Career Choice

Who ls a mechanic?

Kareem LaTouche YOUTHLINK COORDINATOR

A mechanic is a trained, skilled tradesperson who usestools to build or repair machinery. The most common types of mechanics work on cars, motorcycles, tractors and airplanes. From the Greek root word 'mekhanikos', the oldest meaning of this word is simply 'labourer'. The current sense of the word 'mechanic' came into use along with the popularity of the automobile. Automobile mechanics may specialise in different areas, for instance the electrical aspects of vehicles, while others specialise in the mechanical, automatic or manual transmission of vehicles. Mechanics are trained to use special tools required by their work.

WHAT DOES THE WORK INVOLVE?

A typical day for a mechanic might include:

• Dismantling systems in order to diagnose and fix problems or replace defective parts.
• Performing maintenance and diagnostic testing.
• Inspecting of small trucks and cars.
• Working on transmissions and mechanical systems such as steering, brakes, front ends.
• Carrying out preventative maintenance Whol s ameclanic ? such as engine tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation, wheel balancing and filter replacement.
• Following safety measures and testing repaired vehicles.
• Providing clients with a report of all the repairs that were carried out.
• Performing battery checks. Automotive mechanics mostly find employment in garages,auto parts shops and car dealerships. A mechanic is sometimes required to work late evenings and on weekends. Bear in the mind the possibility of travelling to wherever customers are at the time they need assistance.

WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?

Being a mechanic involves a great deal of hands-on work. They take a direct approach to problem-solving, which means they are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Great manual dexterity, focus and problem-solving skills are a must, and with growing automobile technology, mechanics have to keep up by continuously learning about the newest trends and technologies involved in vehicle design. More often than not, work is out in the open in varying weather conditions and with the use of specialised tools and equipment.

WHAT CAN I EARN?

As an automotive mechanic, you can earn a median-level pay. Salary may vary depending on where you work or if you are self-employed. Customer satisfaction, your reputation, experience and expertise will bring you more customers and greater income if you are willing to work hard.

HOW DO I QUALIFY?

To become an automotive mechanic, information technology, electrical and mathematics classesprovide a good background. A post-secondary education in automobile technology is needed, like an associate's degree or some vocational training, where you will receive hands-on practice.

WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?

• Jamaican German Automotive School
• Excelsior Community College
• Some technical secondary schools

Information provided by CHOICES Career & Education Advice.

Continue reading for more on exciting careers for now and the future. Send your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about to Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICES Career e Education Advice. Email: info@choicesonlinejm.com/www. choicesonlinejm.com.

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