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Become A Mechanic's Assistant

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Working As A Mechanic's Assistant

  • 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

  • $43,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mechanic's Assistant 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's Assistant

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's Assistant Career Paths

Mechanic's Assistant
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
Maintenance Technician Electrician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Quality Control Inspector Aircraft Mechanic
Lead Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Specialist Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Service Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Self-Employed Maintenance Supervisor
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Welder Shop Foreman
Senior Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Service Technician Hvac Technician
Maintenance Technician Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Hvac Technician Maintenance Lead Technician
Maintenance Lead Person
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Field Service Technician Lead Mechanic
Mechanics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Operator Plant Operator Machinist Mate
Marine Mechanic
5 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Mechanics Supervisor
Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Senior Mechanic
Senior Maintenance Mechanic
9 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Mechanic's Assistant

  1. Order Parts
  2. Oil Changes
  3. Vehicle Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Order parts, supplies, and equipment from catalogs and suppliers, or obtain them from storerooms.
  • Oil changes, janitorial labor, assistance with auto mechanics, run errands including the store and the bank, etc.
  • Conducted Vehicle Maintenance Conducted Mechanic Maintenance Conducted in Trailer Maintenance Maintained the exterior of the tractors and trailer
  • Assist Mechanic: Perform regular scheduled preventative maintenance on instillation and drilling equipment.
  • Followed safety procedures and techniques.

Mechanic's Assistant 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 6,947 Mechanic's Assistant 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's Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Mechanic's Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

84.5%

Unknown

8.7%

Female

6.9%
Ethnicity

White

57.6%

Hispanic or Latino

20.9%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

80.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Mandarin

1.5%

French

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Chinese

1.5%

German

1.5%

Turkish

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Italian

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%

Khmer

0.5%

Navajo

0.5%

Albanian

0.5%
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Mechanic's Assistant Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

22.0%

The Academy

12.8%

University of Phoenix

6.4%

Houston Community College

4.3%

Florida International University

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

Miami Dade College

4.0%

South Texas College

4.0%

Broward College

3.7%

University of Houston

3.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

Lincoln Technical Institute

3.4%

Texas State University

3.4%

Bakersfield College

3.4%

Auburn University

3.0%

Liberty University

3.0%

Michigan State University

3.0%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.0%

Henry Ford College

2.7%

Temple University

2.7%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

18.5%

Business

14.2%

Mechanical Engineering

9.4%

General Studies

6.7%

Criminal Justice

6.5%

Industrial Technology

4.1%

Computer Science

4.1%

Aviation

4.0%

Precision Metal Working

3.9%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Education

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.8%

Engineering

2.8%

Biology

2.1%

Psychology

2.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Communication

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

39.9%

Bachelors

27.7%

Associate

16.4%

Certificate

8.7%

Diploma

3.7%

Masters

2.9%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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