Mechanics and repairers are responsible for troubleshooting and repairing vehicles, tools and other machines as required by the business they work for. They may also help maintain machines to ensure they don't fail unexpectedly. Parts can be replaced and the devices themselves can be cleaned to ensure continued smooth operation.
Mechanics and repairers need to have on the job training and this is best done through certificate programs in automotive repair and maintenance. Most trade schools will offer certificates based on the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) program. ASE certification requires you to have two years of on the job experience and passage of an exam. ASE certification is often required by automotive repair shops - especially those run by the main automotive manufacturers.
If you want to advance further and be a lead mechanic or start your own business, it is recommended you pursue an associate's degree. You may also want to pursue taking some business courses if you are especially interested in running your own business. You'll need to be able to provide accurate quotes to customers and will need to be able to track inventory and your finances.
Mechanics and repairers need to have a number of skills including the ability to troubleshoot and think creatively. Troubleshooting a symptom of a nonfunctioning machine is a critical skill mechanics must have. You may not always be able to see the source of the issue, so being able to come up with tests to determine the root cause of the issue is important.
You will also need to have good dexterity as you will often be working with small parts and tools in confined spaces. You must also have strength as you may be working with large or heavy components.
Mechanics and repairers must also be organized in order to properly disassemble and reassemble components.
There are about 750,000 automotive mechanics in the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an average growth rate of about 6% over the next ten years. Automotive mechanics earn on average just under $40,000 per year. However, with advanced ASE training or associates degree, further advancement opportunities open up. Other repairer careers are highly specialized and typically require specialized training. You may focus on the repair of large machinery or elevators for example.