The type of vehicle you have dictates what type of mechanic you need. These days, there are many different mechanic specialties. I know 3 heavy duty mechanics. I also have a friend who is a heavy duty mechanic who exclusively works on cranes (and yes, he’s very, very busy).
Whether you’re researching the different types of mechanic jobs out there or are in need of a specific mechanic, our list below can help.
1. Auto Mechanics
Auto mechanics are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and troubleshooting all of the mechanical and electrical systems on your vehicle to include brakes, suspension, cooling, climate control, engines, transmissions, and emissions control systems. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence(ASE) provides certification for auto mechanics. Entry level mechanics typically are required to have some type of formal schooling or training to be considered for employment. Some mechanics will earn a two-year associates degree in automotive technology. Education can be substituted for prior experience in the military or other fields. Currently, there are over 639,000 automobile mechanics that have an average salary of $42,660 a year.
2. Aircraft Mechanics
Aircraft mechanics repair, maintain and troubleshoot mechanical systems on all types of private, commercial, and military aircraft. Some of the systems they are responsible for include landing gear, brakes, flight controls, environmental, and engines. Aircraft mechanics can gain experience and training in the military or through two or four year Federal Aviation Authority(FAA) approved degree programs. This job can be labor intensive and require a large amount of overtime. The FAA requires that independent aircraft mechanics obtain an airframe and powerplant license. Some companies may also require aircraft mechanics to have a license. They have an average salary of $62,540 a year.
3. Diesel Mechanics
Diesel mechanics repair, maintain and troubleshoot diesel vehicles such as railroad trains, automobiles, buses, and tractor trailers. Some diesel mechanics learn the trade on the job while others attend school between six months and two years. Diesel mechanics can also obtain an ASE certification. These mechanics have an average annual salary of $48,000.
4. Heavy Duty Mechanic
An heavy vehicle mechanic has similar duties as an auto mechanic except for they repair large equipment such as cranes, farm equipment, bulldozers, boom lifts, and other heavy equipment. Diesel mechanics have to travel to the equipment sometimes because it is incapable of being moved or simply isn’t feasible. They have an average salary of $50,800.
5. Motorcycle Mechanic
Motorcycle mechanics maintain, repair, and diagnose all motorcycle systems to include the engine, brakes, suspension, lights, indication, and fuel. Certifications are typically done through the manufacturers. Motorcycle mechanics can also attend schools to learn the field. They earn an annual salary of about $38,000.
6. Small Engine Mechanics
Small engine mechanics repair, maintain and diagnose engines on equipment and small vehicles such as ATV’s, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, and jet skis. Depending on the vehicle or equipment, some of these mechanics can work seasonally or full-time. Like the above mechanics, they can either work for a company or independently. They can gain experience and skills by attending a degree program. Their average annual salary is approximately $35,000.
7. Boat Mechanics
Boat mechanic responsibilities include repairing, maintaining, and troubleshooting engines, propellers, and steering systems. They can be employed independently or at boat companies. Depending on the type of boat or repair, boat mechanics could work indoors or outdoors. Boat mechanics typically have to do on-site repairs for large boats with certain problems. They can earn experience through apprenticeships or school programs. There are not many schools that offer boat repair training and the ones that do are usually located near coastal areas. Their average annual salary is approximately $38,000.
8. Auto Body Mechanics
Auto body Mechanics repair automobiles that have been damaged in a collision or some other incident. They perform major or minor repairs such as scratches, dents, and structural replacement. They also can perform full paint jobs. While some auto body mechanics learn on the job, most employers prefer they attend a formal trade, technical school or community college. These programs can take between six months and two years to complete. Because automobile technology is constantly advancing, like auto mechanics, auto body mechanics have to receive ongoing training. They can be certified through the ASE program. Auto body mechanics have an average annual salary of $37,000.
