Mechanics assemble and build engines and mechanical components, inspect machinery and run diagnostic tests to pinpoint problems. Mechanics are responsible for maintaining equipment and systems by cleaning them, replenishing fluids and replacing worn out parts. They perform safety tests and ensure that engines meet environmental standards.
Sound knowledge of hydraulic and electrical systems is often a requirement for mechanic jobs. When completing tasks, mechanics use a range of hand tools such as screwdrivers, hammers and pliers. They also use computerised equipment to diagnose issues, and are required to keep up with advances in technology.
Types of mechanics:
- Auto mechanics
- Heavy vehicle mechanics
- Small engine mechanics
- Diesel mechanics
- Marine mechanics
- Aircraft mechanics
PROSPECTS FOR MECHANIC JOBS:
Mechanics are employed across multiple industries and their skills are in demand. Job opportunities vary between industries, but employment opportunities are generally steady.
Employment prospects for auto mechanics rose strongly over the past five years and growth is expected to be above average up to 2019. As this is large occupational group, jobs should be available in most areas throughout Australia over this period. Opportunities for air-conditioning and refrigerator mechanics increased significantly over the previous ten years and are forecasted to remain steady up to 2020.
EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS FOR MECHANIC JOBS:
Projections from the Australian Department of Employment, 2015 to 2020. Note data is '000.
Motor Mechanic, Auto Mechanic, Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, HD Mechanic, Small Engine Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, Marine Mechanic, Aircraft Mechanic, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Motorbike Mechanic, Brake Mechanic, Light Engine Mechanic, Vehicle Mechanic, Automatic Transmission Mechanic, Automotive Technician, Exhaust Fitter, Air Conditioning Fitter, Diesel Fitter, Heavy Duty Fitter.
Assemble mechanical equipment
Inspect engines and run a range of diagnostic tests
Conduct repairs on engines and electrical components
Maintain machinery and equipment by cleaning and replacing fluids and parts
Rotate tyres and balance wheels
Interpret and follow work orders
Follow checklists during inspections to ensure all necessary parts are examined
Consult with customers and clients about problems and maintenance
Repair hydraulic systems
Repair cooling systems and hosing
Install, maintain and repair air conditioning systems
Keep detailed logs of completed work
Report on functionality and safety issues
Conduct test drives to confirm repairs and maintenance have been completed
Comply with safety and environmental standards
Monitor supplies and place orders for stock when necessary
Personal attributes required in mechanic jobs:
- Strong Verbal Communication Skills.
- Strong Written Communication Skills.
- Problem Solving Skills.
- Fast Learner.
- Physical Fitness.
- Safety Awareness.
PAY FOR MECHANIC JOBS:
Auto mechanics earn between $17 to $29.78 per hour depending on skills and experience. A full-time auto mechanic in Australia earns a pre-tax average of $1000 per week. Full-time weekly earnings for air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics are higher at $1618 per week before tax.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR MECHANICS:
In Australia, the most common pathway to becoming a mechanic is through an apprenticeship. Apprentices complete four years of on and off-the-job training. This involves hands-on experience in a workshop combined with formal classroom instruction.
Pre-apprenticeship studies are available for high school students who wish to increase their chances of gaining an apprenticeship. Students learn about the care and maintenance of vehicles, and the basics of engine construction. Pre-apprenticeship training may be credited towards later qualifications, shortening the length of an apprenticeship.
After completing their apprenticeship, mechanics often undertake specialised certificate courses in areas such car repairs, diesel engines or aircraft maintenance.
Suitable courses for those seeking to become mechanics or update qualifications include:
Certificate IV in Automotive Management
Certificate IV in Automotive Electrical Technology
Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis
Certificate III in Motorcycle Mechanical Technology
Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
Certificate III in Outdoor Power Equipment
Many mechanic jobs specify the following:
Proven work history
Heavy vehicle licence
Driver’s licence and own vehicle
Pre-employment screening for health conditions, drugs and alcohol