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Working As A Mechanic Helper

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Getting Information
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $24,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mechanic Helper Do

Diesel service technicians and mechanics inspect, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine.

Duties

Diesel service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Consult with customers and read work orders to determine work required
  • Plan work procedures, using technical charts and manuals
  • Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, transmissions, engines, and other parts of vehicles
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Read and interpret diagnostic test results to identify mechanical problems
  • Repair or replace malfunctioning components, parts, and other mechanical or electrical equipment
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
  • Test-drive vehicles to ensure that they run smoothly

Because of their efficiency and durability, diesel engines have become the standard in powering trucks and buses. Other heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers and cranes, are also powered by diesel engines, as are many commercial boats, and some passenger vehicles and pickups.

Diesel technicians handle many kinds of repairs. They may work on a vehicle’s electrical system, make major engine repairs, or retrofit exhaust systems with emission control systems to comply with pollution regulations.

Diesel engine maintenance and repair is becoming more complex as engines and other components use more electronic systems to control their operation. For example, fuel injection and engine timing systems rely heavily on microprocessors to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize harmful emissions. In most shops, workers often use hand-held or laptop computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions. 

In addition to using computerized diagnostic equipment, diesel technicians use a variety of power and machine tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, grinding machines, and welding equipment. Hand tools, including pliers, sockets and ratchets, and screwdrivers, are commonly used.

Employers typically provide expensive power tools and computerized equipment, but workers generally acquire their own hand tools over time.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles, see the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on farm equipment, construction vehicles, and rail cars, see the profile on heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on motorboats, motorcycles, and small all-terrain vehicles, see the profile on small engine mechanics.

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How To Become A Mechanic Helper

Most diesel technicians learn informally on the job after a high school education, but employers increasingly prefer applicants who have completed postsecondary training programs in diesel engine repair. Although not required, industry certification can demonstrate a diesel technician’s competence and experience.

Education

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. High school or postsecondary courses in automotive repair, electronics, and mathematics provide a strong educational background for a career as a diesel technician.

An increasing number of employers look for workers with postsecondary training in diesel engine repair. Many community colleges and trade and vocational schools offer certificate or degree programs in diesel engine repair.

Programs mix classroom instruction with hands-on training, including the basics of diesel technology, repair techniques and equipment, and practical exercises. Students also learn how to interpret technical manuals and electronic diagnostic reports.

Training

Diesel technicians who begin working without any postsecondary education are trained extensively on the job. Trainees are assigned basic tasks, such as cleaning parts, checking fuel and oil levels, and driving vehicles in and out of the shop.

After they learn routine maintenance and repair tasks and demonstrate competence, trainees move on to more complicated subjects such as vehicle diagnostics. This process can take from 3 to 4 years, at which point a trainee is usually considered a journey-level diesel technician.

Over the course of their careers, diesel technicians must learn to use new techniques and equipment. Employers often send experienced technicians to special training classes conducted by manufacturers and vendors to learn about the latest diesel technology.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the standard credential for diesel and other automotive service technicians and mechanics. Although not required, this certification demonstrates a diesel technician’s competence and experience to potential employers and clients, and often brings higher pay.

Diesel technicians may be certified in specific repair areas, such as drive trains, electronic systems, or preventative maintenance and inspection. To earn certification, technicians must have 2 years of work experience and pass one or more ASE exams. To remain certified, diesel technicians must pass a recertification exam every 5 years.

Many diesel technicians are required to have a commercial driver’s license so they may test-drive buses and large trucks.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Diesel technicians frequently discuss automotive problems and necessary repairs with their customers. They must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.

Detail oriented. Diesel technicians must be aware of small details when inspecting or repairing engines and components, because mechanical and electronic malfunctions are often due to misalignments and other easy-to-miss causes.

Dexterity. Mechanics need a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination for many tasks, such as disassembling engine parts, connecting or attaching components, or using hand tools.

Mechanical skills. Diesel technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They often disassemble major parts for repairs, and they must be able to put them back together properly.

