Types of Mechanics – Roles, Duties, & Potentials

Automobile repair is an excellent profession with several dimensions of focus. Auto mechanics are some of the most engaged individuals around. They either work at a dealership or an auto repair shop.

There are different types of mechanics handling diverse kinds of diagnosis, servicing, and repairs of cars, trucks, heavyweight tractors, equipment, etc.

If you’re passionate about starting a career as a professional auto mechanic, you must decide on your field of focus for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. This is what this article is about; finding out the various categories of mechanics and what they entail.

Types of Mechanics

Understanding the categories of mechanics will help you decide on a suitable field that aligns with your passion. Mechanic schools are established to help shape your dream and bring it into reality.

While some individuals are passionate about light vehicles, others may be passionate about heavy-duty trucks, tractors, and equipment. Some of the common types of mechanics work include the following.

different types of mechanics

General auto mechanic

General automotive mechanics do virtually an all-encompassing job on vehicles and their parts. They inspect, diagnose, repair, and service faulty vehicle components. General auto mechanics engage both manual and computerized tools to perform their tasks.

Diesel engine mechanic

As the name implies, diesel engine mechanics solely focus on diagnosing and fixing diesel engines. Their focus spans small cars, trucks, tractors, bulldozers, etc., with diesel engines.

Diesel mechanics lubricate equipment, align wheels, and other standard maintenance operations on diesel engines. They also lift trucks and other heavy equipment with jacks and hoists.

Brake and transmission mechanic

Brake and transmission mechanics are quite different from other types of car mechanics. They are specialists in fixing vehicle brake and transmission faults. They are skilled in fixing brake problems, steering maintenance, power train faults, and other faults that relate to transmission.

Specialized auto mechanics usually do great jobs than those who like to work on any and every fault in a vehicle. However, the scope of the profession is dependent on the individual. Therefore, you can choose to become an EV mechanic and dedicate all your efforts to this dream.

Heavyweight equipment mechanic

Heavyweight equipment mechanics are special professional mechanics that are trained to inspect, diagnose, and fix industrial equipment and railroad construction equipment. They are experts in dissembling and assembling huge equipment to fix any fault.

Heavyweight equipment mechanics usually perform their tasks on-site, unlike most auto mechanics that do virtually all their jobs at their workshops, gasoline stations, dealerships, or auto repair shops.

Aircraft mechanic

Aircraft mechanics are well-trained experts with strict rules and regulations governing their operations as prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They perform their tasks with different types of mechanic tools, including manual, power tools, and computerized systems.

Starting a career as an aircraft mechanic requires possessing various certifications, including the Power plant rating mechanic certification and the aircraft rating mechanic certification. Aircraft mechanics work on small and large aircraft, including helicopters, airplanes, jets, etc.

Auto exhaust mechanic

An auto exhaust mechanic specializes in inspecting, removing, repairing, and installing vehicle exhaust systems.

Although some auto mechanics perform diverse kinds of repairs, including fixing exhaust systems, an auto exhaust mechanic does it better when it comes to this fixing defective vehicle exhausts.

Auto exhaust mechanics are responsible for fixing vehicle mufflers, headers, catalytic converters, piping, etc.

Some of the types of equipment they use are Shields and blowtorches. Their income is quite attractive; hence it is a nice niche to focus on as a mechanic.

Line mechanic

A line mechanic repairs, maintain, and installs electrical transmission and distribution systems below and above ground.

Line mechanics are also responsible for removing and installing electric poles, transformers, power lines, gas pipes, street lights, conduits, control, and major hardware. A line mechanic earns an average of$23 per hour.

Plumbing mechanic

Plumbing mechanics are also known as plumbers. They are responsible for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining interconnecting plumbing lines that supply gas or water.

A plumber is a specialist in installing bathtubs, toilets, water heaters, kitchen sinks, etc. Plumbing covers the repair, maintenance, and installation of commercial and residential gas or water lines.

Air conditioning mechanic

Another specialized type of mechanic is the air conditioning mechanic. They specialize in inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems.

Air conditioning mechanics repair both commercial and residential air conditioning systems. Some of these mechanics also refill the air conditioning system gas, besides the regular repair.

Bicycle mechanic

Bicycle mechanics are yet another type of mechanic with a specialty in the repairing and maintenance of bicycles. Their job also involves assembling new bicycle parts at bicycle sales stores.

This kind of mechanic may not earn as much as auto mechanics. However, their average annual salary is about $27,000. Also, becoming a bicycle mechanic is not as demanding as starting a career as a professional auto mechanic or technician.

Racecar mechanic

Racecar mechanics are like regular auto mechanics; however, they specialize in high-performance cars.

A racecar mechanic is responsible for inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining high-performance race cars. They work closely with racers or high-performance car owners to design systems and structures for their car upgrades. A racecar mechanic earns an average of $36,000 per annum.

Auto glass mechanic

Auto glass mechanics specialize in removing, repairing, and installing vehicle glasses, including windshields. Most auto glass mechanics work at a dealership or auto repair shop.

Specializing as an auto glass mechanic requires certification in collision and repair or auto glass installation. It is vital to note that certified technicians earn more respect and reward from their employees and clients.

Tire mechanic

Vehicle tires are important parts that require the expertise of specialized auto tire mechanics to diagnose and repair them. Tire mechanics also perform a regular maintenance check on vehicle tires to ascertain whether they’re in good shape for road use.

They also perform wheel balancing and tire replacement for worn-out vehicle tires. This kind of mechanic doesn’t usually require any formal education.

However, possessing a certification, especially in the profession, is an added advantage. Tire mechanics earn up to $13.71 per hour.

