How To Become A Mechanic – An Inclusive Guide

Are you passionate about automobiles? Does it excite you to see expert auto mechanics assembling vehicle parts or repairing faulty parts and making them work again?

If you are enthusiastic about repairing or assembling automobile parts, understanding how to become a mechanic will make your dream a reality in a short time.

Besides the fulfillment of your dream, auto mechanics earn as much as $30,000 – $58,000 per annum, according to ZipRecruiter. Other statistical analyses reveal that auto mechanic technicians earn around $34,000 – $110,000 yearly.

So, this is not merely turning passion into a profession but also involves mouthwatering financial rewards yearly. It’s not hard to see why becoming a mechanic is a dream job for many people. Read on if that looks like the future you also desire.

how to become a car mechanic

What’s the difference between a mechanic and an automotive technician?

Although both terminologies are used interchangeably, an auto mechanic is slightly different from an auto technician. Therefore, dissecting the two requires a critical analysis of how they perform their tasks and other critical aspects.

An auto mechanic specializes in inspecting, diagnosing, and repairing faulty vehicle components, as well as performing routine maintenance to keep vehicles running efficiently.

The job of an auto mechanic also involves educating car owners about specific problems and how to avoid or overcome them. They also recommend specific vehicle products for regular maintenance to DIYers.

On the other hand, an automotive technician is an automobile professional trained to analyze vehicle problems with a computer system to unravel faulty components and proffer solutions.

An auto technician’s job spans engine construction, power trains, brakes, fuel system, ignition repair, etc. However, there are different mechanic types.

Automotive technicians specialize in problems related to the onboard computer system in vehicles. They focus more on computerized diagnostic issues than easily predictable repairs. As a result, most of their jobs are done with computer systems instead of regular mechanic tools.

how to become a mechanic with no experience

What does an auto mechanic do?

An auto mechanic performs diagnostic tests, regular maintenance, inspection, and repairs of cars and other vehicles such as light trucks, off-road vehicles, etc.

Professional auto mechanics do not only diagnose and repair vehicles; they also educate car owners on specific information about car maintenance and the use of recommended products for their vehicles.

An expert auto mechanic also ensures that their clients do not suffer from vehicle breakdowns in locations where they become stranded. Therefore, they offer top-notch repairs that help car owners overcome unexpected breakdowns.

The following are a few direct highlights of what auto mechanics do:

  • Educate car owners about car problems, causes, and solutions.
  • Advise vehicle owners about regular vehicle maintenance and provide accurate product recommendations.
  • Perform regular maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotation, an inspection of brake and vehicle lights, etc.
  • Diagnose malfunctioning or faulty vehicle parts and perform the corresponding repairs.
  • Uninstall old faulty vehicle parts and install new replacement parts.
  • Take proper records of jobs done for all clients in order to refer back to information about already treated issues when necessary.

Although there are various areas an auto mechanic’s job covers, most auto mechanics prefer to specialize in specific areas such as air conditioning repair, transmission, brake, and other critical parts repair.

how to become a mechanic apprentice

Why do you want to be a mechanic?

There are “a million and one reasons” to become an auto mechanic. The profession comes with various benefits that most college graduates may not enjoy in some other regular professions. The good news is that understanding how to become a car mechanic can be pretty simple.

Auto mechanics get to work with their hands and use their knowledge of machines to help keep cars on the road. What’s more, they can often make a good living while doing something they love. What other reasons do you seek?

Some of the reasons to become an auto mechanic bring self-satisfaction, while others have to do with proffering mechanical solutions. The following are highlights of some reasons you may consider becoming an auto mechanic.

Job stability/security

An auto mechanic is likened to a medical doctor. Both professions are indispensable as you need a medical doctor for health issues and an auto mechanic for vehicle repair issues.

Being an auto mechanic means constant employment because millions of cars ply the road every day, and some cars will definitely require mechanical repair attention before the day runs out.

So, you don’t have to join the group of unemployed citizens when you learn how to become an automobile mechanic.

Advancement of profession

Just like most professions start at the entry-level and grow to the top level by every standard, an auto mechanic can grow.

Auto mechanics have the opportunity to grow from regular repair mechanics to becoming automobile consultants, earning tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Job independence

Becoming an auto mechanic opens up the opportunity to start your personal business. Auto mechanics can leverage the opportunity of monetizing their technical know-how to create an enterprise.

If you value independence, time, and freedom to spend time with your family, becoming an auto mechanic can be a great opportunity to enjoy all of that.

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction comes from the awareness that you’re solving problems. Auto mechanics are problem solvers. Just like doctors save many lives daily, auto mechanics save lives too.

Imagine the number of road accidents that would occur if there were no auto mechanics to fix faulty vehicle components. As an auto mechanic, you are a lifesaver, which is enough to give you self-satisfaction.

Personal benefits

An auto mechanic has no business taking their car for repair when a fault arises. Since you have what it takes to fix other people’s cars, you can also fix your car problems anytime, any day.

