Transportation Auto Mechanic
Salary Range Jobs Available
$29,400 - $73,000 74,200+

What Does an Auto Mechanic Do?

More than 90% of American households own a vehicle, so it’s no surprise that the people who keep them running are in demand. 

Auto mechanics — also known as vehicle technicians, automotive technicians and auto service technicians — inspect, maintain and repair cars and light trucks. They perform a wide variety of services including computer diagnostics, safety inspections and maintenance tasks like oil changes. They repair brakes, air conditioning, suspension, emission systems and more. 

As cars and trucks evolve, automotive technicians increasingly use highly sophisticated equipment and computer software. This equipment helps diagnose vehicle issues, so mechanics and technicians need to be comfortable with the technology that makes working with modern cars possible. 

Another trend to watch: Hybrid and electric vehicles are pouring into the car market, creating an opportunity and a challenge for auto technicians and independent repair shops. The most successful technicians and shops will make EV repair training part of their mission. (We’ll get into the details on EV technician training below.) 

If you’re good at troubleshooting and have a willingness to learn, becoming an auto mechanic or auto technician could be a rewarding career. Keep reading to learn more. 

Female auto mechanic uses an advanced computer with diagnostic software to inspect a vehicle
Auto mechanics rely on diagnostic tools and software to service cars and identify problems. (Credit: BAZA Production/Shutterstock)


  • Perform diagnostic tests on vehicles via tablet, laptop or mobile device
  • Decipher vehicle issues and determine which parts need repair
  • Perform preventative maintenance and repairs
  • Test-drive vehicles
  • Communicate effectively with customers about needed repairs
  • Understand wiring diagrams and system tests

How To Become an Auto Mechanic: FAQs

The bottom line:

If you would rather work with your hands than sit at a desk, this career is worth a look. The work is satisfying and rewarding. You’ll have the opportunity to grow and earn new specialty certifications as technology evolves — and all without the debt of a four-year degree. And if you want to stay ahead of the curve, look into getting EV technician training on top of your auto mechanic skills. Check out SkillPointe's training partners near you.

Auto mechanic Jake Sorenson shows two technicians how to fix something on a car

Why becoming an auto mechanic is worthwhile

Sometimes, the right job finds you. 

“I had given very little to no thought to what I wanted to do prior to starting in this field,” says auto mechanic Jake Sorensen. He started as a lube technician after a friend offered him a job. He quickly realized this was the job he was meant to do. 

He's now the shop manager and a diagnostic technician at a repair shop in Utah. He explains why becoming an auto mechanic is so worthwhile.

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