Motor Mechanic: The Ultimate Guide

mechanic working on car

The whole meaning of being a qualified motor mechanic, or even a service technician, has changed so much in the last few decades that it’s worth actually sitting back and thinking about every now and again. As automotive industry experts that speak with and regularly visit hundreds of service managers, HR managers, workshop controllers, and of course qualified motor mechanics themselves, we’ve certainly taken note of this dramatic evolution of the job. With loads of technological change, new concepts in transport, and changing business structures all accelerating, it’s an exciting time to be a motor mechanic or service technician.

In Australia, it’s difficult to imagine now but it wasn’t very long ago when fuel cost under AUD $1 per litre, and big 6 or 8 cylinder engines dominated the roads! Even features that we take for granted like power windows were not standard in many vehicles a mere 20 years-odd ago, and a brand-new car might have had 2 airbags if you were lucky. And infotainment? The word barely even existed yet, and you definitely couldn’t specialise in it!

 

What Makes a Great Motor Mechanic?

While there are a number of skills that are important for any aspiring motor mechanic. There are a select set of non-skill attributes that we think any motor mechanic or technician should be striving to:

  • A positive attitude
  • Great communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Mastering understanding of commercials

Remembering that the above skills should be something you work on from day one on your journey to becoming a master technician.

Motor Mechanic Certification

There are several ways to look at understanding automotive technician certification depending on a person’s location or motivation in considering this. Some will be eager to understand the pathway toward becoming a professional motor mechanic, whilst others may wish to see how their own qualifications abroad stack up against what is required in Australia. Ultimately, the Australian certification system for automotive tradespeople is similar to the processes of many other countries and is designed to provide the industry with qualified technicians that have a sound basis in the core knowledge of their trade.

 

Motor Mechanic Schooling Requirements

Just as much as technology is changing the way we get around, the role of a motor mechanic is changing too. The job is getting more technical, less dirty, and requires a more sophisticated set of skills than ever before. Accordingly, the coming generation of motor mechanics will need to be prepared differently. This could potentially mean some advanced schooling is required to understand the new systems in place.

Meanwhile, don’t expect the apprenticeship stage to go away. There is a lot of value in training through working under a qualified and experienced motor mechanic that cannot be taught in a school. Within Australia, a certificate 3 in a particular auto trade is the outcome of a completed apprenticeship. Any foreign technician that requires a skills assessment for an Australian visa or state trade licensing are held at this standard and are recognised at the same level.

 

Motor Mechanic Salaries

In Australia, the minimum annual salary for a skilled technician being sponsored for a visa is $53,900 AUD. This is based on the TSMIT or Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold which is the absolute minimum salary earned by Australian mechanics and technicians. As with many salaries, this can be negotiated based on applicant experience, dealer location and employer.

There are a number of additional benefits which will help your salary package increase if you choose to work in Australia. This can include overtime or superannuation both of which can push the total possible salary package well above the minimum.

Read about Australian Motor Mechanic salaries and the extra benefits in our article

 

How to Become a Professional Motor Mechanic

There is a lot to becoming a professional motor mechanic. But there are some clear defining understandings that a person needs to have to be successful in their career.

A professional motor mechanic is:

  • Someone who understands the trade is not common to most people
  • Aware that becoming a master mechanic takes years
  • Always looking to become more professional
  • Understanding their work contributes to society in an important way
  • Understanding the trade allows avenues for self-improvement

More on how to become a professional motor mechanic

What’s in Store in The Future for Motor Mechanics?

There’s been lots of discussion within (and outside of) the automotive industry about the changing role of motor mechanics as we power toward the electric vehicle age. Many have predicted that these new technologies will significantly reduce maintenance and repair requirements, prompting people to wonder whether there will even be a need for motor mechanics as the years tick by. Indeed, the term ‘qualified motor mechanic’ itself seems likely to come under fire as we move into a generation of electric vehicles.

We can’t wait for this revolutionary technology and the changes it will bring to the automotive industry – it promises cleaner, safer, and more efficient travel for us all.

However, we don’t believe this means the death or motor mechanics or the end of service technicians; rather, it’s going to demand more evolution, just like the incorporation of other market-changing technologies like power windows, curtain airbags and infotainment systems. The technicians of today already have a very different skill set to the previous generation, and the best out there know that to stay at the top of their field they need to constantly learn and grow, always bringing new skills to the job of being a motor mechanic and driving their trade forward.

The industry we work in has changed a lot too and will continue to do so as vehicle technologies evolve. Never before has there been such value placed on motor mechanics with sounds diagnostic, fault finding and electrical skills, and as our cars and trucks get ‘smarter’ and more efficient, you can bet this will only ever become more resounding. Manufacturers, main dealers and independent repairers alike will rely more on those technicians that can work methodically and creatively to remedy more and more complex vehicle systems. Almost as important are technicians who can help those around them understand these systems, whether it’s other motor mechanics in the workshop, or vehicle owners and users. More than ever before, a good motor mechanic is a great communicator.

People who don’t get this may ask ‘how will being a motor mechanic or service technician stay the same with electric cars and trucks?’ The short answer is, we’ve all been changing constantly for decades – we’re used to it! The most professional qualified motor mechanics out there embrace this, use their mastery to their advantage, and will define their own future.

Looking for a motor mechanic job abroad? Techs on The Move can help you to get in contact with employers in Australia looking to hire experienced motor mechanics. We specialise in creating a personalised experience to help you to get placed in the right position. Contact us now for a free consultation.