Mechanic

motor mechanic car mechanic motor vehicle technician

Career outlook for mechanic

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£33,280

Currently employed in Scotland

11,700

Five year job forecast

+0.64%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

You would fix cars, motorbikes and other vehicles to make sure they work well and are safe for people to drive.

You would repair and service cars, vans, motorbikes, lorries and coaches.

You’d work on all the mechanics and electrics, from engines and exhaust systems to air-conditioning and security.

You would:

  • Find faults
  • Tell customers if repairs are needed and how important they are
  • Work out the estimated time and cost for jobs
  • Do repairs and replace damaged parts
  • Roadtest the vehicle to check the repair work
  • Fit and service accessories like radios and alarms
  • Carry out standard servicing and checks

As an experienced technician, you could do MOT tests or convert standard engines to liquid petroleum gas (LPG). You might also work on electric and hybrid vehicles.

It would be important to be aware of health and safety regulations. And you’d need to keep up to date with vehicle developments, especially new engine types and electronics.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Saturday. You may have to work shifts, including weekends, and you may sometimes work overtime. Some garages have an on-call system, and some heavy vehicle garages only service vehicles at night.

Environment

If your employer deals with breakdowns, you may work in all weather conditions.

Travel

If your employer deals with breakdowns, you may have to travel long distances.

UK employment status

Full-time

60%

Part-time

27%

Self employed

13%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Implementing ideas
  • Filtering
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening
  • Observation
  • Resourceful

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You must complete a Modern Apprenticeship to gain relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in light or heavy vehicle maintenance and repair (SVQ level 2/3).

You do not need formal qualifications to start an apprenticeship but many employers look for a good general education (SCQF level 4/5). You usually have to complete an aptitude test prior to an apprenticeship.

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science subjects
  • Technologies subjects

You will also need

Once you are qualified, you will need a driving licence for most jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate physical fitness and practical skills such as Skills for Work Automotive Skills (SCQF level 4).

Once in the job you may choose to work towards Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) from the Institute of the Motor Industry .