What Makes Up a Modern Auto Mechanic?
Career Path : Automotive
Not everyone is allowed to call themselves a mechanic. Just as regulations determine who can bill themselves as an engineer or a doctor, modern mechanics have completed extensive auto technician training and passed multiple difficult certification exams. The parallel with doctor and engineer doesnât stop with job descriptions either. When you become a mechanic youâre going to take on maintaining and healing a system thatâs almost as complicated as the human body, but birthed by engineers.
Modern automobiles have many parts and pieces. Auto mechanic programs have to teach not just the care and feeding of the internal combustion engine, but also the brakes, the steering, the repair of the chassis, the careful maintenance of the tires, the ventilation and increasingly, the brain of the car. From onboard GPS to smart phone hookups, the cars of the past decades are wired up. They even have onboard computers with internal sensors that let the mechanic get information on the function of the car.
Similarly, the tools have evolved. No mechanic stereotype would be complete without a selection of wrenches, a hydraulic hoist and grease stained coveralls, but these days auto mechanic programs graduates have so much more at their disposal. They learn to weld with computer simulators, and measure tire pressure with sophisticated gauges. The pressure of their airbrushes is reliable and they have a full electricianâs toolbox.
Plus it takes as longer than an engineering degree and almost as long as getting a medical degree to become a mechanic. Though the formal auto technician training in a school is usually about two years long and that only prepares them to be an apprentice. Theyâll need to put in several more years under the supervision of an employer before they can leap through the rest of their certification hoops. The only benefit is that apprentices are paid, unlike other kinds of students, but since theyâll be doing good work at that point in their quest to become a mechanic thatâs perfectly normal.
All told, it takes about six years to become a mechanic with full certification. On the other hand, given the danger involved in poorly maintained cars, this is understandable. While a doctor must see to the safety of the patient, and outside psychiatry and containing an epidemic, most human health problems affect only the patient. A poorly maintained car is a hazard to passengers, pedestrians and the driver alike, and a danger to everything else on the road. Engineers wear an iron ring to remind themselves of the responsibility of good design, but for a mechanic, their reminder comes every time they work on a car damaged by an accident. Each shattered car must be carefully assessed and repaired as good as new before it can return to service.
Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information on auto mechanic programs.