Automotive mechanics help everyday commuters, businesses, and municipalities deliver goods, passengers, and services to their intended destinations. Keeping these vehicles in working order is vital to the economy and the continued comfort of our way of life.
If you’re interested in becoming a mechanic, you might be wondering, what is it like to be an automotive mechanic? Why is education so important in this field? Why is Hampton Roads, Virginia a great place for someone to study to become a mechanic? In addition, what traits and skills does someone need to succeed in the automotive technology industry?
A Day in the Life of an Automotive Mechanic
The daily duties of auto mechanics depend largely on the type of shop in which they are employed. These technician’s skills are needed in industrial, commercial, retail, and private applications. However, some common jobs apply for most auto mechanics.
- Identifying problems with engines and other car systems. This can be performed via visual inspection, electronic monitoring and diagnosis, or mechanical processes.
- Creating plans to remedy problems. Mechanics work out possible solutions before starting work and choose the process with the most likely possibility of success.
- Applying preventative maintenance. Changing fluids, checking electrical systems, and other routine maintenance lowers the chance of small problems becoming big issues down the line.
- Following manufacturer suggestions. Ensuring that all procedures and parts comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations protects important warranties and ensures the longest life and best performance of the vehicle.
Some mechanics focus on one aspect of the position, like lube techs. Others concentrate on a specific make or type of vehicle. There are endless opportunities to create the perfect career in the automotive industry.
The Importance of Formal Education
Many mechanics start their careers with no education. However, getting a degree before seeking a job ensures your success in important ways.
- More opportunities. With formal education, you aren’t limited to one position or industry.
- Potential higher starting pay. When employers don’t have to train you, they are often willing to pay more from the first day of employment.
- More choices. Getting an education could allow you to construct a career based on your specific talents and interests. For example, if you find you are particularly talented with engines, you could hone that skill and potentially find work doing what you love most.
Hampton Roads: The Perfect Place to Begin Your Career
Hampton Roads, Virginia is home to a number of businesses that need specialized auto mechanics. These companies are generally willing to pay well to employ the best. You could find a career you can be passionate about while also enjoying superior compensation. What industries can you work for in the Hampton Roads area?
- Marine and shipbuilders
- Commercial logistics operations
- Military industrial
- Government and municipal organizations
- Heavy construction
- General mechanic shop
Hampton Roads, Virginia offers auto mechanics a range of interesting and fulfilling career options. From highly technical and cutting edge mechanics to everyday passenger vehicles, you could possibly find a position that fits your talents and preferences here.
Traits of a Successful Automotive Mechanic
What qualities are important for a fruitful mechanic career? These personality traits help working mechanics maintain high-quality results and service.
- The ability to communicate well. Whether in writing or through speech, this helps mechanics keep customers comfortable during service. It also helps them when collecting information for a diagnosis.
- Paying attention to detail. Small details missed during an inspection can cost their employer a lot of money. Some alignments and installations require a high degree of attention.
- Manual dexterity. Hand-eye coordination and steady hands are essential for many adjustments and assemblies. You should be able to work with parts large and small to ensure the job is done correctly the first time.
Good mechanics also need a solid foundation of mechanical skills and knowledge. These things can be learned in a formal training program for auto mechanics. For example:
- Elements of basic engine repair
- Diagnosing and adjusting steering and alignment issues
- Brake service
- Vehicle electronics service and installation
In addition, a thorough understanding of OSHA regulations and other safety requirements help mechanics maintain an accident-free and fully compliant shop.
Are You Ready to Earn Your Degree in Automotive Repair?
Start your Hampton Roads, Virginia career with the Associate in Occupational Sciences in Automotive Technology with Service Management degree from the Advanced Technology Institute. This accelerated learning program should prepare you to fill a number of entry-level positions in the automotive industry.
Give your career the best possible start. Contact our representatives to reserve your spot in upcoming sessions.