Would you rather work with a wrench or a pen? A spanner or a calculator?
If sitting in an office on a computer all day sounds like your idea of a nightmare, you might prefer a more hands-on job, like becoming a mechanic.
As long as we have cars, we need mechanics – and (sadly) it doesn’t look like we’re going to adopt hydrogen-fueled hoverboards any time soon.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best jobs in the automotive industry and where you can find high-quality apprenticeships to help you kick-start your dream career.
Types of mechanic jobs
There are over 32 million cars on UK roads and every single one requires an annual service and MOT.
Plus, these millions of cars unfortunately have a million things that could go wrong with them, which is why vehicle mechanics step up to replace lights, tyres, gearboxes and everything else.
As well as fixing faults, vehicle mechanics perform basic maintenance and provide advice to drivers.
Race car mechanic
Turn your love for F1 into a real job by becoming a race car mechanic.
As part of the pit crew, you’ll be adjusting aerodynamics, refueling and more – all in a matter of seconds. There are many different roles within the pit crew, including the crew chief, the gasman and the tire carrier, so you’ll surely fit into the role that best suits your skills.
After completing a mechanic apprenticeship, look for volunteering or entry-level opportunities for your local racing teams to gain experience.
Specialised mechanic (e.g. luxury sports cars)
Fixing a Ferrari isn’t the same as fixing a Ford, which is why top luxury vehicle companies employ their own highly specialised mechanics.
Although you can earn an exceptional amount of money working as a mechanic for the likes of Lamborghini and Bugatti, the road is tough. You’ll need to secure your first job in the company and then work your way up the ranks through hard work and determination. An apprenticeship can be an excellent foot in the door.
Where to find the best mechanic apprenticeships
National car dealership Arnold Clark regularly recruits for their Level 2 Autocare apprenticeship. You’ll learn how to service tires, electrical faults and suspension, and you can put all theory into practice during regular assessments.
Arnold Clark are a large apprentice employer in the industry, hiring over 100 apprentices each year.
Reliable vehicles help delivery company UPS run at their best. Enrol on their Level 3 Heavy Vehicle Apprenticeship to learn the ins and outs of fleet servicing and maintenance. With a sweet £7.31 per hour pay grade, you won’t want to miss this opportunity.
Audi is one of the most recognisable names in the automotive industry, and having their name on your CV will put you in an excellent position when applying for future jobs. Audi has a huge range of mechanic apprenticeships on their website from Service Technician and Parts Advisor programmes.
Ever wanted to fix a tank? Now’s your chance.
95% of soldiers begin their Army journey through an apprenticeship. Visit the Army website to read about their mechanic apprenticeship opportunities, including Level 2 Tank Crew, Level 3 Vehicle Mechanic and Level 4 Power Engineer.
To apply for a mechanic apprenticeship, you’ll need to have four GCSEs (grades 4-9) in English, Maths, Science and a technical subject.
Although you’ll probably be too young to drive when you start your apprenticeship, getting your driving license as soon as possible is crucial. You’ll earn while you learn during your apprenticeship, so be sure to put some of your wages towards driving lessons!
Mechanics almost always work in a team, meaning that great communication skills are a necessity. You’ll need to be a good listener and a supportive colleague in order to have a positive impact on your workplace.
If you pull out Google maps and type in ‘mechanic near me’, you’ll probably see at least a handful of results in your area, if not more. That means there are opportunities for you to volunteer or work at a local garage during school holidays before you even begin your apprenticeship, which will be a great asset on your applications. Spend some time writing a short CV (don’t worry if there’s not much on it) and a cover letter, then drop your application off at local garages.
Hit the accelerator to race toward a fantastic career
Mechanics are in-demand, and so are apprenticeships in this industry. If you don’t apply quickly, you could lose out to fierce competition. Take a look at the apprenticeships in this article to see if any are the right fit for you – if not, browse some opportunities in construction, IT or science instead.