With advancements in car technology occurring at a steady rate the demand for skilled mechanics is also increasing. Working as a mechanic provides a varied workload with scope for development. Below we have outlined how to train as a mechanic and possible career prospects.

Entry Requirements

Mechanic Working on Car EngineThere are several different approaches for candidates hoping to become a mechanic. Many people choose to study a modern apprenticeship scheme where you will follow a defined training program whilst working on the job. Candidates will become used to the pace and working environment whilst receiving training from a mentor. Modern apprenticeships are available for people aged 16-24. Details can be found at your local job centre or connexions office and some car manufacturers also offer vacancies online.

Alternatively, you can chose to study a City and Guilds course in vehicle maintenance and repair or a BTEC in vehicle repair and technology. Both of the courses are full time and involve studying units and practical assessments. Contact your local college or connexions office for more details.

Candidates should be prepared for a considerable amount of physical work and heavy lifting and also have a keen eye for detail with extensive knowledge of car technology. Candidates will need a good level of general fitness and be used to organising their own workload. Some employers may also require you to work during weekends and attend emergency call outs.

Academics

Students training to become a mechanic will usually study the Automotive NVQ from level 1 through to 3 at college. As the course progresses relevant students will receive the chance to specialise in more specific areas including bodywork, electrics and accident recovery.

Checks And Engine MaintenanceAnother course available to prospective mechanics is the ATA (automotive technician accreditation) scheme. The scheme is available online with tests to practice your skill at increasing levels of practical knowledge. The course is voluntary and is designed to expand on basic skills learnt. The course is open to applicants of all ages and is recognised by the automotive industry.

Roles and Responsibilities

Car mechanics mainly work on repairing cars and carrying out regular services such as MOT testing. Mechanics use a variety of hand tools and power tools as well as electrical equipment such as fault diagnosis systems to solve problems with onboard electrical systems in modern cars.

Once trained mechanics can expect to find employment at local garages, national chains such as kwik fit and used car dealers. Other employers may include the police, breakdown services and taxi companies.

Some mechanics may choose to specialise in the electrical aspect of mechanics. Auto electricians work on faults with car alarms and immobilisers as well as in car entertainment systems and electric windows.

If you choose to branch out and take further studying then more specialised work may become available. Many mechanics stay onto to become supervisors and may eventually become managers or self employed.

Further Reading