ENGINEERING

Inside automotive mechanics with TAFE NSW

Watch our video above with:

Name: Matthew Hobbs

Current Job:  Automotive mechanic apprentice

Studying: Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive at TAFE NSW

We also spoke to Cooper, who is a mechanic by trade and has 15 years experience. He tell us who cuts it in the industry.

What’s the job about?

Being an automotive mechanic is no longer about simply knowing your car parts and replacing what’s broken (although that’s still a big part of it), it’s also about being able to diagnose what’s wrong in the first place.

So you have to know your way around a computer, have good people skills, and not be afraid of getting dirty.

Some people choose to start into the automotive repair industry by jumping in with no schooling and only on-the-job training. In my opinion those that do are at a disadvantage these days.

Computers, networks, and electronics in today’s automobiles require more than just a mechanic. Technicians are able to diagnose and repair these non-mechanical complex systems, as well as perform the work of a mechanic.

I’ve had a few TAFE students come through my door as apprentices and they’re great. The course isn’t just teaching them mechanical systems like brakes, engines, transmissions, etc, but also the electronics that run them.

What should someone expect in an apprenticeship?

Everyone starts the same, it’s sweeping the floor, changing oil and rotating and changing tyres. That’s the entry level job everyone starts with. You get covered in oil and dirt everyday, it’s mundane, and it’s just not fun. But then slowly, but surely, though, you gain skill and trust and you’ll move on to brakes and maintenance work.

Then you start performing mechanic work — so diagnosing and repairing noises and vibrations, replacing gaskets and water pumps, and even tearing down engines and transmissions. Then you start to diagnose check engine lights and electrical problems, using computers, scanners, voltmeters, that kind of thing.

Keen to get into it? Watch the full video.

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