Being an auto mechanic also helps you stay healthy and active since you’re always working in a way that involves exercising most parts of your body.

mechanic training

How to Become a Mechanic

Becoming an auto mechanic is open to anybody who has a passion. So, if you’re passionate about automobile repairs, maintenance, etc., the following steps can help you understand how to become a mechanic with no experience.

However, you must be willing to follow the step-by-step procedures below to gain the best experience possible in the automotive industry.

Do a background check/homework.

Jumping into any career or profession is not a nice way to start. It is important to know what you want and what it entails to get it. If you’re passionate about becoming an auto mechanic, first of all, read about everything you can find on how to become a mechanic online.

After that, go ahead and start practicing by performing minor car repairs or maintenance like motor oil change, battery replacement, brake pad replacement, etc. If you own a car, it would be best to start practicing some DIYer repairs.

Lastly, you need to get out there to find an auto mechanic workshop in your neighborhood to help out. This has a way of sharpening your skills and improving your knowledge.

However, some repair shops only accept people with certification in mechanical engineering and other related courses. Nevertheless, you can start from somewhere they don’t require you to have a certificate.

Go for a high school education.

Most professional auto mechanic employers want people with at least a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. This simply shows that the applicant understands basic math, communication, elementary science, and analytical reasoning techniques.

Some of the basic skills you need to start with on your journey to becoming a professional auto mechanic can be acquired from high school education.

Enroll in a mechanic training course/program.

There are several mechanic schools or training programs, and some are affiliated with specific high schools. In that case, students can learn about automobile repairs while earning their high school diploma. This is common in the trade and vocational schools.

You can enroll at a community college where automobile repair is part of the programs they offer. Also, you enroll at an auto mechanic school dedicated to raising auto mechanics within a couple of years.

Go for an entry-level certification test.

A classic example of an entry-level certification provider is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The Institute offers one of the best mechanic certification programs. It conducts professional tests that help auto mechanics demonstrate their capacity and expertise.

Some of the areas the ASE entry-level certification test covers include; engine repair, steering, brake, suspension, electrical system repairs, etc.

Note that you don’t need any form of experience to participate in the test. You can take the test during or after graduating from high school or college.

Ensure to take the practice tests from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) website before the actual test.

Go for an auto mechanic internship.

Going for an internship or apprenticeship cannot be overemphasized if you desire to be a professional auto mechanic. It is vital to know that it is not enough to enroll at one of the mechanic schools online; engaging in apprenticeship is also important.

Some degrees with affiliation to auto mechanic training require students to participate in a compulsory 2-month auto mechanic internship at a licensed automotive technician workshop. Auto mechanic internship exposes participants to hands-on experience in the profession.

Of course, auto mechanics that focus on theories may not do much compared to those with hands-on practical experience. Hence, you may want to find out how to become a mechanic apprentice.

Apply as an auto mechanic.

After going through the foundational stages of automobile repairs, you need to put your knowledge to work by applying as an auto mechanic. Automobile dealerships and automobile repair shops are two major places most auto mechanics work.

You may have to start with minor repair and maintenance jobs like changing the oil and assisting certified professional auto technicians. Then, within a couple of years, you are good to go for the next level.

Apply to become an ASE-certified auto technician.

You are due for the ASE certification examination after two years of both education and experience as an auto mechanic. The opportunity is open to anyone who has completed a one-year degree and a one-year hands-on training program.

Others can also apply after working for about 2 years as an auto mechanic. Once you meet any of the criteria, you can apply to become ASE certified.

The certification reveals that you possess both foundational knowledge and experience to work as an expert auto technician.

Engage in lifelong learning.

Knowledge is progressive; hence, you must keep learning by attending auto mechanic seminars, conferences, and workshops that help you keep up with the ever-growing technological world. Drawing up a long-term study plan is also a great idea.

Mechanic salaries and job growth

The United States Bureau of Statistics reveals various data about auto mechanics’ salaries and job growth per annum. Some of the states with the highest average salaries and growth include the following.

car mechanic salary in us

State Average Salary Job Growth
Utah $45,210 25.4%
Nevada $47,270 9.7%
Texas $47,500 8.1%
Colorado $51,000 7.8%
Alaska $52,490 5.8%

The statistical report above is enough encouragement for willful folks to find out how to become a mechanic in Texas or any other state with a good salary and job growth rate for mechanics.

Career paths for mechanics

The career path for auto mechanics is pretty straightforward, with an attainable peak level. However, let’s look at the ladder from bottom to top.

Stage 1: Apprentice or helper at entry-level

At the entry level, a potential professional auto mechanic has to start by helping as an apprentice. The job performance at this level requires assisting certified expert auto technicians in fixing repairs while learning the job.

Stage 2: Specialist level

It is natural to grow in knowledge after working as an intern or apprentice for a while. However, at this point, you need to choose the specific vehicles to specialize in. For example, you can choose to be an electric car mechanic or specialize in diesel engines.

