Motor Mechanic (general)


Also known as:

  • Automotive Light Mechanic

What they do

Automotive mechanics work on the mechanical parts of motor vehicles, including the engine, transmission and suspension systems. They fix, maintain, reassemble, restore and overhaul these components and also talk to the vehicles' owner about issues they may be having. Common tasks might include the testing and repairing of electrical lighting systems, the replacement of damaged parts in the engine, or the inspection of vehicles in order to render them safe for the road. Automotive mechanics work right across the state, in service stations, vehicle dealerships, for public authorities such as local governments or defence, transport firms, organisations with fleets of vehicles that need to be maintained and for themselves in their own businesses.

Specialisations include: Automatic Transmission Mechanic, Automotive Airconditioning Mechanic, Brake Mechanic, Ground Support Equipment Fitter (Air Force), Roadside Mechanic, Vehicle Mechanic (Army)

Working conditions

Automotive mechanics work mainly in garages, workshops and other areas where vehicles are serviced, repaired or maintained. They work with oils, petrol, greases and other chemical products which can cause skin irritation. Mechanics should also be physically fit so they can lift and move heavy tools or machinery. Work areas can quickly become messy and dirty.

Tools and technologies

Automotive mechanics work mainly with tools and devices used to maintain and repair automotive engines and parts. Safety precautions must always be taken when working with certain machines and devices in the industry, such as when welding. Other tools used in the industry may include spanners, precision measuring devices and spray painting equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an automotive mechanic, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in automotive technician (light). The apprenticeship usually takes 42 to 48 months to complete, and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a motor mechanic in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate, or work under the supervision of someone who holds a current certificate. The certificate is available from the Commissioner of Consumer Protection at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. A National Police Certificate is required to gain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate.

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