Motor Mechanic’s Job Description

by Automotive Employment on May 8, 2010

It’s a question we hear often: What is a mechanic’s  job description?  It’s an intelligent question and it is something that we have watched with interest over the years.

Motor mechanic is a trade that’s going to continue to be in demand.  People are addicted to personal mobility, so, one way or another, they will continue to have cars.  In recent years we have seen the zeal with which India and China have embraced personal motoring.  More and more cars on the road require more and more servicing.  Cars continue to get more complex in design and construction (often in the name of simplicity).  So there is a growing demand for skilled people to help service all these vehicles.

Looking at a mechanics’s job description, there is no single definitive example.  There are so many different cars, workshops, jobs, managers and employers that trying to write a single job description for all of them would be misleading.  However, we can acknowledge some of the general similarities of responsibilities and tasks that most motor mechanics will face in their roles.

Just as doctors provide two types of medical service to their patients – preventative medicine (to protect health) and treatment medicine (to restore health) – a mechanic’s job involves preventative servicing and restorative servicing (repairs of mechanical damage).

Preventative Servicing

A mechanic’s job role in preventative servicing involves performing scheduled servicing to keep a vehicle running well.  This may include things like checking and changing oil, air and fuel filters, checking wheels and tyres, checking and replacing fluids (oils, brake fluid, transmission fluids, coolant, water, etc.), testing batteries, checking brake system components and many other tasks.

A mechanic who simply does the minimum job will follow the check list for the scheduled service.  An advanced mechanic (not necessarily an experienced one) will also look for potential problems that could cause greater problems and alert the owner (usually via the foreman or service advisor).  Just like my doctor makes my yearly checkup a bit more rigorous  as I get older because there is more chance of age-related health problems and multiple benefits to early diagnosis,  switched-on mechanics will look more closely at older or harder-working vehicles to help early identification of potential problems.  Experience does become an advantage here, as the mechanic develops his/her own check list of what to look for on particular makes/models/ages/uses of vehicle.

Restorative Servicing

If a vehicle is abused, overworked or neglected long enough or hard enough, it starts to deteriorate.  For a mechanic to successfully address a restorative service situation often involves a more complex diagnosis.  Especially if the owner or driver is not mechanically aware, the report of the problem may be vague and hard to pin down.  Many owners / drivers may simply report the problem in terms of one symptom: a noise, a vibration, or a smell.  Here it definitely help a mechanic to either speak directly with the customer, or have a very good service advisor to get the best possible information for the customer.

Many service departments tend to give restorative jobs to their most experienced mechanics because of their well-developed diagnostic abilities.

Diagnostic Skills

In both preventative and restorative – a mechanic needs good diagnostic skills.  In preventative mechanical work, a good mechanic needs to look for and identify potential problems before they become big problems.  This requires calm, methodical thinking and an enquiring mind to consider and assess possibilities.

Tools

To perform their work, mechanics use a variety of tools, including spanners, screwdrivers, voltage metres, gauges.  Mechanics also make use of computers to test some vehicle systems in automobiles to help diagnose problems.  Mechanics are required to have their own tools.  Specialist tools are supplied by the workshop.

Other Skills

A good mechanic must have excellent problem solving and decision making ability, dexterity and sufficient stamina and physical flexibility to work in uncomfortable positions for prolonged periods.  Effective communication skills are also a big advantage in relaying information (to co-workers, foreman, service advisor, customers and management).

Qualifications

Mechanics require formal education in the form of trade qualification. Typically, an apprentice mechanic will work under the supervision of more experienced mechanics for two to five years before working independently.  Apprentices working in a workshop are usually given small, repetitive jobs including non-mechanical work like sweeping and mopping floors and running errands, not just because their time is cheaper, but to test and develop their discipline on low-risk tasks before they are given more responsibility.

Remuneration

With increasing demand and less supply of good mechanics, awards may be considered irrelevant for a good mechanic, who can command significantly higher rates of pay for consistently good work.

Portable Skill Set

Mechanical work requires a unique combination of abilities and strengths – physical and mental.  Perhaps not surprisingly, mechanics are usually bery good at other skills because they can apply their strength, thinking and versatility to a variety of situations.

Importance of Mechanics to Society

Imagine if all the doctors went on strike: it would wreak chaos on our country.  Similarly and perhaps more quickly to have devastating effects would be if the mechanics all went on strike.  The country would quickly grind to a halt as the jobs normally done by the vehicles broken down today get burdened on to more and more of the other vehicles on the road, accelerating their breakdowns as well.

A mechanic is a vital part of our country’s community and economy.

Contact us to enquire about available mechanic’s jobs

Mechanics jobs Motor Mechanics Job Description

As well as physical tools, a good mechanic has an extensive 'mental toolbox'.

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