The Different Types of Mechanics
The popular image of a mechanic is someone who works at a local automotive repair shop, dealing with customers on an individual basis and running their own independent business. However, mechanic schools teach their students that the field of vehicle and equipment mechanics is actually quite varied, and the scenario described above is only one of many different possibilities that await you once you have completed your courses.
Mechanics can generally choose whether they want to specialize in a specific field, or remain generalists who can work in a number of different industries. For automobile mechanics, independent garages are of course always an option. However, there are also significant opportunities to be found working in dealerships. Dealership mechanics can often focus more on the task at hand without the distractions of customer management, which makes it a good choice for those who prefer to spend most of their time with vehicles rather than clients. Fleet mechanics are in a similar position, where they are charged with the maintenance and repair of cars, trucks, and other heavy equipment belonging to a large corporation, a rental car agency, or even a municipality or other government entity.
There are also several positions open to mechanics which step outside the world of traditional repairs. Motorsports mechanics and technicians work in a team environment supporting the efforts of a season-long racing campaign. This includes diagnostic work, repairs, troubleshooting, and analysis of vehicle performance through testing. Race teams can field a number of different kinds of vehicles – trucks, cars, even motorcycles – in various on- and off-road settings. Extensive travel is often a part of this type of mechanical career, and dealing with this extra stress isn’t often taught in any mechanic school.
Heavy equipment mechanics, on the other hand, face a different type of challenge from the excessive strain and stress put on construction, mining, and logging equipment during the course of a regular work day. This type of mechanical work doesn’t just involve large trucks but also earthmovers, skidders, mobile drills, and cranes. It can also mean spending time on job sites, some of which may be in isolated parts of the world.
At a different end of the spectrum are the smaller, more personal forms of transportation that require mechanical specialization. Some mechanics decide to focus on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles as part of an effort to provide services to the recreational side of the industry. In contrast to fleet and dealership work, riders of these types of vehicles are often very much in touch with the workings and feel of their equipment, which adds a new dimension of communication to the job of a mechanic. Small engine repair courses at mechanic schools are the best way to prepare for this type of work.
As you can see, there are many different types of mechanics working across a wide range of different specialties. When choosing a career as a mechanic, it is important to consider all of the different options that are available to you, and investigate each facet of mechanical work that you might be interested in. Ultimately, you will be the one in the best position to decide what type of lifestyle and work is best suited for your future.