Motor Mechanic

Job Description:

Motor mechanics repair and service cars and vans.

Job Category:
Automotive & Aviation

What you will do:

You may work for an independent garage, or freight, transport and construction companies, fast-fit outlets and car dealerships. You may specialise in one particular make of vehicle.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • telling customers if repairs are needed and whether they’re urgent
  • working out the estimated time and cost for jobs
  • checking stock levels and ordering parts
  • carrying out standard servicing, repairs and maintenance
  • road testing vehicles to check repairs
  • fitting and servicing accessories like stereos and alarms
  • keeping records


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competentl

As well as:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to quickly grasp new vehicle technologies
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • strong practical and problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accurately follow written and spoken instructions
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a motor mechanic, you’ll need to develop practical skills and knowledge related to automotive maintenance and repair. While there are no specific requirements for this career, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for the field. Here’s a list of subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: A good understanding of mathematics is important for performing measurements, calculations, and diagnostics in automotive repair. Consider taking Mathematics.
  2. Science: Basic knowledge of science, particularly physics and chemistry, can help you understand the principles behind automotive systems and the properties of materials used in vehicles.
  3. Design and Technology (D&T): D&T coursework can provide you with hands-on experience and practical skills related to working with tools, equipment, and mechanical systems.
  4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in using computer software and diagnostic tools can be useful for modern automotive repair, where technology plays a significant role.
  5. English: Good communication skills, both written and verbal, are important for interacting with customers, explaining repair issues, and writing reports.

Post School

You’ll need:

  • a qualification in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
  • a driving licence for road testing the vehicles you’ve repaired

The most common way to get your relevant qualification is through an apprenticeship in motor vehicle service and maintenance technician (light vehicle). This will usually take around 3 years. You’ll do on-the job-training and spend time in college.

You could also take:

  • a college course with one day a week on placement
  • a full-time college course with practical exercises

To get onto an apprenticeship or a course you’ll find it useful to have:

  • GCSEs (or equivalent) in maths and English
  • work experience as a garage assistant
  • a passion for the motor industry

A course in light vehicle maintenance could also help you prepare for an apprenticeship or college course.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work between 38 and 45 hours a week, Monday to Saturday. You may have to work shifts or work late to finish a job.

If your employer deals with breakdowns, you may be on call and have to travel long distances.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a senior technician, workshop supervisor or garage manager.

You could work as a breakdown engineer or roadworthiness tester, or specialise in a particular area like motorsport engineering.

You could also work on electric and hybrid cars, or specialise in tuning and modifying vehicles for higher performance.

You could also set up your own business.