Automotive Master Mechanic: Job & Career Info
Learn about a career as an automotive master mechanic. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.
Automotive master mechanics, also known as master automobile technicians, are qualified to work on almost any part of automobiles, trucks, cars, buses and other motor vehicles. Although they are qualified to work on any part of a vehicle, some master mechanics choose to focus exclusively on transmissions. Like other automotive technicians, master mechanics use a variety of tools to perform routine and scheduled maintenance, examine vehicles for damage or malfunction, take automobile components apart, inspect them and make repairs. They also communicate with customers and superiors, review work orders, follow checklists to ensure quality work and use various software programs.
After completing high school, an aspiring automotive master mechanic needs to obtain eight certificates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in areas that include engines, electrical systems, brakes, steering and suspension. Automotive technicians must pass a test and have two years of experience in each area, but one year of experience in each area is waived for those who have previously completed an automotive training program in high school or at a technical, trade, community or junior college. At the postsecondary level, completion of the initial training program takes six months in a concentrated program or two years at a junior college. Once all the required training has been completed, certification exams are administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
The BLS reported that automotive master mechanics must display the following qualities:
- Extensive mechanical and technical skills
- Problem-solving and creative personalities to diagnose and repair complex systems
- Customer service skills
- Dexterity and physical strength needed to assemble and repair large automotive parts
Employment and Salary Outlook
In 2012, the BLS reported that automotive service technicians and mechanics, including master mechanics, earned a median salary of $36,610. The employment growth of this field was projected to be average at 10%-19% from 2010-2020, as reported by O*Net Online. The BLS noted that the highest-paid workers were employed by local governments, with the exception of schools, and that some employers paid a commission based on the rate charged to the customer and the number of hours worked.
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