Automobile Mechanic

Occupation Information table
Overview: Automobile mechanics diagnose the causes of problems, repair and overhaul engines, mechanical and electrical components in automobiles, buses, trucks and other vehicles. They use computer-based software systems for diagnoses and adjustments. Calculate repair cost estimates for customers.
Duties: Automobile mechanics use computer-based instruments to diagnose the sources of problems in engines, mechanical or electrical components. They plan repair work using technical charts, manuals and experience.

They estimate the cost of repairs taking into consideration the parts needed, labor costs and knowledge of how engines and components are assembled and how they operate.

They inspect, lubricate, adjust and fine tune the operating equipment and parts of a vehicle. They use theory of mechanics and electricity to perform repairs.

Automobile mechanics learn how to use new equipment and tools for diagnosing and repairing. They read specifications for new vehicles for diagnosis, replacement or rebuilding components.

Degree(s): A.A.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 5% to 8% percent from 2018 to 2028, which matches the average growth rate for all occupations.
Starting Salary: Many experienced mechanics work on a base salary plus commission earnings arrangements with their employer.
Salary Range (National Average): $26,000 to $30,000
Growth: Growth
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires a High School Degree, plus additional coursework in a vocational or technical school. In some cases, employers may require an Associate Degree.
Additional Training/Education: Technical institutes and community colleges provide training programs ranging from one-year to two-years and award either certificates or associate degrees. An in-depth knowlege of automotive electronics and computer assisted diagnostics is essential. Training simulators are used for realistic problem solving and diagnosis.
Advancement Info: Beginners who learn on the job usually start as trainees or mechanics' helpers. Within a few months, they perform many routine service tasks and make simple repairs. It usually takes two to five years of on-the-job training to become a journey-level mechanic. This means that a mechanic is skilled enough to perform difficult repairs. However, graduates of college training programs are often able to advance to the journey level after only a few months on the job. With an additional year of training, journey-level mechanics can specialize in a difficult area, such as transmission repair. However, they can specialize in areas that do not require all-around knowledge of auto repair in less time. Experienced mechanics with leadership ability sometimes advance to shop supervisor or service manager. Those who work well with customers may become service estimators. Some open their own repair shops.
Recommended Skills:
  • Identifying the most appropriate equipment and tools needed to get a job done.
  • Installing equipment, machines, wiring, etc. according to a set of specifications.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Performing routine maintenance and/or repairs on equipment using the appropriate tools.
  • Watching gauges and any other types of indicators to make sure equipment is running properly.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Analyzing the symptoms of a problem and deciding what actions should be taken to resolve the problem.
Recommended Values:
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.