What Makes a Good Auto Mechanic?

There was a time when experience alone could help turn a novice auto mechanic into an extremely successful professional.  But cars are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and complex.

GPS technology, computer technology, alternative fuel engines, crumple zones, entertainment systems, and unprecedented international competition are all areas that have cropped up since the years you first began tinkering with your mom's car back in high school.

Servicing today's cars requires a much higher degree of education and training than ever before.  Thus, auto shops around the country prefer to hire those who have completed an associates degree or higher from an accredited auto mechanic school.

Of course, there are other traits that will enhance your career prospects (business acumen, outside the box thinking, and connections), but formal training is what makes a good auto mechanic.

Attending an Auto Mechanic School

In a standard two-year vocational or technical auto mechanic school, you will cover everything from automotive repair to electronics to physics to chemistry.  And of course, computer science, global positioning technology, and high-end stereophonics will factor into your curriculum, since many cars manufactured today come equipped with some or all of these technological perks.

But if you really want to get the most out of your education, try researching programs that have strong alumni departments, business administration courses, and numerous internships.  After all, more than 16% of all auto mechanics and service technicians are self-employed.

You can earn a lot in a traditional body shop, but if you really want to exceed the median income of $16 an hour, independence, marketing savvy, and business connections will prove crucial.  And if you really want to go that extra mile, consider offering fair and transparent pricing.

After all, if you ask the average car owner what makes a good auto mechanic, he or she will answer "reliability and affordability."

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