How to become a car mechanic

How to become a car mechanic

12 May 2022

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If you have your own vehicle, at some point you have to go to a car mechanic. The industry is continuously increasing and this doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The necessity of a car mechanic isn’t going down with the changes in the motoring industry, so it could be a potential career for many. This article explores how to become a car mechanic, what does a car mechanic role entail, CPD for car mechanics and where to find car mechanic courses.

How to become a car mechanic?

There is one main route when looking at how to become a car mechanic. You can complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship as a motor vehicle service and maintenance technician. This will usually take 2 to 3 years. During your apprenticeship, an experienced mechanic will provide you with the guidance and training needed to pursue a career in this field. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time at a college or training provider. 

To go down this route you should:

1. Complete your school education - A common route is to complete an apprenticeship scheme in vehicle mechanics, but you’ll need GCSEs in Maths, English and Science, or equivalent qualifications to be accepted on to the course.

2. Enrol in a training course or apprenticeship - After completing your regular education it would be a good route to enrol in a training course offering a degree or certification of completion in a mechanics program. A paid apprenticeship route might be split into the following certifications:

  • Level 1 certificate or diploma in vehicle maintenance
  • Level 2 certificate in light vehicle maintenance and repair principles
  • Level 2 certificate or diploma in vehicle technology

What does a car mechanic role entail?

A car mechanic, usually fixes vehicles and replaces parts for customers. A car mechanic role would include inspecting the vehicle's mechanical components as well as its engine. Car mechanics diagnose problems with vehicles while performing maintenance and repair work on all types of road vehicles.

A car mechanic role would include troubleshooting issues and fixing them, aiming to maximise reliability and functionality. You need to have good eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to resolve the typical issues that you come across. Often, car mechanics are well-versed in the complex mechanical or electronic systems of vehicles. It would also be useful to be a good communicator in order to provide advice to customers on the best ways to care of their vehicles.

What does being a mechanic involve?

What do you need to know to become a car mechanic?

In order to be suited for a car mechanic role it would be preferable for you to have a few skills prior to entering the role to ensure you can pick up the practical knowledge needed far easier. We have listed some key skills below:

  • Work well with your hands
  • The ability to use your initiative
  • Naturally very thorough and you pay attention to detail
  • Being able to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • Customer service/communication skills
  • The ability to work well with others
  • To be able to use a computer and the main vehicle software packages competently

You will pick up a lot of these skills if you take a car mechanic training course or become an apprentice. They should typically teach you how to use the necessary tools, equipment and instruments to work in this field. This is would include lathes, welding equipment, pneumatic wrenches, jacks and hoists. As car mechanics need to be familiar with computerized diagnostic equipment used to identify problems, you will pick up the skills on how to use them once you’ve entered the role.

CPD for car mechanics

Previously, the simplistic approach used to ensure that a vehicle met the required safety standards did not include the rigorous and continuous training that modern testing does. A CPD requirement and online annual assessment for MOT testing was implemented to improve professionalism in the sector and to help standardise certain processes.

 Testing is far more complicated than it used to be and as it continues to grow in complexity, so does the requirement to complete CPD to stay up to date within the field. For example, every year all MOT testers must complete MOT CPD training. This includes 3 hours of MOT annual training which they must pass. This is compulsory training in order to retain MOT tester status.

Where to find CPD car mechanic courses?

There are currently a vast array of car mechanic courses available which you can choose from. Each one offers a different syllabus and some offer different levels of qualification so it’s worth taking the time to search through the different course options to see which one is best suited for you.

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. We have a number CPD certified car mechanic courses available within our CPD courses catalogue. Alternatively you can find a range of other training on the Engineering Industry Hub section of our website.

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