Being an auto mechanic, or automotive technician, is such an important career because of how heavily people rely on their cars for transportation. A vehicle can be seen as a source of several important things in life, including escape and security. Every car needs regular service, and there are so many different things that can go wrong at any given time with a vehicle. There are many areas to specialize in with a career as a mechanic, such as auto glass specialist, transmission technician or diesel mechanic, and all of them require a deep understanding of the particular vehicles and parts the mechanic is working with. When someone has a mechanic they truly trust, it takes a lot of stress out of their day-to-day life.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a mechanic is approximately $39,000 per year. BLS also expects automotive technician jobs to grow 17% between 2010 and 2020. Not only is the demand high for automotive technicians, but pursuing a career as a mechanic isn’t too difficult, since there is no college degree required. There are also several other perks that many auto mechanics get to experience in their careers:
1) A variety of work settings to choose from
Automotive technician jobs are available in numerous settings, such as auto repair shops, car dealerships, rental car companies, automotive parts stores and gas stations. So you can decide what kind of environment you want to use your skills in at different points in your mechanic career, depending on what is most important to you. For example, if you have a family to support and need good health insurance and other employee benefits you may choose to work at a dealership, where benefits are likely to be better. But if a casual environment and flexibility is more important to you, you may be better off working at an independent repair shop.
2) Ability to do side work
Many automotive technicians supplement their full-time jobs with side work that they get from friends, colleagues and family members. You can schedule these jobs on off hours that are convenient for you. Since most of these jobs would be paid in cash, that can mean immediate extra money, added to your regular weekly paycheck. The only drawback that some mechanics experience with doing side jobs is that since they are helping out friends and family members, there is usually a discount expected, and that can lead to a lot of effort for little reward.
3) Respect and Trust
Once people in your social circle become aware of your career as a mechanic, you are likely to be looked at as an authority on vehicles, and since many people have a vehicle, this can be an excellent conversation starter. You will be the one uniquely qualified to offer valuable advice to people that can save them a lot of time, aggravation and money. Knowing that you were able to help someone out in such a big way is a rewarding feeling that is enjoyed by many automotive technicians.
4) Discounts on Car Parts and Equipment
Even some of the smallest car parts can cost a pretty penny, before you even count the expense of the labor. You are already saving on labor costs since you have the skills to do the repairs on you and your family’s vehicles, but many automotive technicians also have access to lower-priced car parts. And depending on where you work, you may also be able to use the facility to work on your car, where you have access to mechanic equipment you need.
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