Auto body mechanic

Auto body mechanics specialize in repairing damaged automobile body parts, especially due to collisions, dents, and scratches. They also perform complete painting jobs on automobiles.

Starting a career as an auto body mechanic requires enrolling at a trade or vocational school. However, most auto body mechanics learn on the job.

Nonetheless, combining technical school knowledge and hands-on experience can enhance your career as an auto body mechanic.

Boat mechanic

Boat mechanics inspect, repair, and troubleshoot speed boat propeller, steering system, and engine problems. Most boat mechanics work at a boat company or independently.

Sometimes, boat mechanics work on-site when they need to fix large boats. Their expertise is a combination of apprenticeship and technical school experiences.

Boat mechanics earn an average of$38,000 per annum with an opportunity for constant career growth.

Small engine mechanic

Small engines, like those in lawnmowers, ATVs, jet skis, snowmobiles, etc., are handled by specialized mechanics known as small engine mechanics.

Small engine mechanics are responsible for inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining the engines in small equipment like lawnmowers and specialized vehicles like ATVs. The annual income of this kind of mechanic is about $35,000 per annum.

Motorcycle mechanic

Motorcycle mechanics are experts in diagnosing and repairing defective motorcycle parts, including the engine, suspension, brake, lights, fuel system, etc.

Most motorcycle mechanics are certified by specific motorcycle manufacturers. They also earn their qualifications from technical schools, where they are trained on how to troubleshoot and repair motorcycle parts. A motorcycle mechanic earns up to approximately $38,000 per annum.

Welding mechanic

A welding mechanic is also known as a welder. They are responsible for using different welding tools to bond metals into diverse component parts. Welding technicians are skilled in welding structural steel and heavy machinery.

Welding technicians work in various industries, such as construction, automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, railroad manufacturing, etc.

A welding technician earns around $43,000 on average income per annum.


How many types of mechanics are there?

There are basically two types of mechanics, distinguished by the kind of machines they operate on. They are mechanics dealing with lightweight and heavyweight tasks. Lightweight mechanics work on small machines like automotive engines.

On the other hand, heavyweight mechanics work on large machines or equipment like trailers, bulldozers, tractors, etc. The career path for these two types of mechanics is pretty different.

However, most people often begin at the same start-up level, either at a dealership or an auto repair shop. As they progress, apprentices and interns decide on the area they desire to focus on.

What type of mechanic gets paid the most?

According to the BLS report, aircraft mechanics are the most paid type of mechanic. Their average income was around $64,090 per annum in 2019. Repairing aircraft is a critical aspect of mechanics.

An expert aircraft mechanic is trained to inspect and diagnose hydraulic and structural systems and mechanic malfunctions in aircraft. They repair faulty aircraft parts with power and hand tools like grinders, saws, etc.

Aircraft repair requires maximum compliance with aviation safety rules and regulations. The job is pretty demanding compared to auto repair mechanic, hence the huge discrepancy in the financial rewards.

What is the best kind of mechanic?

There are several mechanics with different skill sets. Some rank as the best in the industry, while others are lined up at the bottom of the ladder. The following are types of mechanics and salary structures, respectively.

Aircraft mechanic

An aircraft mechanic inspects, diagnoses, repairs, and maintains aircraft of various sizes. They are highly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Their average annual income was about $64,090 as of 2019, according to the United States BLS report.

Aircraft mechanic

Industrial machinery mechanic

Industrial machinery mechanics are responsible for repairing and servicing large industrial machines. They perform their tasks with computerized systems and technical manuals. Their annual income is about $45,420.

Mobile heavy equipment mechanic

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics diagnose and repair huge construction and railroad equipment. The annual income for this type of mechanic is about $ 44,830 per annum.

Other top-rank mechanics include; heating, refrigeration, air conditioning mechanic, etc. If you desire to start a career as a mechanic, take some time to determine the aspect to concentrate on.

What is a master mechanic?

A master mechanic is a senior-rank mechanic at a dealership or auto repair shop. The distinguishing factor of a master mechanic is the types of mechanic certifications they possess.

They are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence(ASE). This is one of the best mechanic certification programs you can leverage.

In fact, the rank of a master mechanic demands the completion of an ASE certification test and an advanced series of tests in a specific area. Some areas of master automotive technician certification include collision repair and refinishing damage analysis and estimating, etc. 

What are car mechanics called?

The term used in addressing car mechanics differs, depending on the locations where they work. North Americans refer to car mechanics as automotive technicians, while British and Australians refer to them as light vehicle technicians and motor mechanics, respectively.

However, you can address car mechanics to be auto mechanics generally. The profession is one of the lucrative vocations with high financial rewards.

Most auto mechanics, sometimes called auto technicians, are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This is why expert auto technicians get high financial rewards from their employers and clients.

Being certified as an expert auto technician is not a difficult goal to achieve. You can leverage online mechanic schools to start your journey as soon as possible.

Where do most mechanics work?

Most auto mechanics or technicians work at dealerships or auto repair shops. However, some mechanics also work at gasoline stations where they inspect, diagnose, service, or repair faulty vehicle components.

Professional auto mechanic doesn’t struggle with unemployment as there is always a place for them. There are several types of mechanic shops. It could either be at a dealership or an auto repair shop.

In addition, building a career as an expert mechanic also gives you the opportunity to own your repair or service center.

Final Words

Defining your scope of focus is critical when starting a career as a professional mechanic. Since there are numerous types of mechanics in the industry, it is advisable to figure out the most suitable field that aligns with your passion.

If you’re willing to pay the price to learn what is required for your desired field as a mechanic, you will be fulfilled because your dreams will come alive.

However, ensure to spend quality time reading about how to become a mechanic. This will help you kick-start your journey in the right direction.

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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