Thinking of a career in vehicle mechanical engineering?
It seems as though most people either love or hate mechanics. Vehicle owners have either found a competent mechanic that they trust, or else they have a long list of horror stories about how their car emerged from the garage in a worse shape than when it went in. Mechanics service and repair practically anything with an engine and wheels, from motorbikes to lorries and coaches. They work with a wide variety of systems, both mechanical and electrical.
One excellent way to accomplish a career change and become a mechanic is through an apprenticeship. This type of arrangement allows you to work, get paid and learn the job at the same time. You’ll find out about the actual working conditions of the job first-hand while you are trained under the mentorship of an experienced mechanic. However, you should be aware that most mechanic apprenticeships are really only available for individuals aged 16 to 24.
If you’re already working somewhere else and want to change careers, there are other ways to become a mechanic. Local shops may be willing to hire you and provide on-the-job training, especially if you demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of automotive mechanics. You should expect this type of learning-while-earning arrangement to last from three to four years. Alternatively, if you can afford to take the time off without regular pay, you can study full-time at a local college to get the training you need. Yet another possibility to look at would be completing a vocational qualification after following a self-study course.
Today’s automotive mechanic works with finely-tuned, computer-controlled engines. Repair shops will be looking at your background not only for industrial arts and safety training, but they will likely want to see some computer science as well. In addition, you must hold a driving licence valid for the type of vehicles you’ll be servicing. Finally, given the demands of the position, you should be in good physical condition.
Other Skills you will find useful as a mechanic include knowledge of motor vehicle technology and new developments in the industry. Good problem-solving skills are a must, and your employers and customers will be happier if you work quickly and accurately.
Typical Job Role
What are you likely to be doing on a daily basis if you become a mechanic? Of course, you’ll be repairing vehicles that have developed a problem or have been involved in an accident. You may also be involved in regular maintenance to keep vehicles operating in peak condition. With experience and extra qualifications, you may become involved in MOT testing. You will be working with a wide variety of hand tools, power tools and electrical equipment.
The outlook for mechanic jobs remains strong. In fact, as vehicles become more complicated and as government standards become more stringent, properly maintaining them will require professional servicing. You may find employment in several different venues, including local garages and national chains. There are also opportunities for mechanics wherever you find a large fleet of vehicles, including police agencies, taxi companies and even the armed forces.
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