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Job Expectations and Salaries for Auto Mechanics

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The demand for professional auto mechanics continues to rise and professional mechanics can make anywhere from $75,000 - $100,000 annually depending on their specialty, where they work, and the location in which they work.

There are many ways that auto mechanics receive their pay. Some businesses pay their mechanics a flat rate per job, and the flat rate will vary from job to job. Some auto mechanics are paid an hourly rate, some may earn a set salary per week, and others may work on commission. This means they receive a percentage of the labor rate that is charged to each customer. Some auto mechanics own their own shops and determine their own pay.

Auto mechanics can have many job expectations or just a few if they specialize in a particular type of repair such as transmissions, brakes, or electrical systems. Primarily, an auto mechanic's job is to inspect vehicles, execute procedures that will maintain the life of the vehicle, and repair vehicles when they break down or have running issues. They are also hired to install vehicle accessories such as air conditioners, stereos and speakers, GPS systems, and more. Job expectations will vary depending on the auto mechanic's position, specialty, and place of employment.

Whatever positions auto mechanics hold in repair shops, they are expected to have verbal communication skills and analytical abilities. Auto mechanics must be able to engage in conversation and listen to auto owners or repair shop supervisors describe vehicle malfunctions. Based on the symptoms given, mechanics will ask pertinent questions that will shed more light on the possible malfunction. Once the questions are answered, auto mechanics are able to generally discern auto malfunctions and will give general diagnoses to auto owners or shop supervisors.

After hands-on inspections confirm the problems, auto mechanics report their findings to vehicle owners or shop supervisors, they give estimates of the time needed to repair vehicles, including the expected costs. If the mechanic finds his general diagnosis was inaccurate, he reports his findings to the auto owner and shop supervisor. Then he will use his formal training and experience to explore the malfunction further until a diagnosis is discovered.

Once the malfunction is discovered, communicated to the auto owner, and permission granted to repair the vehicle, the auto mechanic will work to correct the malfunction. This involves either replacing or repairing the auto's faulty part. Depending on the repair shop's policies, the auto mechanic may be required to order any necessary parts personally, or part ordering may be handed off to another shop employee.

Once vehicles are repaired auto mechanics must document in writing the types of repairs that were performed, as well as any special information the mechanic feels the car owner needs to know. This may include bringing the auto back for a follow-up, or a potential problem the mechanic feels may occur in the future. Potential problems may be related to the original repair, or it could be something the mechanic noticed when he was working on the car such as a fluid leak or brake wear.

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