Skip to main content

What does an Auto Mechanic do?

When working as an auto mechanic, you will be working in a field that is a backbone to society. Every day, millions of people all over the country use an automobile for work, school, or personal reasons. The ability for society to travel all over the country each and every day is crucial, and it’s the skilled auto mechanics which help to make this happen.

An auto mechanic is trained to inspect, diagnose, and repair a vehicle. They can perform repairs on a vehicle’s body, tires, brakes, engine, exhaust, and more. The difficulty of these repairs can vary from the simplest repairs such as an oil change, to some of the most advanced and complicated repairs like rebuilding an engine. An auto mechanic will have the skills and the capability to perform these services on cars, trucks, buses, and other forms of transportation.

auto mechanic

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an auto mechanic?

To truly excel as a mechanic, most people will need some form of a postsecondary training. This training can consist of a vocational program which can last up to a year, or even a two-year associates degree. This training will help students to prepare for a career as a mechanic, and the coursework can include information relating to math, computers, and of course, auto repair itself.

In addition to receiving form of training, most mechanics should strive to receive a certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification from this institute is offered in eight auto mechanic fields, and mechanics who wish to receive this certification should have at least two years of experience. Upon successfully obtaining this certification, many new auto mechanic jobs will become available for a mechanic, further ensuring their success in the field.

diesel mechanic

What does a Diesel Mechanic do?

Some unfortunate people know how complicated life becomes when a much-needed car breaks down, especially in the peak of rush-hour traffic. Now imagine how difficult things can be when mechanical woes force truckers and their goods to stop trucking, or sideline packed public buses. When these auto disasters strike, it is diesel mechanics that restore order, getting crippled engines humming again, or just preventing failures in the first place.

diesel mechanic

What do diesel mechanics do?

Diesel mechanics maintain and repair diesel engines, a task that requires extensive knowledge of diesel engines, their systems and components. Because these technologies are always progressing, they must remain on the cutting edge of the technical changes that impact their work. Specific duties range from simple oil changes to total engine overhauls. In either case, these mechanics must be equipped to work with a variety of tools and diagnostic equipment, computerized or otherwise. They must also be able to relay sometimes overly-complicated technical information to customers with little to no repair experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some diesel mechanics specialize in heavy duty vehicles, like bulldozers and cranes, while others in passenger transports, like light trucks and boats. While most begin working in others’ repair shops, some eventually go into business for themselves, making this a solid career option for mechanically-savvy entrepreneurial types.

How do I become a diesel mechanic?

Chances are you know someone who likes to tinker with cars or trucks in their spare time. Many diesel mechanics begin as hobbyists, but professionally repairing a broad range of engines, particularly heavy diesel engines, requires training.

According to the BLS, most begin with a community or trade college training program ranging from six months to two years in duration. They get a great deal of hands-on training with equipment and become familiar with the newest technologies. Some walk away from their training with employer-sought certifications, but others need to hone on-the-job experience to earn these credentials. The few diesel mechanics who forego formal training must often invest three to four years in a shop before they can become technicians.

What is the career outlook for a diesel mechanic?

The BLS reports that positions among diesel mechanics are expected to grow a bit slower than average. Note, however, that those who receive formal training through a community college or trade school have a significant edge over those who train on the job, making education an important investment in their careers.

The Association of Diesel Specialists, a professional trade organization, provides additional tools that can boost your job prospects, including scholarship and training information.

What does a Travel Agent do?

Americans love to hit the road, and with a large country like ours, there’s a lot to explore. Planning a trip, whether domestic or abroad, can be a daunting task, one that might require the assistance of a true expert: a travel agent.

Even though travel agent’s roles have changed quite significantly in the wake of online travel services, they are still an integral part of travel, especially for complicated travel arrangements to foreign countries that require specific expertise.

Educational requirements for travel agents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers prefer to hire applicants who have received training specific to becoming a travel agent. This kind of training is typically available at either vocational schools, community colleges, adult education programs or specific programs that train travel agents.

Some programs can also be completed entirely online. During these programs, students typically take classes related to marketing and sales, geography and history, industry standards, software programs, etc. A select number of colleges also offer undergraduate or graduate degrees in travel and tourism.

travel agent

Where can I find work as a travel agent and how much can I earn?

Most travel agents work in travel agencies or travel arrangement services.

The top-paying states for travel agents were Alabama, Washington, the District of Columbia, Virginia and New Hampshire. According to the BLS, the states with the highest concentration of travel agents are Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and North Dakota. The top-paying industries are travel arrangement and reservation services, corporations and insurance carriers.

Perks and the life of a travel agent

Not surprisingly, many job-seekers go into the field of travel because they love to travel. Depending on where you work, you might be highly specialized. For instance, a number of travel agencies focus on international cruise line trips, while others have found their niche in travel for university professors to the Middle East. Either way, there might be some perks for travel agents, which can include discounted air fare and hotels.

Since the rise of online travel booking services, many travel agents have found work with these online companies. In addition, large corporations oftentimes have in-house travel departments that are in charge of arranging business travel for their executives, which is also an exciting opportunity. All travel agents need to be highly organized, motivated, should excel at research, be good at dealing with people, and be able to work well under stress. Remember the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano that has been disrupting air traffic? For travel agents, dealing with and making sure their customers still arrived at their destinations was just another day at the office.