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what kind of problems happen often? do you like your job? what is the daily tasks?

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Im 18 years old. Im from Yap and I am in job corps for auto mechanics. #engineering #job-search #career

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Mike’s Answer

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The best jobs I've had force you to solve new and different problems every day. Auto Mechanics will face that all the time...every car will have a new problem to solve. I started my career as an engineer, helping design equipment in factories and maintaining equipment like pumps and pipelines (it was in a chemical plant). I studied mechanical engineering, which came from my interest in cars, just like you! I'd encourage you to think about engineering as a next step...clearly you have a mind for mechanical systems and solving problems, which is really what engineering is about. Good luck!
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Joe’s Answer

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Hi Steven, while I am not an auto mechanic I have known many and my Son is a diesel mechanic. I’ll try to provide some answers that may help. Please understand that pretty much every business will have different processes and procedures for their employees so it will be difficult to know how things will stack up for an employer you may work for.

What kind of problems happen often: there are probably a variety of challenges that pop up every day. One challenge that I have seen from being the consumer or the person having their car repaired is the requirement to update the customer and get permission to make the repair. This is a hurry up and wait scenario that probably causes a lot of delays at every shop. Very few people are going to give the permission to do whatever is necessary until they are informed what the cost is. So, let’s say when a customer has a vehicle that won’t start:
1. The service manager gets a description of what the customer thinks is wrong or any information the customer thinks is helpful. The customer may request that any repair needed be done to get the vehicle running again or the customer will ask for an estimate once the mechanic determines what is wrong.
2. Once the mechanic does the trouble shooting and finds a possible cause, they have to factor the labor and parts cost for the repair
3. When the estimated cost is determined, the customer is contacted to approve the repair. If the shop already had permission to make the repair without approval they may still contact the customer just to let them know what was found and the plan for the repair.
Those are some pretty basic steps that are most likely practiced at all shops no matter the size of the business. When you get hired as a mechanic, the goal for yourself or the shop manager is to keep you busy for the hours you are on the clock. Most shops probably have enough business so that you can work on one vehicle while the service manager is trying to get approval from the customer for a repair that you diagnosed.

I can’t answer your question about do I like my job so I will move on to your other question: “what is the daily tasks”

This question is somewhat relative based on where you might work. I do suspect that every day, the mechanics are given assignments or expectations on which vehicles they are supposed to work on. For a larger shop this is a schedule with dates and appointment times that are known in advance. It is very possible the assignments are made at or near the end of the work day for the next work day. So at the end of shift you may already know which types of maintenance, repairs or troubleshooting is expected. **It’s a pretty strong possibility that some mechanics may have a stronger aptitude or ability for certain type repairs or troubleshooting. So for example, if someone brings in a car with ongoing electrical problems and one of the mechanics seems to be a wiz when working on 12 volt systems and wiring, that mechanic may be the assignment.

Steven, I know that is a lot of information but it is at least a few things to consider. Someone more qualified may have other or slightly different answers.

Best of luck Steven!

Joe recommends the following next steps:

  • Try to find an opportunity to shadow a mechanic for a day or a few hours.
  • It might be helpful to write down some questions and go to a larger shop and ask if the service manager or shop manager would be willing help provide answers to your questions.
  • Go to larger shops or even municipal, city or county shops and garages where they service a fleet of vehicles and see if they have an internship or apprentice program. You might be able to earn some money while getting the training and/or certification you need.while
  • Look up as much information as you can, books/articles, videos magazines and try to learn about what to expect.
  • Try to think about ways to start getting some experience or training before you go to work or school full time. Many shops will employ folks who are willing to start as helpers and are willing to help with general work in return for consideration to be eventually trained or sponsored in a training program.
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