Mechanic Apprenticeship Tips

A mechanic apprenticeship involves working under the supervision of a qualified mechanic in order to learn the skills and get the actual feel of the job. Through an apprenticeship program under a master mechanic, you gain hands on experience of a mechanic's job and learn the intricacies involved. This option is ideal for people, who instead of joining a formal degree program, would prefer learning through on the job training. Another advantage of mechanic apprenticeship over college degrees is, instead of paying heavy tuition fees, one can learn and also earn hourly wages while learning.

Finding the Right Opportunity

There's more than one way to become a mechanical apprentice:

  • After completion of high school diploma, one could start working at a local mechanic shop as an assistant for low hourly wages and work their way up.
  • During summer vacations, one could either work as an apprentice to a mechanic besides joining a certificate course that offers relevant training.
  • Mechanic apprenticeship could also be pursued as a part-time opportunity while undergoing a formal degree program.

Nature of Training Offered

As a mechanical apprentice, one would have to perform all tasks that a mechanic does, which include:

  • Cleaning automobile components like carburetors and spark plugs, oiling and greasing important parts of an automobile.  
  • Performing internal ignition related tasks.
  • Making sure all components of the automobile like brakes, accelerator and clutch are functioning properly.
  • Wheel balancing and oil changing.
  • Changing broken components or fixing them in the workshop.

To sum up, a mechanic apprentice is no different than a mechanic. However, the apprentice is just learning all the processes gradually to gain expertise over the skills. The period of mechanic apprenticeship entirely depends on the candidate's learning capability, dedication and time spent on the job.

Job Prospects, Salary and Advancement Opportunities  

Job prospects and advancement of a mechanic apprenticeship depends on various factors like level of skills acquired, educational qualifications, experience and the location. The following points should be kept in mind if one aspires to become a mechanic:

  • You can work as an apprentice and work your way up under the same instructor.
  • People with exceptional skills as a mechanical apprentice have wider options to explore, even without a formal degree.
  • If you are working as an intern in a reputed mechanic shop or company, and if you excel in your work, there is a great chance that the shop or the company will offer you a full time opportunity after completing the internship.
  • Depending on personal interests, ability and financial strength, one could also set up their own business after gaining considerable experience and mechanic training in the field.

If one begins a career under the supervision of a mechanic, the hourly wages could be as low as $5 to $10 per hour. However, once a considerable amount of experience is gained, this is expected to increase to $15 to $20 an hour. Mechanics employed with larger mechanic firms or shops can earn $26,000 to $56,000 annually.