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Career profile Automobile Mechanic

Also known as Automotive Technician, Car Audio Installer, Car Electronics Installer, Car Stereo Installer, Electronic Equipment Installer, Electronic Technician, Installation Technician, Installer, Mobile Electronics Installation Specialist, Mobile Electronics Installer

Automobile Mechanic

Also known as Automotive Technician, Car Audio Installer, Car Electronics Installer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$26,860 - $57,550 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Install equipment and accessories, such as stereos, navigation equipment, communication equipment, and security systems.
  • Inspect and test electrical or electronic systems to locate and diagnose malfunctions, using visual inspections and testing instruments, such as oscilloscopes and voltmeters.
  • Cut openings and drill holes for fixtures and equipment, using electric drills and routers.
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What does an Automobile Mechanic do?

Automobile Mechanics install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, security, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.

What kind of tasks does an Automobile Mechanic perform regularly?

Automobile Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Install equipment and accessories, such as stereos, navigation equipment, communication equipment, and security systems.
  • Inspect and test electrical or electronic systems to locate and diagnose malfunctions, using visual inspections and testing instruments, such as oscilloscopes and voltmeters.
  • Cut openings and drill holes for fixtures and equipment, using electric drills and routers.
  • Splice wires with knives or cutting pliers, and solder connections to fixtures and equipment.
  • Diagnose or repair problems with electronic equipment, such as sound, navigation, communication, and security equipment, in motor vehicles.
  • Run new speaker and electrical cables.
  • Confer with customers to determine the nature of problems or to explain repairs.
  • Remove seats, carpeting, and interiors of doors and add sound-absorbing material in empty spaces, reinstalling interior parts.
  • Record results of diagnostic tests.
  • Estimate costs of repairs, based on parts and labor charges.
  • Replace and clean electrical or electronic components.
  • Build fiberglass or wooden enclosures for sound components, and fit them to automobile dimensions.

The above responsibilities are specific to Automobile Mechanics. More generally, Automobile Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

What is an Automobile Mechanic salary?

The median salary for an Automobile Mechanic is $39,570, and the average salary is $41,250. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Automobile Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Automobile Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Automobile Mechanics earn less than $26,860 per year, 25% earn less than $32,880, 75% earn less than $48,750, and 90% earn less than $57,550.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Automobile Mechanics is expected to change by -16.7%, and there should be roughly 600 open positions for Automobile Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
$39,570
Typical salary range
$26,860 - $57,550
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-16.7%

What personality traits are common among Automobile Mechanics?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Automobile Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Automobile Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Automobile Mechanics typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Automobile Mechanics typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Automobile Mechanic tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Automobile Mechanics moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Automobile Mechanics moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Automobile Mechanics moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Automobile Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Automobile Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Automobile Mechanics need?

Automobile Mechanics often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Automobile Mechanics usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Automobile Mechanics

  • 8.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 30.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 30.8% completed some college coursework
  • 16.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 13.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Automobile Mechanics

Automobile Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, computers and electronics, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Automobile Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Important Abilities needed by Automobile Mechanics

Automobile Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Automobile Mechanics need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, finger dexterity, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Automobile Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visual Color Discrimination
The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Automobile Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Automobile Mechanics frequently use skills like troubleshooting, repairing, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Automobile Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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