what is a mechanic?

As a mechanic, you perform repairs and maintenance on motor vehicles. You dismantle and reassemble auto parts to repair any issues in a car. That means the role requires knowledge of how diesel and combustion engines work. You also need knowledge of vehicle parts like brakes and transmission systems. Being a mechanic requires being hands on and a direct approach to problem-solving. Mechanics get their hands dirty when completing repairs and have great agility.

what does a mechanic do?

The primary duties of mechanics are to perform routine checks and maintenance on cars. You spend most of your day examining and diagnosing malfunctioning cars, identifying problems and fixing them. Sometimes, you dismantle the engine or vehicle parts to inspect faulty components and repair them. If the car has suffered significant damage, you request the replacement parts and replace them.

As a mechanic, you use specialist equipment to examine the car’s underbody and repair the parts. For instance, you require a hydraulic lift to access the underbody and other hand tools for dismantling and assembling vehicle parts after repairs.

Most mechanics work in car dealerships or vehicle repair garages, providing vehicle servicing and repair services. Small engine mechanics repair and maintain a simple household, mining or industrial machinery.

mechanic jobs

average mechanic salary

The median salary of a mechanic in Australia is $70,000 per year. The earnings usually fluctuate depending on the experience and training level. The base salary of new mechanics is $60,000 annually due to their minimal experience. As you improve your skills, your earnings increase gradually to $80,000. Apart from standard remuneration packages, many employers offer bonus schemes to improve your profits. The bonuses usually depend on efficiency and customer satisfaction and can be paid monthly or yearly. When you work overtime, you are entitled to overtime pay higher than the standard hourly rates.

how to increase the salary of a mechanic

The remuneration package of a mechanic fluctuates depending on the area of specialisation, qualifications and work experience. When you specialise in one aspect of repair and maintenance work, your earnings are slightly different from those of general mechanics. For instance, motor mechanics are likely to earn somewhat less with an average remuneration package of $60,000 per year, with experienced mechanics taking home $70,000 annually. Heavy vehicle mechanics make a higher median salary of $85,000 annually, while experienced mechanics can take home over $110,000 yearly.

Want to know what you will earn as a mechanic? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

mechanic salary

types of mechanics

Some of the types of mechanics include:

  • motor mechanics: you assist drivers with vehicle repairs and servicing. You primarily work in garages or dealerships, dealing with scheduled maintenance, repairs and servicing. You handle oil and fluid changes, brake replacements, shock absorber repairs and transmission issues.
  • heavy vehicle mechanics: you have a similar role to a motor mechanic, but you work with industrial-sized vehicles like trucks, mining and earthmoving machinery, and buses. The position requires specialised skills due to the complexity of the cars. Some of the duties you perform include diagnostic tests, and servicing and maintaining the diesel fuel systems. You also handle repairs for steering and braking systems.
  • diesel mechanics: you specialise in diesel engine cars. Your job is to diagnose, repair and maintain cars, buses or trucks that use a diesel engine. You also ensure compliance with pollution regulations.
  • mobile mechanics: you perform similar functions as a general mechanic. However, you provide mobile services. Instead of a customer visiting the garage, you go to them. Most mobile mechanics transport their tools in their van and can perform repairs on the sides of the road.
types of mechanics
types of mechanics

working as a mechanic

Becoming a mechanic can be an exciting career if you are interested in cars and machines. Here's a breakdown of a mechanic's specific duties and career prospects.


education and skills

To become a mechanic in Australia, you require post-secondary qualifications, including:

  • vocational education: most mechanics in Australia join the field through vocational education training (VET) courses. The qualifications provide valuable practical experience to students and industry exposure. The VET automotive qualifications help you gain practical skills and knowledge in repairing mechanical parts of motorcycles, cars, marine craft and outdoor power equipment. The courses include a diploma in automotive technology, Certificate IV in automotive mechanical diagnosis, Certificate III in light vehicle mechanical technology and heavy commercial vehicle mechanical technology.
  • work experience: most employers hire mechanics who have completed apprenticeships and have a few years of experience. Hence, entry-level jobs like becoming a mechanic's assistant improve your career prospects.

mechanic skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a mechanic include:

  • communication skills: you need communication and customer service skills to relate well to drivers and customers. Communication is important for conveying information and reassuring the customers that you can handle a problem. Customers feel more at ease when complex issues are explained in simple terms.
  • diagnostic and problem-solving skills: diagnostic skills help identify the source of car problems. After diagnosing a problem, you should fix it or discuss the solution with the customer. Hence, problem-solving skills are vital for the role.
  • skill and energy: you require skill in handling hand tools and complex machines to diagnose car problems. It is also essential to be fit enough to stand, bend, sit and squat while carrying out your job.
  • innovative and ability to learn fast: you should constantly be on the lookout for better repair techniques. As repair technology changes, innovation helps you remain competitive in the market.

FAQs about working as a mechanic

Here are the most asked questions about working as a mechanic:

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