Auto mechanics, also commonly called auto technicians, have high demand these days. Upon completing school, they often secure a steady career and are paid well. Because this is technical industry, relevant education is important for you. In fact, individuals with more valuable degrees can expect a better pay scale.
Opportunities in this industry is increasing along with the number of job openings. This change also suggests that simply gathering experience by working in a mom-and-pop shop will not secure a good job. The automobile technology has advanced rapidly overtime. This is why you must be fully equipped with technical education and certification if you are serious about pursuing this as occupation. Without a reputed certification, you might be able to secure position of a mechanic at a private shop but larger companies demand more qualification than that.
Interested individuals can start learning early and increase their qualification as a mechanic. They can start learning at high school and also secure jobs at small shops which consider students who are proficient in science, mathematics and mechanic drawing.
Automotive Youth Education Service Programs are offered at some schools to provide the students a head start. This, of course, is not enough to become a mechanic but it is a great starting point. Your ultimate goal should be to gather formal technical training and complete the required amount of experience.
If you are interested in this field, you perhaps already know how important the certification in Automotive Service Excellence is. Abbreviated as ASE, it is a very significant certification for your auto mechanic career. To obtain the ASE certificate, you will have to graduate from a reputed technical school or a community college program. Other requirements include passing various examinations and having minimum 2 years of relevant work experience.
Auto mechanics can be further classified into 8 areas of work: engine repair, automatic transmission, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical systems, heating and air condition systems, and engine performance. You may choose to be certified in any of these related service areas.
The industry is changing constantly and it is becoming more and more complex. The introduction of electric motor, hybrid technology and fuel cells demand that auto mechanics enhance their technical and engineering knowledge. Even though it is not always true, most employers expect mechanics to continue education as it helps to stay ahead of competitors.
Requirements for Working as a Auto Mechanic
The state of Arizona does not require auto technicians to collect a license for diagnosing and fixing vehicles. However, not having a license can prove dangerous for your career. Even though it is not a rule that you need a license, having a license is a great way to prove your caliber. It suggests that you are eligible and capable of doing your job right.
Even though there are no strict rules, it is commonly seen that auto mechanics who meet certain requirements do better.
Automotive Service Excellence is a non-profit institute that helps improve the quality of vehicle maintenance and other related services. The institute is unbiased and its basic task is to certify and validate different motor vehicle maintenance and service professionals.
In fact, this is almost always a common qualification for most auto mechanics’ credentials. If you have the ASE certification, you can effectively highlight your abilities and expertise. It hints the hiring managers that you are ready for the job. Therefore, allocate some time to study for these examinations. There are some study guides and practice test questions which you can avail free of cost. ASE offer 40 different test, for all kinds of auto service specialists including automobile technicians.
Importance of work experience is stressed for all occupation but for sectors like this one where the work is more practical in nature, it is mandatory. Required work experience varies depending on your area of expertise. For example, repair technicians in Arizona might require 1, 2, or 3 years of work experience. Collision damage estimator, on the other hand, must have work experience of minimum 2 years. Only theories are not enough to prepare you for the job. Therefore, on-the-job training from one of the local automotive dealers might help. In fact, if you can collect certifications from renowned car companies such as Mercedes, Chrysler, General Motor, etc., you will surely get a good job.
In addition to these, classroom training in automotive repair is a great way to enhance your knowledge. This often includes collision repair training and courses on repair technology. They will make you an expert at using diagnostic software.
The ASE Student Certification is similar to the full ASE qualification but it allows applicants to sit for one or more tests. You can get this certification without having any work experience. After completion of the test, a faculty can simply print the certificate and get it signed by the principal before granting it to the student. This qualification is valid for 2 years after the date of evaluation.
Qualities That Will Help You Flourish in This Career
1. Attention to Details
Problems in motor vehicles often arise from unnoticed misalignment. The issues are usually very subtle but they cannot be diagnosed without experienced technicians. It is normal for auto mechanics to assess every possible problem while making a prognosis or during repair service. Being detail-oriented speeds up the process and therefore helps offer better service. Experienced auto mechanics are usually aware of the diagnostic resources available. They can take advantage of them whenever necessary.
2. Importance to Service Excellence
It is not new information that auto technicians have to work closely with customers on a regular basis. The most successful car service mechanics form close and personal rapport with the clients. The aim is to form a loyal clientele. Many employees ignore the power of this and pay no special attention to what the customers really want. Your service excellence can be a differentiating factor.
