Friday, September 25, 2020

Quick guide to becoming a qualified mechanic

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Do you enjoy working with machines, automobiles or engines?

If you have a basic understanding of mathematics and an aptitude

for working with motors and machines, a mechanic career is the right choice.

As a mechanic, your job involves interaction with customers and third parties on a daily basis. If someone trips and hurts themselves in your repair shop or if you damage a client’s property accidentally while on the job, they can file a claim against you. Every sole trader or business owner should consider Public Liability insurance that covers:

  • Legal costs of defence or claim

  • Third party injury

  • Cover for your staff member who may have been responsible for the incident

  • Damage or loss of third party goods or property

  • First aid expenses in case on an injury

On average, small business owners pay a monthly premium of $63.53 for Public Liability insurance. The exact cost depends on the size, nature and the annual turnover of the business as well as the level of cover required. Check here to know how much Public Liability Insurance costs and to get an accurate quote based on your needs.

Mechanics average salary

The exact salary a mechanic earns depends on the level of experience, the nature of the job and the location. On an average, a mechanic earns anywhere from $55k to $65k in Australia.  Salaries are higher in Australian Capital Territory and can be as high as $90k while in QLD, the average salary ranges from $55k to $65k.  The per annum salary of mechanics as listed by Payscale is between $93,347 and $116,790 while the hourly rate varies from $17.64 to $41.54.

According to Payscale, for an automobile mechanic, the hourly wage is AU$24.24, while the wages vary based on experience. An entry-level mechanic with an experience of one year earns an hourly pay of AU$19.94. A mechanic with up to four years of experience can expect to earn AU$21.49 while the total compensation is AU$25.75 for a mechanic with more than ten years of experience. 

Salaries also vary based on the location. For instance, in Perth, automobile mechanics earn 9.3 percent more as compared to the national average. In Gold Coast and Brisbane as well mechanics earn slightly higher salaries than the national average. The lowest salaries are in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Certificate and training

Available data indicates that the highest level of qualification that 70 percent of mechanics hold is Certificate III or IV. 

The exact kind of training and certification you require depends on the type of mechanic you intend to be. The common types of mechanics are: 

  • Auto mechanic

  • Heavy vehicle mechanic

  • Diesel mechanic

  • Mobile mechanic

  • Aircraft mechanic

To become a qualified mechanic, you first need to decide what type of mechanic you want to be and complete formal training and apprenticeship. 

For instance, a motor/auto mechanic handles servicing, scheduled maintenance and motors and engine repairs. Common issues handled by these mechanics include

  • Fluid and oil changes

  • Engine problems

  • Brake replacements

  • Suspension repair

  • Transmission issues

  • Shock absorber repairs

Heavy vehicle mechanics work with industrial-size commercial vehicles, including buses, earthmoving or agricultural machinery and trucks. Diesel mechanics specialise in repair, maintenance and servicing of diesel engine vehicles. They diagnose and repair vehicles that have diesel engines.

A mobile plant mechanic maintains and repairs mega machines, big rigs as well as high-powered engines. 

To become a motor mechanic, you need to be 18 years of age or older and have a strong understanding of both English and mathematics. 

Certificate II in Light Vehicle/Automotive Servicing Technology is a pre-apprenticeship introductory course offered by many TAFE institutions. The course is available both full time and part time. You can search for a suitable host employer in your area on the Australian Apprenticeships website. A Group Training Organisation can also help you find an employer for starting apprenticeship. Generally, apprenticeship can take between three and four years to complete.

You also have to complete a Certificate III course in Light Vehicle Mechanical/Automotive Servicing Technology apart from apprenticeship to be a qualified mechanic. The full time, on campus Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology course can be completed in three years. This qualification is a must have for mechanics who handle repairs and maintenance of light vehicles in the automotive service, repair and retail industry.

The various Certificate II and III courses offered for different types of mechanics in TAFE institutions include:

  • Mobile Plant Technology (AUR31216)

  • Outdoor Power Equipment (AUR30716)

  • Automotive Air Conditioning (AUR20218)

  • Automotive Servicing Technology (AUR20516)

  • Recreational Vehicle Service and Repair (MSM31015)

  • Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing (MSM31115)

  • Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR20716)

  • Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR10116)

  • Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis (AUR40216)

  • Agricultural Mechanical Technology (AUR30416)

  • Forklift Technology (AUR31716)

  • Motorcycle Mechanical Technology (AUR30816)

  • Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR30616)

  • Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR31116)

If you intend to take up advanced diagnostics and repairs in the automotive industry, you can take up and complete the Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis AUR40216 course. The average duration for this certification is 26 weeks. 

Sources (2019). Automobile Mechanic. [online] Available at:

Seek Career Advice AU. (n.d.). How to become a Mechanic - Salary, Qualifications & Reviews – SEEK. [online] Available at: (n.d.). How to Become a Mechanic | Salary, Career & Training. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2020]. (n.d.). Home | Australian Apprenticeships. [online] Available at:

Localsearch. (2019). Types of Mechanics in Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2020]. (n.d.). Automotive Repair and Maintenance Courses - TAFE NSW. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2020]. (n.d.). Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis - AUR40216 - MySkills. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2020].

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