If you’re considering a career in the auto industry, you might wonder what working as a mechanic would be like. If you like cars and enjoy working with them, it may be the right career for you. Before you decide on an auto mechanic career, consider these pros and cons:
Fix Your Own Car
You may be offered a discount on auto parts for your own car. For example, a small auto part like a tire pressure gauge typically costs between $5 to $15. This amount may seem small, but several car parts can add a significant advantage as time passes. This can be a significant boost for your finances.
No College Needed
Working as an auto mechanic doesn’t require a college education. You only need a love for cars and a willingness to learn. You may be fortunate enough to attend a vocational school where you’ll receive training and experience. If not, you can find a shop willing to train you once you graduate high school.
The volume of work at a typical mechanic’s business will ensure you won’t be bored. Each car will require your effort and concentration. Some auto jobs may take up to two hours to complete. You’ll be busy doing what you love for the whole day.
As long as there are cars, auto mechanics will always be needed. For example, NerdWallet estimates a car should have its oil changed at least every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. A job as an auto mechanic will give you job security and a wide range of garages where you could work. If you ever relocate, you should easily find a new job.
Of course, with any job, there are some cons. Check them out below.
A typical mechanics’ shop can seem very noisy to the uninitiated. There are drills, fans, hydraulic lifts, and many metal parts. You may be one of the lucky ones who find a noisy environment doesn’t bother you. If not, you’ll need to invest in good earplugs.
Safety risks exist when working with autos and the machines that repair them. Be sure you ask for training if asked to do a task you need to become more familiar with. There’s always a risk when working under a lift or jack. Some auto parts still contain asbestos, and accidental asbestos exposure is possible.
When you work in a mechanics’ shop, you must cover your clothes. No matter how carefully you work, you’ll likely get covered by oil, grease, or gasoline. While some auto shops may supply and launder your uniforms, some do not. If your uniforms aren’t provided, that’s an expense you’ll need to assume.
Working on a car is a challenge. Some tasks take less effort than others, but most are strenuous. You’ll use power tools, move tires, and handle large auto parts. The difficulty will depend on the tasks you’ll do during the day.
In addition to the hard work and the dirt, a job as an auto mechanic can be stressful. A mechanic’s shop is open for extended hours and weekends, and you may be asked to work long hours. A recent survey of auto shop workers reported 20% of them spend five working hours each week thinking about how stressful their jobs are.
Before becoming an auto mechanic, consider these pros and cons. Also, ask a garage manager if you can visit their shop before working there. If you love cars, the pros will likely outweigh the job’s cons. Remember to do your research and