3. Great Communication Skills
A good mechanic should be able to communicate diagnosis and repair suggestions with customers effectively and easily. Their communications skills should allow them to translate complicated technical jargon into simple English for the average customers without knowledge in this field.
4. Ability to Solve Problems Quickly
All automobile professionals must be able to diagnose different mechanical, electrical and wear-related vehicle issues. They should be well-acquainted with the intricate systems. As an expert, it is expected that you are capable of recognizing and fixing these problems promptly. The key idea is to find the best solution within limited time.
5. Impressive Work Ethics
Like any other profession, a mechanic who has solid work ethics is celebrated. He should be committed to diagnosing problems quickly and then repairing the problem. It is important to be customer-oriented and not money-minded. It is also expected that the mechanic will be honest with customers at all time.
6. Having a Personal Tool Inventory
Auto technicians must be capable of using a wide array of technical tools to speed up the diagnosis. They address variety of vehicular problems and having a high-quality personal inventory, even though not necessary, can be helpful. Having own mechanical tools will help him feel comfortable. He can also constantly learn about new tools when they become available.
The auto mechanics profession is booming in Arizona. The job field is diverse and there is constant need for talented mechanics. According to 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 11,580 auto mechanics in the state. The average annual salary for these automotive service technicians is around $42,370. The average hourly wage can be states as $20.37, which is comparatively more than many sectors. Data suggests employment data of 4.679 per 1,000 jobs. The industry has a steady yearly growth rate of approximately 4%. In fact, every year, there are 579 new job openings. This means, the employment opportunity in this particular industry is great. With proper skills and training, you can secure yourself a good job with a great payment scheme.
That being said, the job prospect may vary depending on which location in Arizona you reside in. Various factors come into play when this decision is taken. While your expertise in the field and knowledge of the subject are 2 very important factors considered by employers, your payment range will also differ depending on the living expense of that particular city. For example, if you reside in the Flagstaff region, you can enjoy a salary within the range $25,000 to $71,000. Average salary is $37,030 and there are total job positions for 230 people. There are total 420 job positions for auto mechanics in Lake Havasu City and Kingman area, where typical salary is $33,140 but the highest could be as much as $55,000. If you live near Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale, you will enjoy best options. Even though the salary range is quite similar to that of other cities, typical salary is $43,160. In addition to this, the number of job positions is over 7,400.
There are 1,910 job positions in Tucson. In this city, you can score a salary between $24,000 to $54,000. Most people are paid around $36,000. Prescott and Yuma have 290 and 260 job positions respectively. Both cities have a range which varies from $19,000 to $57,000 and average salary which is slightly over $35,000.
Importance of Additional Experience and Opportunity for Career Growth
In order to stand out from the clutter and make yourself valuable to potential employers, you can get additional training and certifications. Most mechanics like to learn more via training and this improves their employment prospect tremendously.
ASE is an unbiased, non-profit institution that improves the the level of quality of motor vehicle maintenance and services. It certifies and validates maintenance and service professionals. ASE Certification is almost always a central component of a technician’s experience and credentials, and will help highlight individual’s ability and help make him even more valuable to potential employer. Simply make sure to devote some time to study for the exams and utilizing the completely free examination study guides and test questions. Automobile technicians, along with other auto service specialists who wish to attain ASE certification, are able to take each of ASE’s 40 tests. After successfully passing these job-related examinations, the mechanic becomes ASE certified in any of the following subjects: medium or heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, etc.
The master automobile technician status is the highest qualification an auto mechanic can get. This basically means that an individual has excelled in all 8 service areas. The certification provides the official certification and badges.
You must renew your certificates for each area after every 5 years. For renewal, you have to sit for a re-certification examination. Automotive Service Excellence Certification is basically a private organization. It was established to help identify the competent auto technicians from a clutter of unskilled laymen. Again, certification is not a legal necessity. However, almost all employers will request their employees to have some kind of ASE certification.
Another additional qualification could be the refrigerant certification in Arizona. The U.S. Environmental diesel mechanic salary protection agency offer licensure in suitable handling of refrigerants. Even though no former preparation is required for this test, there are ways to practice. Various technical school, labor unions and employer groups offer preparation classes for this exam.
In conclusion, career as an auto mechanic is a great option for you in Arizona. You can get the appropriate certification and licensure before applying for a job. In order to enhance your career, you must continue education and constantly learn about the new trends and techniques. Excellence in the industry is appreciated and mechanics who use own tools to fix customers’ vehicles are also in high demand. Remember that your work ethics should never falter. One of the best qualities you can develop in order to ensure success in this industry is having leadership traits.