A Day in the Life of a Mechanic
Many students at mechanic schools are curious as to what they can expect from their new careers, post-graduation. This is particularly true of their daily responsibilities and obligations on the job. A day in the life of an auto mechanic is filled with new challenges, problems, and opportunities to learn. In terms of schedule, however, the daily life of a mechanic can vary greatly
For someone working at their own repair shop, the day usually begins around 8 or 9 a.m. when it is time to open for business. Depending upon the role of the mechanic at the shop, the first order of the day is usually taking a look at the schedule of the jobs and tasks that are planned for the morning and afternoon. There might also be a quick inventory check to make sure that the shop isnít running low on any necessary supplies or components needed for these jobs.
The rest of the day is spent performing not only the scheduled repair tasks, but also troubleshooting with customers on the phone or those who walk into the shop with problems that they want to discuss. Itís a delicate balance to offer these potential customers the service they are looking for while still completing the jobs that have to get done by the end of the day. When itís time to go home, mechanics are expected to clean up their work areas and make sure there arenít any tools or parts lying around where they could get forgotten, damaged, or potentially cause injury.
Those working in fleet garages or dealership situations have a slightly more rigid daily plan, thanks to the insulation that they have from interacting with individual customers. They are presented a list of tasks that are expected to be done during the day in the form of work orders related to the backlog of vehicles that require repair.
A day in the life of a racing mechanic is usually more hectic. When not at the track, most days are spent either rebuilding cars or repairing any damage that was done at the last event. Some mechanics may also be called to travel with the team to test facilities where many different car configurations are run to determine how the vehicle will be set up for the next competition. On the day of a race, mechanics are up early and present at the track to deal with any last minute issues or sudden problems. After an event is over, itís back in the truck to take the car back home to the garage or perhaps right to the next event. This can mean working very long hours to make sure that everything is ready on time.
Heavy equipment mechanics also have a daily schedule that could involve travel and long hours. Depending upon their role with the company, these mechanics could be called upon to maintain equipment out in the field or job site. If the gear is used for mining or forestry, then it could be found in remote areas that are not easy to get to. These types of mechanics may also be called upon to stay on-site for a period of time or perhaps even live there in camp. Aviation and marine mechanics also face travel in their jobs should they choose to service boats and airplanes in their docks and hangars
While it is clear that mechanics can face a wide variety of different daily schedules, some things remains consistent. Mechanics are called upon to solve problems, find practical solutions, and stay in touch with technology on a constant basis. The working life might seem a bit less structured than that which is taught at mechanic schools, but for mechanics it is never possible to take a break from learning Ė each day on the job offers new experiences that teach new lessons to those willing to grow and expand their skills.