How To Become A Mechanic? All You Need To Know
Have a passion for cars, vehicles or heavy industrial machines? Maybe you have a deep curiosity and want to understand the intricacies of how vehicles work and have a hand in making sure they can always run safely. Mechanics are skilled professionals in demand and are one of the most future-proof career paths. So if you are interested in becoming a mechanic, you are in good company.
Individuals who make great mechanics are detail oriented, analytic thinkers who are good at problem-solving, can work as a team or independently, and enjoy manual handling and practical work.
In this blog, we will take you through the different types of mechanic certifications, the duties of mechanics, and the best paths to becoming a qualified and fully competent mechanic in each specialisation.
Different Types of Mechanics
There are a diverse range of mechanic specialisations with a wide range of vehicles, machines, and equipment that need to be assembled, diagnosed, repaired, and maintained.
Here are just some types that you can focus on as a mechanic:
- Car mechanic
- Automotive bodybuilder
- Truck mechanic
- Machinery mechanic
How Much Do Mechanics Make?
It depends on the specialisation. We list the median salary for each type of mechanic (before tax) below from National Skills Commission’s Labour Market Insights (LMI), that bases amounts from credible Government data. Otherwise, we have drawn average salaries from SEEK if the LMI doesn’t have these figures.
Please note that you can earn more depending on the role and your level of competency and experience.
How to Become a Car Mechanic
With the rise of population and road infrastructure, car use is only expected to increase. As a result, so will the demand for car mechanics. To become a fully qualified car mechanic, you must complete the Certificate III Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
Individuals like yourself will also need to complete an apprenticeship to complete the nationally recognised certificate. The benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship is classroom learning and on the job training, practical work experience and the opportunity to start working and earning income as you learn. As you start working earlier, you also incur more experience, which lets you grow in skill and credibility faster.
After completing your light vehicle mechanic apprenticeship with an employer like 1300apprentice, you will gain the knowledge to:
- Service and maintain vehicles
- Diagnose faults and repair vehicles
- Utilise tools, equipment and other maintenance equipment in an automotive workshop
- Diagnose and test parts
- Perform scheduled maintenance services
- Reassemble and fit in parts and engines
- Test and fix electrical system faults
Duration: 4 years
How much do car mechanics make in Australia? $65,780 annual salary or $1265 in weekly earnings (based of median data on Motor Mechanics from LMI, 2022.)
How to Become an Automotive Bodybuilder
Also known as vehicle bodybuilders, vehicle timers, or vehicle makers, automotive bodybuilders focus on building vehicles like trucks, buses and trailers. This is the mechanic certification for you if you take pride and joy in well-made vehicles, how they run, customisations for special use, and revels in the luxury of high-quality internal trimmings in vehicles.
You will need to study the Certificate III Automotive Manufacturing technical operations – truck, bus & trailer and complete an automotive bodybuilder apprenticeship to gain the skills, qualifications and experience to work.
Upon completion of the 1300apprentice program, you will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Modify assembly line manufactured vehicles to meet requested specifications
- Join frameworks with bolting, screwing and welding
- Install internal trimmings
- Prepare new vehicle trim work
- Construct frameworks in metal, wood and other materials
- Attach all vehicle fixtures such as seals, door trims, locks and handles
Duration: 4 years
How much do automotive bodybuilders make in Australia? $70,304 annual salary or $1352 in weekly earnings (based of median data on Vehicle Body Builders and Trimmers from LMI, 2022.)
How to Become a Heavy Vehicle/Truck Mechanic
Trucks are the lifeblood of logistic distribution, and as such truck mechanics get paid well. As a career path that doesn’t require expensive HECS or HELP loans, you also get to enjoy this income without having to worry about a huge debt.
The Certificate III Heavy Commercial Vehicle Technology helps prepare you with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to enter into this career.
After completing your truck mechanic certification with 1300apprentice, you can have the confidence with the ability to:
- Diagnose faults in suspension and steering systems
- Inspect and service hydraulic systems
- Test and repair electrical systems
- Service, maintain and repair heavy vehicles
- Utilise mechanical tools and equipment
- Look after light trucks, medium-heavy trucks, and heavy trucks
Duration: 4 years
How much do truck mechanics make in Australia? $60,000 – $100,000 average annual salary (based on data disclosed by Heavy Vehicle Mechanic employers on Seek)
How to Become a Machinery Mechanic
Machinery or mobile plant mechanics help keep industries running. It’s why machinery mechanics like truck mechanics enjoy competitive remuneration packages, with the average salary being $75,000 – $118,000, with some earning upwards of $140,000.
In order to become a machinery mechanic, you must complete the Certificate III Mobile Plant Mechanic and finish an apprenticeship.
At the end of the course and work training, you will be equipped with the skills to:
- Diagnose and repair mobile plant machines’ hydraulic and cooling systems
- Diagnose and repair powershift transmissions
- Test, charge and replace batteries
- Jumpstart vehicles
- Perform servicing operations
Duration: 4 years
How much do machinery mechanics make in Australia? $30,000 – $130,000 average annual salary (based on data disclosed by Plant Mechanic employers on Seek) in 2022.
Next Steps: Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis
After completing certification to become a car or truck mechanic, you can undertake a certificate in automotive mechanical diagnosis to better hone your diagnosis skills.