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Automotive Mechanic  What They Do

Just the Facts


Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Career Video



Repairs automobiles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any vehicle part or specialize in the transmission system.

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics cluster Facility and Mobile Equipment Maintenance pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Tests drive vehicles and tests components and systems, using equipment such as infrared engine analyzers, compression gauges, and computerized diagnostic devices.
  • Examines vehicles to determine extent of damage or malfunctions.
  • Repairs, relines, replaces, and adjusts brakes.
  • Follows checklists to ensure all important parts are examined, including belts, hoses, steering systems, spark plugs, brake and fuel systems, wheel bearings, and other potentially troublesome areas.
  • Confers with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.
  • Performs routine and scheduled maintenance services, such as oil changes, lubrications, and tune-ups.
  • Tests and adjusts repaired systems to meet manufacturers' performance specifications.
  • Repairs and services air conditioning, heating, engine cooling, and electrical systems.
  • Reviews work orders and discusses work with supervisors.
  • Plans work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Being able to tell the direction from which a sound is coming
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Diesel Mechanic -- Repairs and maintains diesel engines used to power machines, such as buses, ships, trucks, railroad trains, electric generators, and construction machinery.
  • Auto Transmission Mechanic --
  • Auto Tune Up Mechanic --
  • Automotive Repair Technician --