Duties and responsibilities
A master mechanic is an experienced mechanic who is responsible for repairing automobiles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Master mechanics have the skills to repair virtually any part of the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Testing and adjusting repaired systems to meet manufacturers’ performance specifications.
- Repairing, relining, replacing, and adjusting brakes.
- Reviewing orders and discussing the work that is needed with supervisors
- Communicating with customers to find out the problem with the vehicle
- Discussing the customers budget and the work to be performed. They will also need to discuss future repair requirements
- Examining vehicles to determine extent of damage
- Aligning vehicles’ front ends
Master mechanic will most likely need a to have completed high school classes in automotive repair, electronics, computers and mathematics. In order to have the best employment chances, it is also recommended to complete a vocational or other postsecondary education program in automotive service technology.
To become certified, mechanics must have at least 2 years of experience (or relevant schooling and 1 year of experience) and pass an exam. Certification is available in nine different automobile specialty areas: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, light vehicle diesel engines, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air-conditioning, manual drive train and axles, and suspension and steering. To become a master mechanic, you will need to achieve certification in all of the foregoing areas (light vehicle diesel engine certification is not required) and can then earn ASE Master Technician status.
Skills and relevant work experience
To become a master mechanics, you will need skills and talents such as:
- Physical fitness and stamina, as master mechanics will need to stand up for long periods of time, lift heavy materials or work in small and cramped spaces
- Leadership skills, as master mechanics may be responsible for instructing small teams of other mechanics
- Attention to detail, as spotting and restoring damage requires someone who can notice even the smallest imperfections
- Customer-service skills, as master mechanics must be understanding, courteous and be able to communicate ideas, problems and solutions to paying customers
- Time management skills, as master mechanics will need to ensure that repairs are completed before the deadline. They will also potentially need to manage the time of other mechanics
- Dexterity, as master mechanics will have to carefully fix many issues, using various tools, which requires a steady hand and excellent hand-eye coordination
- Critical thinking skills, as master mechanics must be able to accurately evaluate vehicle damage and determine necessary repair strategies
The majority of master mechanics will work full time. They may have to work evenings, weekends and overtime if necessary to meet deadlines.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for auto mechanics was $42,090 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,740 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,880. Because master mechanics have certifications, they can expect to earn in the upper range.
Master mechanics tend to progress from lower level auto mechanic roles. They do this by completing all necessary certification. Master mechanics may progress to owning their own repair shop or garage, which gives them more flexibility, control and autonomy.