An auto mechanic assistant helps maintain and repair everything from cars to pickup trucks to vans. Auto mechanic assistants work for dealerships or garages, performing an array of tasks while helping lead mechanics. They change oil and tires, repair hoses and belts, make sure a vehicle has the proper amount of fluids, and check the brakes.
Auto mechanic assistants are vital when it comes to assisting with repairs. They hand tools to the lead mechanic, and must make sure shelves are stocked and diagnostic equipment is functioning. Sometimes, they may take the vehicle for a test drive to help identify a problem. Auto mechanic assistants must listen to what his supervisor identifies as a problem, and be prepared to assist accordingly. Most perform simpler tasks, such as replacing air filters, spark plugs or batteries, before becoming a full-fledged mechanic.
Auto mechanic assistants must be skilled with their hands and possess the type of strength and flexibility needed for car repair. That's because they often need to lift heavy car parts and contort their bodies into awkward positions for maintenance and repairs. Auto mechanic assistants also need to have the ability to follow the instructions of a supervisor and work well independently or as members of a team. They should be organized, motivated and own decent communication skills, allowing them to relay information about needed repairs to both customers and co-workers.
Most auto mechanic assistants have a passion for and knowledge of cars and car maintenance before ever being hired. That is why the majority are able to learn while on the job, with little more than a high school diploma (or the equivalent) required. Some might attend vocation school, where they polish their skills and undergo testing. The majority, however, only need to possess a positive attitude and strong work ethic for advancement.
Jobs for auto mechanics and their assistants should be steady for at least the next decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for auto mechanics is expected to grow by 5 percent from 2008 to 2018. More than 763,000 workers were employed as auto mechanics in May 2008, the BLS reported.
Wages for auto mechanics vary by responsibilities and title. Auto mechanic assistants typically earn low wages to start, then make more as they advance. According to PayScale.com, auto mechanics earned anywhere from $13.12 to $21.57 per hour in April 2010.
- Photo Credit at auto workshop image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com
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