We say this country runs on cars, but it doesn’t. It rolls on them. America rolls along on the wheels and tires of more than 257 million light vehicles. Add in trucks and heavy equipment, and you have more wheeled and tired vehicles in need of service than there are people in this country. Of course the vehicles aren’t tired as in exhausted, though they do produce exhaust. We mean they have tires. And that’s why we thought of four reasons working as an auto mechanic could make an amazing difference in your life.
Job Satisfaction Levels of Mechanics: Fill ‘er Up!
According to a recent U.S. News & World Report table of the 100 best jobs in America, auto mechanics came in at #83. That’s a table as in a chart, not a place to eat. Other scores for auto mechanics:
- Best Social Service Jobs: #13
- Best Science/Engineering/Technology/Mathematics Jobs: #20
The career experts at Myplan.com surveyed its job-seekers and master auto mechanics scored #104 out of 300 jobs. Of mechanics surveyed, the majority said they were very happy. What is satisfying about working on vehicles?
- Interesting work—Sure, you may change a lot of oil, but you can also work on novel challenges including race cars, classic cars and heavy equipment
- Helping others—Imagine not having the skills to keep your car on the road to and from your job, and then imagine the gratitude people feel when you relieve their anxiety
- Meeting people—Customers are as different as their cars, and all want to know you have kept them safe, saved them money, and fixed the problem
- Challenging problem-solving—On the same day in a repair shop, you can work on vehicles made 40 years ago and ones made last month. Each car presents new dilemmas needing your talent and skill
These results may run counter to how you feel about your current job. That’s counter, as in the opposing view, not as in a flat work surface. If your current job is unrewarding, becoming an auto mechanic could be your bright future.
Auto Mechanics Pay
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS—and it’s not a bureau like a chest of drawers. We don’t just root around in our cabinets for this stuff. The Bureau is an actual division of the U.S. Department of Labor.) says the median annual income of automotive service technicians and mechanics as of May, 2014 was $37,120. This is excellent pay, but among industries hiring automotive mechanics, some pay exceptionally well:
- Local government: $49,320
- Courier and express delivery services: $62,560
- Natural gas distribution: $66,280
Job Outlook of Mechanics
The need for automotive mechanics will never disappear, and it shows no signs of leveling off. With our increasing desire for not only family cars and work cars, we also have recreational vehicles, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, farm equipment and many other wheeled contraptions needing mechanical work. The BLS (still a division, not furniture) points to five percent growth through 2024, about the same as for all other jobs. Interestingly, the BLS says:
“With some employers reporting difficulty finding workers with the right skills and education, job opportunities for qualified applicants should be very good, whether they obtained their knowledge through education or experience. Of these workers, those who have completed formal postsecondary training programs or achieved ASE certification should enjoy the best job prospects.”
File away that last sentence for the future. Like in a file drawer, not like the steel tool for smoothing metal. Words are so confusing.
Trade School Return on Investment
Calculating return on investment (ROI) involves tracking what you spent on an investment and the time needed to recover that investment. With an automotive technology diploma earned in as little as 16 months at a cost of $24,400:
- At the annual median wage of $39,980 this cost could be just 61 percent of your first year’s income
- With a job in local government as a fleet mechanic, your education costs only 49 percent of that industry’s median annual income for automotive technicians
- Working as a fleet mechanic with courier and express delivery services, your education is only 39 percent of the industry’s median annual income for mechanics
- Your educational expenses account for 37 percent of the median annual income of mechanics in the natural gas industry
Of course no one is suggesting you devote 100 percent of your pay to paying off the expense of your automotive technology education, but the trend is clear: you could earn a great ROI as an automotive service technician or mechanic, and could make back your educational costs fairly quickly.
Enter the Fast Lane with an Automotive Technology Diploma
Start on the road to success as a mechanic by enrolling at ATI in the automotive technology diploma program. Once you get your diploma, put it on your bureau and look at it every morning with pride. This time we mean a bureau, like the furniture, not a government department. Just to be clear. Contact us at 800-468-1093 or request information online today.
DISCLAIMER – Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) makes no claim, warranty or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program offered. The Advanced Technology Institute website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the AUTO.edu domain; however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.
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