Stage 3: ASE certification level

After acquiring professional auto mechanic knowledge and hands-on experience for two years, you can undertake an ASE certification test. This will qualify you to be a certified auto technician, amplifying your qualifications before your employer or clients.

Stage 4: Master level

Once you qualify as a certified auto technician, you are eligible to migrate into the rank of a master automotive technician. However, you need to pass a series of tests to qualify for this certification.

Examples of master automotive technician certification tests include damage analysis and estimating collision repair and refinishing, alternative fuels, etc.

Stage 5: Operations and technician management level

As you progress on your career path as an expert auto mechanic with good hands-on experience and an associate degree, you can migrate from being an auto technician into a foreperson at a dealership or auto repair shop.

At this stage, your responsibility is to help junior auto technicians to handle more complex tasks. From here, you have the potential to emerge as a service manager, whereby you will be responsible for supervising all service procedures in the dealership or auto repair shop.


How long does it take to become an auto mechanic?

If you’re asking, “How long does it take to become a mechanic?” You can become an expert auto mechanic within 2 to 5 years of commitment and dedication.

It takes at least 2 years of both hands-on experience and knowledge to become a certified auto technician with ASE certification.

If you desire to become an auto mechanic, take some time to study all it requires from the background check stage, where you read all you can about the profession, and undertake an apprenticeship.

What qualifications do I need to become a mechanic?

Becoming a renowned expert auto mechanic requires acquiring qualifications that distinguish men from boys. Some of those qualifications include the following:

  • GED or High school diploma.
  • Trade and vocational auto mechanic school certification.
  • Receive an auto mechanic internship certification from a dealership or an auto repair shop.
  • Obtain an ASE auto technician certification.
  • Obtain a master automotive technician certification.

However, the bottom line requires you to have a passionate desire for what you want. After that, you can start from the entry-level.

So, if you are contemplating how to become a mechanic without school, you may have to visit some dealerships or auto repair shops in your neighborhood to find out.

Is mechanics a good career?

Of course, becoming an auto mechanic is an excellent career path, especially if you’re passionate about cars and their components. However, no career is actually better in all ramifications than others.

As already referred, just like doctors save lives by treating sicknesses and diseases, auto mechanics repair faulty parts that can possibly result in fatal accidents and claim lives. Besides, auto mechanics earn as much as $58,000 or more per annum.

How hard is it to be a mechanic?

No worthwhile path is easy in life. If you are wondering how to become a mechanic in Ontario or any other state, note that it is hard work. However, it can be pretty straightforward if this is your passion and you’re willing to pay the price.

It is vital to note that even though becoming an auto mechanic may be tough due to the rigorous work, the rewards are proportional to the labor. So, if you’re passionate about becoming an expert auto mechanic, start right away.

mechanic training

How much do mechanics make a year?

The report from the United States Bureau of Statistics reveals that as of May 2020, the average earning of an auto mechanic was $44,050. While some earn less, others earn more than the figure stated in this report.

However, an auto mechanic is one of the lucrative professions anyone can venture into as a full-time job or business, as the case may be. If your passion aligns with this, you had better start your journey now without wasting time.

Can you be a mechanic without qualifications?

Becoming a mechanic without qualifications is possible but not advisable. Most car owners prefer to entrust their car in the hands of a qualified auto mechanic than a regular guy across the street without any qualifications to their name.

Also, most dealerships and auto repair shops do not accept applicants without a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. More so, sophisticated clients seek more qualified auto mechanics to do their jobs.

What is a Level 2 mechanic?

A level 2 mechanic is one who performs repairs and maintenance on cars and light trucks. Their work spans vehicle bodywork, uninstalling and reinstalling of parts, engine repair, etc.

It is also possible to grow as an auto mechanic like in other professions. The profession opens up the opportunity to grow from entry-level to a top-rank level as a service manager.

How much do car mechanics make per hour?

An auto mechanic makes an average of $ 20 per hour. This is about 2% more than the regular national average salary per hour. In other words, becoming an expert auto mechanic is one of the most lucrative professions you can engage in.

The career path requires a deep passion, commitment, and sacrifice to start and finish within a couple of years. So, if you desire to be an auto mechanic, kindly start your journey today.

What are the cons of being a mechanic?

Every endeavor comes with its pros and cons. However, weighing the pros against the cons will determine whether it is a worthy venture or not.

Some of the cons of being a mechanic include rigorous physical labor, high responsibility for analyzing vehicle problems and proffering the requisite solutions, inability to transfer skills except by training or mentorship, etc.

Also, compared to some top-level, high-paying professions like medicine, auto mechanics earn less. However, the average salary of an expert auto mechanic ranks higher than many other professions.

Final Words

Remember, understanding how to become a mechanic is pretty simple if you know what you want and you’re ready to pay the price. Virtually all the information you need to start your career as a certified auto mechanic has been exposed in this article.

Now, you need to resolve when to take action in the direction of your passion. The best time to start any worthwhile venture or pursuit is now. Procrastination is a killer of actualization. So, start your journey to becoming a certified auto mechanic now.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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