A mechanic comes in several forms but when people speak of this profession they primarily think of the automotive technician type. This job is one that encompasses a large area of expertise from the general automotive repair mechanic to a highly specialized version that works as a pit crew member for NASCAR. This profession in based around the maintenance, repair, and reconstruction of motor vehicles.
The mechanic profession does not absolutely require any form of specific degree. However, anyone interested in making a career out of this job path would be best served by acquiring ASE certification at the very least. The National Service for Automotive Service Excellence provides accreditation in this regard. While, anyone can become a mechanic through mentoring with an experienced individual the larger chain garages and high-end companies will normally be reluctant to hire anyone without formal training. Accreditation can be acquired via community colleges, tradesman programs, and vocational schools. Further certifications in specific vehicle types, brands, and models can increase the value of a mechanic.
The necessary skills of a mechanic include the knowledge of how a vehicle operates, how the engine works, and how to diagnose issues the vehicle may be having. The technical skills necessary to locate a specific part inside an engine and remove it efficiently is a necessary skill. In a less direct manner a good mechanic needs to be able to think critically and use logic to discover exactly what the problem with an engine may be. In some instances it might be guesswork. However, a logically inclined mechanic will eliminate one item at a time until they discover what the problem is.
The field of automotive mechanics is one that continues to grow steadily. The typical mechanic can expect to make anywhere from $20,920 to $61,210 per year depending on certification and job placement. Some mechanics make six figure salaries but they are generally considered to be the very best in their specific field.