Is becoming a mechanic right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do mechanics do?

Still unsure if becoming a mechanic is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a mechanic or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Mechanic

To become a mechanic, you typically need to follow these general steps:

  • Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent: A high school education provides the foundation for a career as a mechanic. It is essential to have a basic understanding of mathematics, science, and English.
  • Complete a vocational or technical training program: Enroll in a vocational school or community college that offers automotive mechanics or mechanical training programs. These programs provide hands-on training and classroom instruction in various aspects of automotive technology, such as engine repair, electrical systems, brakes, and diagnostics. Completing a formal training program can enhance your knowledge and skills in the field.
  • Gain practical experience: Seek opportunities to gain practical experience through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions at automotive repair shops or dealerships. On-the-job experience allows you to apply your knowledge and develop essential skills under the guidance of experienced mechanics.
  • Obtain certifications: While not always required, obtaining industry-recognized certifications can enhance your credibility and job prospects as a mechanic (see below).
  • Pursue specialization: Consider specializing in a particular area of mechanical work, such as diesel engines, heavy equipment, or specific vehicle brands. Specialization can open up more opportunities and potentially lead to higher-paying positions.
  • Stay updated on advancements: The automotive industry is continually evolving, with new technologies and advancements. Stay current with industry trends, attend workshops or training programs, and invest in continuing education to expand your knowledge and skills.
  • Obtain necessary licenses: Some states may require mechanics to obtain a license or certification to perform certain types of repairs or work on specific systems. Research and comply with any state or local regulations regarding licensing or certification requirements.

The following certifications are offered by organizations that assess and validate a mechanic's knowledge and skills in specific areas of automotive repair.

  • ASE Certifications: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of certifications in various areas of automotive repair, including engine performance, brakes, electrical systems, suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning, and more. ASE certifications are highly regarded and demonstrate a mechanic's expertise in specific automotive systems.
  • Manufacturer-Specific Certifications: Many automotive manufacturers offer certifications for mechanics who specialize in their brand. These certifications validate a mechanic's knowledge and proficiency in repairing and servicing vehicles of a particular brand, such as Ford, Toyota, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz. Examples of manufacturer-specific certifications include Ford's Motorcraft Service Excellence program or Toyota's Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) program.
  • HVAC Certifications: For mechanics specializing in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, certifications such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 Certification are often required. This certification demonstrates knowledge of handling refrigerants safely and responsibly.
  • Welding Certifications: Mechanics who perform welding as part of their work may pursue certifications from organizations such as the American Welding Society (AWS). AWS offers certifications for different types of welding processes, such as MIG, TIG, or Stick welding.
  • Diesel Mechanic Certifications: Mechanics working with diesel engines may pursue certifications such as those offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in Diesel Engine Repair or Medium/Heavy Truck Repair.
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Certifications: With the rise of hybrid and electric vehicles, certifications such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Alternative Fuels Certification can demonstrate a mechanic's knowledge and skills in working with these types of vehicles.