Types of Mechanics in Australia

Whether you’re trying to find the right type of mechanic for a job, or considering becoming one as a career, this guide is for you! We reveal the types of jobs an Aussie mechanic can do for you, as well as how much they earn, demand for their specific trade and so much more!

There are more than 5 different types of mechanics in Australia, so at times, it can be confusing knowing which one is the right one for you. However, knowing this will help you save both time and money in the long run, as well keep you safe behind the wheel. But how do you know automotive industry professional is the right one for your job?

The type of mechanic you need will depend on your type of vehicle, engine, as well as the make, model or issue at hand. In this guide to auto mechanics in Australia, we take you through the different types, what they do, how much they earn and a few other things you need to know.

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

What are the different types of mechanics in Australia?

Auto Mechanic

What does an auto mechanic do?

Auto or motor mechanics are your everyday go-to for passenger vehicles and can help with things like scheduled maintenance, servicing and repairs. They will be your first stop when you experience car troubles or that engine warning light pops on.

Common issues an auto mechanic can help you with include:

  • Oil and fluid changes.
  • Brake replacements.
  • Engine problems.
  • Transmission issues.
  • Suspension and shock absorber repairs.
  • Logbook servicing.

How much do auto mechanics in Australia make?

The average salary for auto mechanics in Australia is $60,000, which averages wages for fully qualified and apprentice mechanics. Like any job, your experience and skill will depend on how much you earn. For example, someone with 40 years’ experience will earn more than someone in the middle of their certificate iii in light vehicle mechanics. How many hours per week you work and if you’re full time or contract will also determine your weekly pay cheque.

Demand for mechanics is also considered quite high with 947 jobs available on seek.com.au at the time of writing this article. However, the projected job growth for the industry is actually in the negative, at -2% over the next 5 years, which can be attributed to technology evolving in mechanic technology.

What is the difference between a mechanic and an auto electrician?

A mechanic is fully qualified to work on the mechanical aspects of your car, like your engine, brakes and suspension. On the other hand, if it’s the electrical components of your car that need attention, you need an auto electrician.

Heavy Vehicle Mechanic

What does a heavy vehicle mechanic do?

The work of heavy vehicle mechanics is similar to an auto mechanic, except they work with large, industrial-sized vehicles, including trucks, buses and agricultural or earthmoving machinery. This requires the mechanic to have specialised skills due to the size and complexity of these vehicles.

Common issues a heavy vehicle mechanic can help you with include:

  • Steering and brake systems.
  • Transmission.
  • Diagnostics.
  • Servicing.
  • Engine-forced induction systems.
  • Diesel fuel systems.

How much do heavy vehicle mechanics in Australia make?

A heavy vehicle mechanic can make around $70,000 a year in Australia. With 652 jobs available on indeed.com.au at the time of writing this article, it’s considered a fairly in-demand job. 

Job growth for this industry is at -2% over the next 5 years so there is actually a shortage of heavy vehicle mechanics in the country making it a good trade to get into, if you’re deciding on what area of the automotive industry you’d like to work in.

Do heavy vehicle mechanics work on cars?

The short answer is generally, no. As their equipment will be specialised for larger mechanical components, it’ll be easier for yourself to go to a standard mechanic.

Diesel Mechanic

What does a diesel mechanic do?

As the name implies, diesel mechanics are specialists in diesel engine vehicles. They diagnose, maintain and repair any car, bus, truck or farm equipment with a diesel engine, and will also ensure compliance with current pollution regulations.

How much do diesel mechanics in Australia make?

Diesel mechanics, on average in Australia, make $74,000 which is an average of qualified and apprentice diesel mechanics. This will change depending on your experience. For example, a fully qualified diesel mechanic who has worked for 30 years’ will earn more than an apprentice. How many hours you work and if you’re full time or contract will also play a part.

Diesel mechanics are in quite high demand with 1,056 jobs currently available on neuvoo.com.au at the time of writing this article. Job growth in this area in down, at -1.9% over the next 5 years.

What is the difference between a diesel mechanic and a diesel technician?

A diesel mechanic will work on all mechanical parts of a vehicle, while a diesel technician deals with the electrical and exhaust systems. 

Auto Electrician

What does an auto electrician do?

Auto electricians are specialised in diagnosing and repairing the electrical components of vehicles. So, if you have an issue with your air conditioner, alternator, lights or audio system, an auto electrician is the type of ‘mechanic’ you need. 

How much do auto electricians in Australia make?

Salary for an auto electrician in Australia is $110,000, which is an average of all workers, including apprentices. This changes with your level of experience. A qualified auto electrician with 25+ years’ experience will always earn more than an apprentice. 

With 361 jobs currently available in Australia on seek.com.au, the demand for auto electricians is considered average. Projected job growth for this role is -0.9% over the next 5 years, but the rise of electric vehicles will see this become a more in-demand job.

Is an auto electrician also a residential electrician? 

Nope! While they’re both qualified to work with electrical components, their work is very different. An auto electrician works on vehicles, while an electrician works on buildings. A great rule of thumb is, if it moves then you need an auto mechanic.  

Mobile Mechanic

What does a mobile mechanic do?

A mobile mechanic is essentially a regular auto technician, but they come to you. This is particularly handy if you breakdown or need a service and you’re too busy to get to a workshop.

The services on offer with vary depending on the business. One may have diagnostic equipment loaded on their van, while another may do simple roadworthy inspections only. A website like Localsearch will help you track down who can do what for you, and give you everything you need to get in touch with them for a quote.

How much do Mobile Mechanic in Australia make?

An average wage for a mobile mechanic in Australia can be a little difficult to put a specific number on, as they are often paid on a per-job basis, or it’s on top of also working in a workshop. However, the average salary seems to be around the $65,000 a year mark.

While there were only 322 available positions on Indeed for mobile mechanics at the time of writing this article, this isn’t an indicator of demand for this specific type of mechanic. Mobile auto technicians will often be working for themselves. In some cases, it’s also a ‘who you know’ situation, with jobs being offered to those within the trade already.

Is a mobile mechanic more expensive?

Like any business, it depends. As a mobile mechanic doesn’t have the overheads of a workshop and much of the equipment, they can actually be more cost effective. On the flip side, they may not offer as many services as a mechanic in a workshop can.

Before you get any mechanical work done, it’s best to get a quote done anyway.

Now you know what type of mechanic in Australia you need, find them on Localsearch!

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      Luke Davidson

      Digital Content Specialist

      Luke Davidson is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch, his professional journey ranges from startups to international digital agencies working in content for a wide variety of clients, big or small. When he isn't deep diving content, data and SEO, Luke is an avid guitarist, surfer, coffee nut and gamer. As a digital content specialist and lifestyle fanatic, Luke provides valuable insights on lifestyle musings on the Localsearch Blog.