Once you have become a fully qualified general car mechanic, you can start thinking about whether or not you would like to specialise in a particular focused area of car repair. This specialisation can lead to a more focused approach to car repair, narrowing down the types of jobs which you carry out on a daily basis and leading you well on the way to becoming an expert in your field.
Listed below are some of the common car mechanic specialisations which you may want to start thinking about even before you have finished your general qualification as it is never too early to start gaining the relevant experience.
For some people, the overall aesthetics of their car is much more important to them than its performance. For these customers, the car is much more than just a vehicle to get them from A to B, but is an important fashion accessory which they believe says something about who they are as an individual. This type of client is likely to spend a fortune on buying a car which looks good, and will pay even more money to keep it looking that way. Mechanics who specialise in the bodywork of vehicles can earn a good living from these clients.
If you are artistic then you might find that you want to specialise in bodywork so that you can spray cars in new colours or air brush a mural on the side of the car. Bodywork specialists will also spend a reasonable amount of time fixing bumps, dents and scratches on the bodywork of vehicles. Sanding over scratches and hammering out dents could become an important part of your day. As could painting lettering on the side of commercial vehicles and replacing door or side panels.
One of the most common things to go wrong with cars is chipped windscreens and broken windows. It is very common for stones to fly up from the road and hit the windscreen, and it doesn’t take too much force to cause the glass to chip or shatter. There is therefore a reasonable amount of money to be made in replacing windows and windscreens for cars. This job doesn’t require much specialist training.
You don’t need to be extremely familiar with the inner workings of a combustion engine to learn how to replace a window or windscreen. Instead, after just a short course, you will be fully qualified to work in this field of auto repair. This specialism can also include upgrading windows or windscreens for motorists who are not satisfied with the ones they have currently. Selling and installing tinted windows, for example, is another way that auto glass repair specialists boost their income.
If you find yourself more interested by the electrical circuitry than the mechanical elements of vehicles, then this could be the specialism for you. Cars are becoming increasingly technical, as more and more of their operating systems rely on complicated electronics in order to function. This means that the demand for auto electricians is extremely high and is still on the increase. You do not need to be a fully qualified electrician to start working in this field, but you will need to take a short course to earn the appropriate qualifications. You will need to be able to think logically and have good practical problem solving skills.
Specialise by make
All car manufacturers will have their own salesrooms and their own teams of mechanics up and down the country. One of the ways to narrow down your specialism as a car repair mechanic is by sticking to just one make of car. If you get a job in a certain manufacturer’s garage or showroom then you will only work on these cars and no other makes.
This will allow you to become an expert in this particular make of car and you will get to know the common problems with particular models. You will become familiar with the different models and you will become much quicker at identifying issues and diagnosing problems. If you find the sheer volume of different cars out there overwhelming, and you don’t enjoy not quite knowing what to expect every time you open up the bonnet of an unfamiliar model of car, then this could be the way to go about specialising. There is a sense of comfort in familiarity which only working with one make of car would certainly give you.
Not everyone is able to bring their car into the garage or workshop when something goes wrong with it. If your car won’t start in the morning then you will need to call out a mobile mechanic to come and have a look at it for you. Mechanics can charge a premium for coming out to a person’s house, and this can be a great way of increasing the revenue for a garage or an individual vehicle technician.
Mobile mechanics often work for themselves and it’s a great way of getting to be your own boss if you don’t have the capital to set up your own workshop. This does come with a downside, however. Working full time as a mobile mechanic is not always a reliable way of making an income. Some days you might be called out 6 times, whereas on other days you might not receive any calls at all. The premium rate charged for going out to someone’s house can make up for this, but if you are looking for a steady income and a dependable monthly salary then this might not be the specialism for you.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the specialisms open to you as a car repair mechanic, but it should give you some idea of the range of different fields in which you could become an expert. If you are looking to narrow down the variety of different jobs that you see each day, then working towards a specialism can be a good way of doing this. But, of course, there is nothing to say that you have to be a specialist in anything. If you enjoy the challenge and the variety of being a general mechanic then there is no reason to change that at all. It’s all down to personal preference.