Light vehicle service technician, car mechanic
Motor mechanics repair and service cars and vans.
Salary range: £18,000 to £35,000
How to become a motor mechanic
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
You could take a college course before applying for work as a trainee with a garage.
Relevant courses include:
- Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
- Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Technology
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You can complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship as a motor vehicle service and maintenance technician.
This will usually take 2 to 3 years. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time at a college or training provider.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
It will help if you have enthusiasm for the motor industry and repairing cars. A knowledge of different makes and models can also be useful.
You can find more details about working and training as a mechanic from Autocity.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- persistence and determination
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- customer service skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You may need a driving licence for some jobs.
What you’ll do
As a motor mechanic, you’ll:
- talk to customers about their vehicle’s problems
- find and diagnose faults using hand tools or a computer
- advise customers on what repairs are needed
- estimate time and costs for jobs
- repair and replace faulty parts
- road test vehicles to check repairs
- carry out scheduled servicing and maintenance
- fit accessories like stereos and alarms
- check stock levels and parts
- update vehicle service records
You could work at a garage.
Your working environment may be noisy and dirty.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a senior technician, workshop supervisor or garage manager.
You could work as a breakdown engineer or MOT tester, or specialise in a particular area like motorsport engineering.
You could also work on electric and hybrid cars or specialise in tuning and modifying vehicles for higher performance.
You could also set up your own business.