Organizational skills. Diesel technicians must keep workspaces clean and organized in order to maintain safety and ensure accountability for parts.

Strength. Diesel technicians often lift heavy parts and tools, such as exhaust system components and pneumatic wrenches.

Troubleshooting skills. Diesel technicians must be able to use diagnostic equipment on engine systems and components in order to identify and fix problems in increasingly complicated mechanical and electronic systems. They must be familiar with electronic control systems and the appropriate tools needed to fix and maintain them.

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Mechanic Helper Career Paths

Mechanic Helper
Mechanic Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Maintenance Technician Electrician
Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Welder Journeyman Superintendent
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Welder Quality Control Inspector Aircraft Mechanic
Lead Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Specialist Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Service Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Service Technician Shop Foreman
Senior Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Hvac Technician
Maintenance Technician Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Mechanics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Operator Engineer Lead Engineer
Assistant Chief Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Operator Engineering Technician Machinist Mate
Marine Mechanic
5 Yearsyrs
Diesel Mechanic Shop Foreman Senior Mechanic
Senior Maintenance Mechanic
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Mechanic Helper?

Average Yearly Salary
$24,000
Show Salaries
$17,000
Min 10%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$24,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Avista
Highest Paying City
Spokane, WA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Mechanic Helper make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mechanic Helper in the United States is $25,011 per year or $12 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $17,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $36,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Mechanic Helper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mechanic Helper Burner King, Inc. Dec 02, 2016 $33,530
Mechanic Helper BBO Truck Center Feb 15, 2015 $32,787
Mechanic Helper Triple B Enterprises LLC Apr 07, 2015 $27,381
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Chang MJK, Ink. Jul 26, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Jul 27, 2016 $20,946

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Top Skills for A Mechanic Helper

  1. Company Vehicle
  2. Replacement Parts
  3. Oil Changes
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operated and maintained company vehicles.
  • Remove damaged fenders, panels bolts or weld replacement parts in position, using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Major engine building, Major Transmission rebuilding, I was responsible for oil changes, brake service, fluid changes etc.
  • Unloaded/organized material; followed all safety procedures.
  • Pulled and disassembled transmissions, used hand tools to make adjustments, answered customer calls and handled clean-up and closing procedures.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Mechanic Helpers

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Idaho
  4. Wyoming
  5. Oregon
  6. Arizona
  7. Kansas
  8. Minnesota
  9. Washington
  10. Montana
  • (36 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (97 jobs)
  • (252 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (178 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)

Mechanic Helper Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,226 Mechanic Helper resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Mechanic Helper Resume

View Resume Examples

Mechanic Helper Demographics

Gender

Male

89.1%

Female

7.4%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.3%

Hispanic or Latino

19.7%

Black or African American

13.4%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.7%

French

3.3%

Polish

3.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Swahili

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Chickasaw

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Cheyenne

1.1%

Russian

1.1%

Lingala

1.1%

Croatian

1.1%
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Mechanic Helper Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

18.0%

Apex Technical School

8.0%

Prince George's Community College

6.0%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

5.3%

New York Automotive and Diesel Institute

5.3%

Central Texas College

5.3%

Tidewater Community College

5.3%

Del Mar College

4.7%

Lincoln Technical Institute

4.7%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.0%

Arizona Automotive Institute

3.3%

Houston Community College

3.3%

Montgomery College

3.3%

Guam Community College

3.3%

Delgado Community College

3.3%

Western Technical College

3.3%

State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi

3.3%

Texarkana College

3.3%

Pikes Peak Community College

3.3%

Colorado Technical University

3.3%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

29.7%

Business

9.7%

Precision Metal Working

7.6%

General Studies

7.1%

Criminal Justice

6.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.8%

Computer Science

3.9%

Aviation

3.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.2%

Industrial Technology

2.7%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

2.3%

Electrical Engineering

2.2%

Education

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.7%

Drafting And Design

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

History

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%
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Degrees

High School Diploma

53.6%

Certificate

12.7%

Associate

12.6%

Diploma

12.6%

Bachelors

7.0%

License

0.7%

Masters

0.6%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Updated May 18, 2020