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Careers in aviation include aircraft dispatcher, flight/pilot training, airframe and power plant, aviation maintenance and avionics. Training for a career in avionics covers aspects such as aircraft navigation, radio communications, weather radar systems and engine maintenance. Aviation mechanics can earn up to $50,000 a year. For airline jobs, prospects generally are better in regional and low-cost carriers than in major airlines, where competition for many jobs is keen. An additional benefit is free or reduced-fare transportation for airline employees and their immediate families. Stop dreaming of a career in aviation and “fly” to a school near you!
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Automotive Service Technician

What is an Automotive Service Technician?

An Automotive Service Technician inspects, repairs, cleans, services and maintains vehicles. A great automotive service technician will also explain any issues they see under the hood to the customers, so they can make informed decisions on their precious car.

What does an Automotive Service Technician do?

  • Basic car maintenance: Oil changes, fluid levels, tire rotations
  • Use computerized diagnostic equipment to identify mechanical issues
  • Test car parts and systems
  • Replace or repair broken or old parts such as brake pads
  • Communicate any issues with the car to the customer

The Pros & Cons

    Pros:

  • Career stability
  • A job you are actually passionate about
  • Advancements in this field are readily available to those who work hard
  • Courses are much shorter than the average, which means less student loan debt

    Cons:

  • Dealing with cranky customers
  • Physical labor can be demanding of your body
  • Higher risk of injury from sharp tools

Occupational Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Automotive Service Technicians will remain the same.

Quick Facts: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

2018 Median Pay

$40,710 per year
$19.57 per hour

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

None

Number of Jobs, 2018

770,100

Job Outlook, 2018-28

-1% (Little or no change)

Employment Change, 2018-28

-6,400

*Reference: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm

How to become an Automotive Service Technician

You can become an Automotive Service Technician with just a high school diploma or GED. Automotive technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, though, so more employers are seeking workers who have a degree in automotive service and mechanics.

You can earn your certificate or diploma at an accredited trade school in one to two years. Upon graduation and finding a job, your employer will also most likely require some additional on the job training. Ready to get your hands dirty and feel the satisfaction of helping happy customers get back on the road? Then get started on a career in automotive service technology today!

Diesel Mechanic

What is a Diesel Mechanic?

A diesel mechanic’s job is similar to an automotive service technician with the main difference being that they work on diesel engines, often found in larger vehicles such as buses, trucks and construction machines. Diesel engines are increasing in popularity in the U.S. since they are now improving emission controls and downsizing. Diesel engines are estimated with a 45 MPG highway mileage rating and are getting around 50 MPG on the road. This means less stops at the pump and less money spent on gas. The future of diesel technology is already starting today!

What does a Diesel Mechanic do?

  • Performs check-ups on diesel-powered vehicles
  • Runs routine maintenance and diagnostic checks
  • Repairs engine parts
  • Takes engines completely apart, replaces parts and then puts them back together

The Pros & Cons

    Pros:
  • You can repair your own diesel truck (or a family members) with access to your shop’s tools
  • Job stability is good especially since diesel-powered engines are increasingly growing in popularity
  • You can earn a higher salary than an automotive service technician
    Cons:
  • Hazardous work environment from the diesel fumes
  • Higher risk of injury on the job
  • Long hours and irregular schedules

Occupational Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Diesel Mechanics is on the rise.

Quick Facts: Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

2018 Median Pay

$47,350 per year
$22.76 per hour

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

None

Number of Jobs, 2018

285,300

Job Outlook, 2018-28

5% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2018-28

13,800

Reference: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/diesel-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm

How would one start a career in Diesel Mechanics?

If you have your high school diploma or GED, you are a candidate for vocational training. Students may choose to enroll in either a Certificate or Associate’s Degree program. Certificate programs take only 6 months on average to complete versus two years for an Associate’s. With any education, the higher the degree you earn, the better potential for a higher income.

In addition to a degree, you must also sit for your CDL license (Commercial Drivers License), which is required to operate the types of vehicles you will be working on. After you have worked for about two years, you should take the exam for your ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification, which will help you earn more money and/or find a specialty job. Also, the automotive industry is constantly evolving with modern technology and equipment, so continuing education is a must to make sure you are on top of your game and earning potential. Beep, beep! We hear your future calling!

Motorcycle Mechanic

What is Motorcycle Mechanic?

A motorcycle mechanic specializes in small engines. They are responsible for the repair and maintenance of motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, mopeds and more. One of the essential responsibilities as a motorcycle mechanic is to connect test panels to engines and measure generator output, ignition timing, or other engine performance indicators.

What does a Motorcycle Mechanic do?

  • Maintenance, upkeep and repair of small engines such as fuel lines and tires
  • Reassemble and test subassembly units
  • Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts
  • Provide customers with information on repair and maintenance procedures
  • Create estimates on work and provide invoices to customers

The Pros & Cons

    Pros:
  • Job stability is good
  • Opportunity to work hands on with all kinds of small engines
  • You are not stuck in an office all day
  • Generally normal working hours of 40 per week
    Cons:
  • High cost of buying your own tools
  • Benefits, such as retirement, may not be offered by your employer
  • Dealing with irritable customers

Occupational Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Motorcycle Mechanics is on the rise.

Quick Facts: Small Engine Mechanics

2018 Median Pay

$37,060 per year
$17.82 per hour

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

None

Number of Jobs, 2018

76,300

Job Outlook, 2018-28

6% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2018-28

4,900

Reference: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/small-engine-mechanics.htm

How do you start a career as a Motorcycle Mechanic?

The first step in starting your career as a motorcycle mechanic is a high school diploma or GED. With that in hand, you should earn your Certificate or Diploma from a vocational trade school where you will learn the necessary skills to be a successful mechanic. If you are considering opening your own shop, you should go to school a little longer and work towards earing your Associate’s Degree.

With either route you take, on the job training will be required for 1-2 years to be considered for employment. Some programs may also require an internship so if you know someone in the industry, get your foot in the door now. If you love working on small engines such as motorcycles, enjoy problem solving and getting your hands dirty, then being a motorcycle mechanic is a great career choice for you!
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