Motor Mechanic Job Description

Motor mechanics are responsible for inspecting, diagnosing, and repairing various types of engines, typically in cars but also in aircraft or other machines. This role is well suited to people who enjoy troubleshooting and solving complex problems. Applicants should be skilled in technical expertise, have analytical abilities, attention to detail, and great customer service skills. This is a full-time role and usually involves weekend, evening, and overtime work as well. Motor mechanics often work as part of a team in repair shops—although issues are identified with computerized tools, this is a hands-on job where mechanics will commonly work with power tools, pneumatic wrenches, or welding torches to fix parts.


Motor Mechanic Duties and Responsibilities

Motor mechanics often work with all parts of a vehicle and its systems, from steering and brakes to air conditioning. They will examine vehicles to identify damage or faults, and then fix the issues. Based on listings we analyzed, a motor mechanic’s duties typically involve:

Inspecting and testing vehicles

Motor mechanics are responsible for checking the serviceability of vehicles through test drives and system checks, as well as identifying problems using computerized diagnostic equipment. This involves testing parts to make sure they are running as they should, and following checklists to ensure that all critical areas of the car are examined properly.

Performing maintenance checks

Motor mechanics perform basic checks to ensure the motor is running properly, such as changing the oil and replacing filters. These checks need to adhere to company and industry test procedures, so motor mechanics will be responsible for ensuring these guidelines are met.

Advising clients on issues

Day to day, motor mechanics typically work on cars and assess problems with them. This will entail communicating the issues with customers and explaining technical information about the problems and repairs to them in an easy to understand way, as well as advising of the cost.

Repairing or replacing parts

If issues have been identified on the vehicle, it’s a motor mechanics job to replace or repair the damage to parts, such as gearboxes or generators, to certain specifications. These may be minor tasks or larger jobs which require more technical expertise.

Maintain equipment

In order to ensure that the correct standards are met, motor mechanics need to maintain the shop equipment and test it regularly. Part of a mechanic’s role is to service, adjust, and test these devices to ensure high standards are maintained.


Motor Mechanic Skills and Qualifications

Motor mechanics should have strong problem-solving abilities and attention to detail, as well as the ability to quickly grasp new technologies. Employers typically require a combination of on-the-job-training and ASE certification, as well as:

  • Customer service skills – motor mechanics discuss the car’s issues with its owners, so strong interpersonal skills are very important, which include being good at listening, explaining problems effectively, and remaining polite at all times
  • Mechanical knowledge – motor mechanics need to be up to date with technologies and systems, as well as understand complex motor components and how each part interacts
  • Technical skills – mechanics have to be able to use diagnostic equipment to identify problems within the vehicle, as well as be familiar with electronics and able to read complex technological manuals
  • Manual dexterity – this is a physical job that requires the ability to maneuver large parts and perform a number of tasks at once with a steady hand and excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Problem-solving skills – Determining faults and how to fix them is a key aspect of this job, so troubleshooting skills and the ability to identify solutions are necessary


Motor Mechanic Education and Training

To become a motor mechanic, a postsecondary degree in automotive technology or a related subject is considered a good foundation. ASE certification (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) is also valued by employers and many companies require their mechanics to become certified. Due to the constant changes in technology, mechanics are expected to update their certifications every few years. Employees are usually required to have one or two years of on-the-job-experience and informal training as well.


Motor Mechanic Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for motor mechanics is nearly $38,500. Motor mechanics in the 10th percentile earn around $21,500 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $64,000 a year. Most mechanics work full time, and many work evenings and weekends.
Location and level of experience impact the pay level for this role. Some employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of a benefits package. The BLS predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to grow by 6 percent through 2026.


Motor Mechanic Resources

With the automotive industry constantly changing, it’s important to stay up to date with new technology and industry trends. We’ve collected some of the best resources to help keep you informed:

Automotive Industry Professionals Worldwide – ideal for both those in the early stages of their career and experienced mechanics alike, this LinkedIn group has nearly 300,000 members and is a great way to share knowledge, build contacts, and gain career advice

ASE Education Foundation – the ASE Education Foundation offers resources on training, news and events, and information on programs, providing industry expertise and guiding you through the possible stages of education to get to your dream job

Auto Trends – Auto Trends was created to help readers learn about the latest vehicle concepts, new car models, and automotive trends. From car tips to engineering technology and product reviews, this website will help you keep up to date with a mix of the latest news and products

Automotive Service: Inspection, Maintenance, Repair – this best-selling book covers the main areas of automotive technology to help you develop the skills you need to be successful in your career. It offers easy to understand procedures and clear explanations to help you learn how to troubleshoot

Today’s Technician: Automotive Electricity and Electronics – perfect for aspiring mechanics, this book prepares readers to diagnose and repair electrical systems in modern vehicles. The guide provides detailed instructions and technical information, as well as real-world examples and diagnostics information that you’ll refer back to time and time again in your career

Outboard Motors Maintenance and Repair Manual – this maintenance manual will tell you everything you need to know about repairing outboard engines. It highlights common problem areas and basic maintenance tasks to help you with any problems you might face


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