Auto mechanics find jobs in a variety of settings, from government agencies to independent repair shops. Their working conditions depend on their employer, the type of repair that must be performed and the equipment needed to complete the task.

Typical Shop Conditions

Most government agencies, the work environment is well-lighted and properly ventilated, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, as anyone who has ever taken their cars in for service on a hot summer or frigid winter day knows, shop temperatures are not always ideal. Some shops that specialize in oil changes and lubrication use an arrangement commonly called a pit; customers drive their vehicles into the shop, straddling an open area; the mechanic then enters the pit to perform the work. Pit areas are typically not well-ventilated and can be hot during summer months. The very nature of the work also means that mechanics can seldom avoid handling greasy and dirty parts. And then this lube tech makes around $9.95 starting out. This is criminal, In & Out Burger pays $15 with free food, 401K and vacation.

Hours of Work

The BLS report for 2016 stated that auto mechanics frequently work overtime. Because some shops are open late or on weekends, mechanics may have to work evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. The majority of all mechanics are employed on a full-time basis.

In addition to common hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers, mechanics often use power tools. These include welding torches, pneumatic wrenches and power jacks. Some shops require mechanics to be proficient with computerized diagnostic machines and supply their own equipment at a cost that is burying todays mechanic financially. As most modern vehicles have computer-controlled elements, mechanics may use electronic diagnostic tools to test for problems.

Risk of Injury

According to the BLS, the rate of illnesses and injuries is higher for mechanics than the national average rate. Part of the risk comes from lifting heavy tools, equipment or parts. Other injuries, such as small burns, bruises or cuts, are caused from contact with hot or sharp parts, the need to reach into confined areas or having a tool slip under pressure. Strains and sprains were also common and were typically caused by overexertion. Us old guys can tell you about the knee replacements, bad backs, Tinnitus etc.

Salary Information

As of the May 2016 report issued by the BLS, auto mechanics earned a median salary of $ $38,470 annually and has an average of $38,000 in tools and equipment. The lowest paid 10 percent earned no more than $21,470 , but the best paid 10 percent earned at least $64,070 per year. Average salaries were highest in the District of Columbia, Alaska and Maryland where mechanics earned respective mean wages of $64,560$54,440; and $47,100 annually. Time for a change!