How To Become a Mechanic
The automotive world needs skilled artisans. If you love cars and have a mechanically strong mind, you can combine your passion and skills by becoming an automotive technician or better known as a mechanic. Nowadays, cars have become extremely complicated. Electronic units control various functions, including self-diagnostics. Technicians need to be skilled in operating computer equipment as well as basic tools like a spanner. They also need to be problem solvers.
Let’s take a look at what mechanics do in their jobs on a daily basis:
- They remove and replace damaged parts
- Order new parts
- Check tyres and wheel alignment
- Ensure that brakes are in good working order
- Tune engines, check oil and replace it if required
- Run computerised diagnostic checks to make sure all is in working order
- Repairing radiator leaks
- Adjust brakes and tighten bolts
- Replace oil, oil filters and air filters
- Ensure the long-term maintenance of motors and diesel engines
- Record work done on clients’ cars for referencing in the future
How do I become a mechanic?
The job of a mechanic in South Africa is part of the MerSETA (Manufacturing Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority) directory. To be able to apply for this position, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Have a NQF Level 1 with a pass in Mathematics
- Have 4 years of apprenticeship
- Possess excellent knowledge of mechanics and diesel engines
- Have a national certificate that shows the completion of mechanic courses
Over and above these mandatories, a good mechanic will also possess the following traits:
- Be physically fit and able to carry out heavy work
- Enjoy working with their hands
- Be meticulous and accurate
- Able to work in a noisy environment
- Have good hand-eye coordination
- Basic welding skills
- Possess outstanding troubleshooting skills
- Have good eyesight
How to succeed in this role?
To succeed in this role, mechanics must have an in-depth understanding of health and safety compliance rules. They must know how to use hand and power tools effectively. Knowing your way around mechanical equipment is also a must. Then of course you will need to stay up to date with any technological advances. These can happen at a rapid speed, so if you want to stay ahead, this is a definite. As in all careers, communication is very important. If you can get your message across well, this will stand you in good stead.
Once you have finished your mechanic courses and four years as an apprentice, you can begin a career as a motor mechanic in sectors like the automotive industry, the motor body manufacturing industry, independent repair shops, bus, and public transport companies, vehicle sellers and distributors, service stations and heavy engineering.
There is a huge demand for professional mechanics in various sectors of the automotive industry. Start looking for a job right here and now.