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Job Description for a General Mechanic

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In 2008, automotive technicians and mechanics held approximately 763,700 jobs in the U.S. In such a large industry, general mechanics perform many essential duties to our society. They are responsible for repairing a wide array of mechanical equipment such as cars, tractors and large machinery.

Education and Experience

General mechanics must have a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, most states have specific certification requirements, the most common of which is certification as a Master Automobile Technician through the National Institute for Auto Service Excellence. Previous work as a mechanic or working with cars can increase an individuals chance of being hired as a general mechanic.


These mechanics need to be able to read and understand basic instructions. They should be able to take direction well, have strong decision-making skills, and possess basic math skills. They must have a strong knowledge of automobiles and be able to understand mechanical drawings. Mechanics need to be able to see clearly both up close and at far distances. Most employers require mechanics to be able to lift 100 pounds.


General mechanics are responsible for diagnosing and fixing mechanical issues with equipment such as mowers, tractors, water pumps, compactors, salt spreader and saws. They perform tune-ups, weld equipment and other metals, and maintain files about their repair work. These workers must sand, repair and paint equipment. They may be required to do general car work such as tire rotation, oil changes, and installation of new brake pads.

Work Environment

General mechanics may be exposed to adverse weather conditions. They also may be exposed to dangerous situations and the risk of electric shock, and be surrounded by moving mechanical parts, toxic fumes, caustic chemicals. Additionally, this work environment is typically loud and dirty. Mechanics normally work standard 40-hour workweek.


According to a July 2010 survey, the average annual salary for a general mechanic is $51,000 per year. This equates to these professionals bringing in about $4,250 per month. As with all salary information, however, these figures can vary greatly based on geographic location, employer, years of experience and other factors.

2020 Salary Information for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a median annual salary of $44,050 ($21.18/hour) in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a 10th percentile salary of $25,790, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $71,940, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2020, 703,800 people were employed in the U.S. as automotive service technicians and mechanics.

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Employment and Labor Information 2023

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Employment Brief:

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Automotive Technicians and Mechanics.

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Confer with customers to obtain descriptions of vehicle problems and to discuss work to be performed and future repair requirements.
  • Install, adjust, or repair hydraulic or electromagnetic automatic lift mechanisms used to raise and lower automobile windows, seats, and tops.
  • Maintain cleanliness of work area.
  • Repair, reline, replace, and adjust brakes.
  • Rebuild parts, such as crankshafts and cylinder blocks.
  • Estimate costs of vehicle repair.
  • Diagnose and replace or repair engine management systems or related sensors for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) with ignition timing, fuel rate, alcohol concentration, or air-to-fuel ratio malfunctions.
  • Test electronic computer components in automobiles to ensure proper operation.
  • Troubleshoot fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems, using electronic testing equipment.
  • Conduct visual inspections of compressed natural gas fuel systems to identify cracks, gouges, abrasions, discoloration, broken fibers, loose brackets, damaged gaskets, or other problems.

Typical Daily Tasks of Automotive Technicians and Mechanics:

  • Getting Information: Read work orders or descriptions of problems to determine repairs or modifications needed.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment: Operate transportation equipment to demonstrate function or malfunction.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment: Rebuild parts or components. Repair defective engines or engine components. Repair non-engine automotive or vehicle components. Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts. Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts. Service green vehicles to make repairs or maintain good working order. Service heating, ventilation or air-conditioning (HVAC) systems or components. Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Troubleshoot equipment or systems operation problems.
  • Handling and Moving Objects: Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance. Adjust vehicle components according to specifications. Align equipment or machinery. Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair. Disassemble equipment to inspect for deficiencies. Install vehicle parts or accessories. Reassemble equipment after repair. Rewire electrical or electronic systems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials: Inspect gas systems or components to identify leaks or other potential hazards. Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems. Inspect vehicles to determine overall condition. Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning. Test mechanical systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Working with Computers.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment.

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Skills and Requirements:

  • Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Technology Design Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • GraphicsWorking with pictures in graphics programs or other applications, including creating simple graphics, manipulating the appearance, and inserting graphics into other programs.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Salary and Wages:

Average Salary: 58,450. Education: typical education requirements include High school diploma or equivalent.

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Data from May 2023 courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.