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Become A Mechanic Helper

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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

  • $42,000

    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?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Master Mechanic 5.9 years
Bus Mechanic 3.9 years
Mechanic Driver 3.9 years
Diesel Mechanic 3.7 years
Mechanic 3.6 years
Truck Mechanic 3.5 years
Service Mechanic 3.4 years
Shop Mechanic 3.1 years
Car Mechanic 3.1 years
Trailer Mechanic 2.9 years
Junior Mechanic 2.4 years
Tire Mechanic 2.2 years
Mechanic Helper 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Mechanic Helper
Cashier 10.1%
Mechanic 9.7%
Helper 5.9%
Welder 5.5%
Driver 5.4%
Cook 5.1%
Technician 4.3%
Supervisor 3.6%
Top Careers After Mechanic Helper
Mechanic 18.6%
Driver 7.4%
Technician 6.9%
Welder 5.0%
Helper 3.9%
Cashier 3.9%
Operator 3.7%
Cook 2.7%

Do you work as a Mechanic Helper?

Mechanic Helper Demographics

Gender

Male

85.2%

Unknown

8.5%

Female

6.3%
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

17.2%

The Academy

11.0%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

Apex Technical School

5.5%

Prince George's Community College

5.1%

Tidewater Community College

5.1%

Del Mar College

4.8%

Texarkana College

4.4%

New York Automotive and Diesel Institute

4.0%

Houston Community College

3.7%

Barstow Community College

3.7%

Arizona Automotive Institute

3.3%

El Paso Community College

3.3%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

3.3%

Lee College

3.3%

Lincoln Technical Institute

3.3%

Colorado Technical University

3.3%

Pima Community College

2.9%

Pearl River Community College

2.9%

More Tech Institute

2.9%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

26.8%

Business

10.2%

General Studies

7.5%

Precision Metal Working

7.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.1%

Criminal Justice

5.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.3%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.0%

Industrial Technology

3.9%

Computer Science

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Aviation

3.5%

Education

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

51.5%

Associate

15.7%

Certificate

13.4%

Bachelors

11.0%

Diploma

6.1%

Masters

1.3%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$29,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
DXP Enterprises
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
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 $42,123 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $59,000.

Real Mechanic Helper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mechanic Helper Burner King, Inc. Ronkonkoma, NY Dec 02, 2016 $33,530
Mechanic Helper BBO Truck Center Eagle Pass, TX Feb 15, 2015 $32,787
Mechanic Helper Triple B Enterprises LLC Minot, ND Apr 07, 2015 $27,381
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Manassas, VA Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Fairfax, VA Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Merrifield, VA Apr 13, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Chang MJK, Ink. Capitol Heights, MD Jul 26, 2016 $20,946
Mechanic Helper Merrifield Garden Center Fairfax, VA Jul 27, 2016 $20,946

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Top Skills for A Mechanic Helper

  1. Customer Vehicles
  2. Replacement Parts
  3. Oil Changes
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed routine maintenance on customer vehicles with a positive professional attitude.
  • Remove damaged fenders, panels bolts or weld replacement parts in position, using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Maintained all YKHC vehicle: oil changes, changing tires, engine repair, all other duties as assigned.
  • Utilized and assured the proper fit of required safety equipment and clothing; as well as tools and equipment.
  • Worked with maintenance mechanic on preventative maintenance and troubleshooting upon request.

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Top 10 Best States for Mechanic Helpers

  1. North Dakota
  2. Alaska
  3. Mississippi
  4. South Dakota
  5. Kentucky
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Tennessee
  8. Arizona
  9. Hawaii
  10. District of Columbia
  • (58 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (117 jobs)
  • (303 jobs)
  • (252 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)

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