If you’re looking into the skilled trades for your future there are a lot of potential career paths to pursue, but one of the most reliable and rewarding ones for a lot of students is choosing to focus on the mechanic career path.
Our Automotive Technology program is a great option for trade school students, so we wanted to take a moment to discuss many of the reasons an auto mechanic career can be beneficial for you.
1. Industry Need
Although the auto mechanic industry is often seen to have favorable job opportunities and to offer competitive wages, as The Augusta Chronicle reports, fewer young people are pursuing the field, leading to a shortage of qualified mechanics. Some key points to consider:
- According to a survey by the Automotive Service Association, 45% of industry respondents felt the labor shortage is the industry’s biggest concern
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that 237,000 auto repair jobs should become available from 2014 to 2024
- Baby Boomers make up to approximately half of all auto mechanics, with these individuals expected to retire in the next 7-10 years, according to industry veteran Tony Molla
As you can see, choosing the mechanic career for your future can mean great things.
2. Automotive Need
Another reason seeking a career as a mechanic is a wise decision is due to the need for the automobiles currently on the road.
As William Sasser, shop owner of a Mr. Transmission outlet, stated in the Augusta Chronicle article, “cars break down less often than they used to, but when they do… they are more costly to fix.”
- Sasser points to the computerization that has become standard throughout the industry, beginning in the late ‘80s, affecting many automobile systems, such as transmissions
- This computerization is expected to only increase as driverless cars become standard in the near future
As these systems continue to become computerized, mechanics who are well-versed in them will continue to be needed to determine, troubleshoot and repair any issues which will arise.
3. Ongoing Career Options
One of the best things about considering a career as an auto mechanic is the mechanic job outlook. While economic downturns can cause fewer people to purchase new cars, car repairs will continue to be needed no matter what. In fact, if fewer people are buying cars that just means they’ll need to keep their current models running, equaling more business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive service technicians and mechanics are expected to stay on pace with economic growth from 2014-2024, making the auto mechanic job outlook a positive one.
4. Potential for Long-term Business with Clients
According to an article by Repairer Driven News focused on a survey by automotive service AAA, one of the biggest issues auto repair shops face is earning customers’ trust.
While the piece presents a lot of insights any shop should be mindful of when working with customers, there are a couple of key points to consider from the article:
- Over half of patrons surveyed believed auto shops would complete the needed repairs for their vehicles correctly
- 64% of drivers stated that they have an auto mechanic shop they trust
Though securing that initial trust might be somewhat of a challenge, once good work is performed and a customer is satisfied, they’re more inclined to come back again. Becoming one of those shops customers trust can mean great things for your car mechanic career – you just need to put in the effort and you’re halfway home.
By choosing a career as an auto mechanic you’ll be entering a field where your expertise will be put to the test daily, but you’ll also get a lot of independence.
Whether it’s running diagnostics, seeing to specific repairs, or troubleshooting specific issues, mechanics are often expected to work independently to get the job done in a busy garage, something that people who like self-reliance are big fans of.
6. A Variety of Tasks
With all of the various systems and components that go into a functional automobile, mechanics have to become adept at diagnosing and correcting problems with all of them, keep you on your toes and keeping your job interesting.
Each new car is a new challenge, breaking up your days into different tasks and making for less monotony.
7. Millions of Potential Customers
We know there are a lot of cars on American roads, but just how many? An article by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 had some interesting insights:
- There are upwards of 253 million cars and trucks in the U.S., which means that if you’re considering a car mechanic career these car owners represent a significant amount of potential customers
- The average age of these cars is 11.4 years old, meaning the vast majority of them will be in need of either minor or major repairs on a fairly regular basis
8. Work with Yours Hands and Avoid a Desk Job
Sitting in an office all day isn’t for everyone since many people like staying active, working with their hands, and challenging themselves with manual and mechanical tasks.
A career as a mechanic is perfect for people who fit this description, so if you’re considering a role in the skilled trades, definitely give this field a look.
9. Save Money and Do Your Own Repairs
Once you acquire the necessary skills needed for a career as an auto mechanic you’ll not only be able to put those skills to use in a professional realm but also in a personal one.
Instead of having to take your car to a shop or dealership, you’ll be able to work on most aspects yourself and see to necessary repairs. This can save you and your loved ones money throughout your life.
Start Your Auto Mechanic Career at NCST Today!
As you can see, becoming an auto mechanic can provide a lot of benefits and opportunities. Check out NCST’s Automotive Technology program and start preparing for your future – you’ll be glad you did.