This article compares the different types of mechanic careers

Aircraft Mechanic

An aircraft mechanic is someone who works on the mechanical and electrical systems of aircraft. Aircraft mechanics can work on a wide variety of aircraft, including helicopters, small private planes, commercial airliners, and military planes. As an aircraft mechanic, you will inspect and repair many different types of parts to keep airplanes in operation. As you can imagine, this career is much more procedural than other mechanic jobs because the regulations around aircrafts are much higher than other vehicles.

Bicycle & Scooter Mechanic

If you find yourself constantly repairing your bike or even other people's bikes, a career as a bicycle mechanic might be right for you. The number of bicycle commuters increased by 25% between the years 2000 and 2011 according to the American Community Survey. Though some of those commuter cyclists may know how to do minor repairs on their bikes themselves (such as changing brake pads and tightening spokes), many riders need professional help from time to time. As more electric vehicles flood the market, the maintenance requirements needs also go up so there will be lots of growth in this industry.

Automotive Mechanic

Automotive mechanics diagnose and repair problems in cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles. Automotive mechanics will often specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Auto body technicians - they repair dents, dings and body-related damage to vehicles caused by accidents
  • Auto electricians – they deal with electrical systems in automobiles, including wiring harnesses, electronic devices and components.
  • Brake repairers – they inspect and repair automobile brake systems.
  • Transmission specialists - they repair or replace transmission parts if a car is not moving properly.

Education Requirements for Automotive Mechanics

In most cases, you don’t need any formal education to be hired as an automotive mechanic apprentice. Employers will prefer to hire high school graduates who are interested in the field; however it is not mandatory that you have graduated from high school or attained a GED (General Educational Development) certificate to be considered for this job role. So if you’re still a high schooler and want to start your training early as an automotive mechanic apprentice then go ahead!

Heavy Machinery Mechanic

If you’re a heavy machinery mechanic, you can expect to spend a lot of time outdoors. The majority of your work will be performed in a variety of extreme conditions, weather and noise-wise. Expect to work on construction sites, which means noisy equipment and ear protection for everyone! You may also have to work at heights or in inclement weather. Heavy protective gear and getting used to the elements should be expected for this career path.

Depending on where you are working, there may be opportunities for overtime hours – which is especially common during large construction projects and at times where factories are operating at full capacity.

If you are skilled and ambitious, many opportunities await in this profession.

If you want to get certified and take your mechanic career to the next level, then you might consider becoming a master mechanic. In addition to having a post-secondary degree, this certification requires at least five years of experience or two years experience with 2,000 hours of documented training. A master mechanic should have extensive knowledge in several different areas of automotive repair.

With the right certifications and degrees, there are many opportunities for ambitious mechanics. You could open your own repair shop or become an instructor at a technical school. Mechanics looking for slightly less responsibility could work in management roles as service managers or parts managers.

As with any industry, there are trade-offs when it comes to choosing your niche as a mechanic: Working on heavy machinery may pay better than working on bicycles, but it also involves more risk and physical danger.

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