has an advantage over his or her colleagues. While it is possible to learn on the job, a formal education at a mechanic school will train you to work on the wide varieties of new technologies and components found in modern cars. With the advent of hybrid and electric technologies, today’s mechanic has to know how to work on many different types of vehicles. In addition to training on new technologies, formally trained mechanics will also receive top of the line training with older, yet still crucial and widely used technologies. This type of well rounded training provides the solid foundation necessary to become an excellent mechanic.
Mechanics have an unpopular reputation as swindlers who take advantage of the public’s lack of automotive knowledge. This reputation is unfair and undeserved. The vast majority of mechanics are honest, hardworking people. However, those seeking to become a mechanic will often face wary and uncooperative customers. A good mechanic knows how to communicate complex mechanical and technical information to a customer, while reassuring them that they are receiving the best possible service for their dollar. The better a customer understands his or her problem, the less likely they will return unsatisfied.
Automotive certifications and business credentials help prove that you know what you are doing and that a client can trust you with his or her vehicle. The industry standard for certification is the Automotive Service Excellence or AES certification. Earning this certification requires testing in several different areas and different certifications are awarded for mechanics working in different fields. In addition to competence in their work, mechanics who run or work for a business with a good reputation will often be certified by the Better Business Bureau to showcase this reputation. And, of course, the first step to certification is always mechanic school.
As in all fields, experience is one of the best indicators of competency and skill. Experience can include everything from training at a mechanic school to years of on the job experience. Nothing can top the repair and maintenance experience that mechanics receive from years of working on thousands of different problems and vehicle types, the final piece to become a mechanic of the highest level of skill.