9. Tire Mechanics
Tire mechanics perform repairs, maintenance, and replacement of tires on a wide variety of vehicles. They perform routine inspections of tires for proper inflation, wear or any other abnormalities. Tire mechanics also have to be proficient at removing tires from the rim and balancing them. They also have to know how to properly install and torque the wheel per manufacturer specifications. This job can be very physically demanding. Formal education typically isn’t required, but some employers may require certifications. They have an average hourly wage of $13.71
10. Auto Glass Mechanic
Auto glass mechanics remove, install, and repair vehicle glass. They usually are employed at a repair shop or manufacturing facility. If working in a manufacturing facility, they will install windshields and all other glass on new vehicles. This job usually requires a certificate in auto glass installation or collision and repair. Certificates can be obtained through trade schools, community colleges, or some manufacturers. Auto glass mechanics in shops primarily repair or replace broken windshields or other auto glass. They typically provide mobile and in-shop repairs. It can take six months to a year to master this job and certified mechanics are usually paid more. These mechanics also perform glass weatherproofing duties. This is done by treating the auto glass with a chemical to withstand heavy rain and snow conditions. These technicians also have to receive continual training as glass technology constantly evolves. The average annual salary for auto glass mechanics is $41,000.
11. Race Car Mechanics
Race car mechanics have similar duties to an auto mechanic except on higher performance cars. They are responsible for all repairs, maintenance, and upgrades of the car. They work closely with the driver to find ways to constantly improve the performance of the car. Race car mechanics also do pit-stop repairs. This job requires a combination of formal education and extensive on-the-job training. Race car mechanics work in a fast-paced high-pressure environment. They also have to be innovative and have a strong mechanical understanding. Most race car technicians don’t work for major teams or automakers. These types of mechanics have an average annual salary of $36,000.
12. Bicycle Mechanics
Bicycle mechanics maintain, repair, and assemble bicycles at shops or large stores. Some mechanics may work independently. Some bike mechanics learn on the job, while others complete training courses. They also must be able to troubleshoot specific problems. Bicycle mechanics may also perform upgrades. Their average annual salary is $27,000.
13. Air Conditioning Mechanics
Air conditioning technicians maintain, repair, install, and diagnose commercial and residential HVAC systems. Formal education isn’t required, but many employers prefer mechanics have formal education. This field can also require certification for certain tasks such as charging and discharging HVAC systems. This job includes a wide range of duties to include installing complete systems, emergency repairs, ordering parts, reviewing complicated blueprints, and knowledge of special tools and equipment. They also need strong communication skills to interact with customers and to sell service contracts or other services. They have an average annual salary of $47,000.
14. Plumbing Mechanic
A plumber is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of all plumbing systems and interconnecting lines. These lines can supply gas or water. Other lines remove waste from your home or business. Plumbing mechanics work on commercial and residential systems. They also can install toilets, bathtubs, hot water heaters, and a variety of appliances. Plumbing mechanics also can perform upgrades. This job can involve long hours and overtime as many jobs can be hard to predict or unexpected things occur. Many shops or independent plumbing mechanics also offer 24-hour service. many also provide weekend service. Plumbers also frequently sustain physical injuries cush as cuts and burns. Most plumbers are trained through apprenticeships.
15. Line Mechanic
A line mechanic works alone or with a team to install, repair, and maintain electrical distribution and transmission systems above and below ground. They have to comply with all local, state, and federal regulations in a safe manner while performing the job. TLine repair mechanics provide a wide range of other specific duties to include the removal and installation of poles, steel towers, power lines, transformers, gas pipes, control, major hardware, conduits, and street lights. This job can require long hours and weekend work. This field typically requires training through an apprenticeship or a formal certificate program. The average hourly wage for this job is $23.00.
16. Auto Exhaust Mechanic
Automotive exhaust mechanics specialize in the repair, removal, installation, and modification of exhaust systems. This includes mufflers, catalytic converters, headers, piping, and associated sensors. These mechanics typically work for repair shops or dealerships. The training, salary, and certification requirements are similar to auto mechanics. The main difference being exhaust mechanics are more specialized. These mechanics have to be familiar with special tools and equipment such as blow torches and shields. Automotive exhaust mechanics also have to be proficient at fabricating certain parts of the exhaust system to manufacturer specifications. They also must be able to perform custom builds.