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A mechanic performs general maintenance and repairs on cars, trucks, small engines and other transportation vehicles. Mechanics can specialize in maintenance services such as oil changes or repairs to automobile bodies, small engines, tires, diesel engines, brakes or transmissions. Most mechanics work for automotive garages or dealerships, though a significant number work independently.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of job growth among mechanics is expected to be about the same as the average for all occupations over the next decade. This roughly translates into 46,000 new jobs, a 6% increase between 2016 and 2026. The demand for diesel mechanics is much higher at about 12% over the same period.
Mechanics work in a variety of settings depending on the nature of their positions. Most commonly, mechanics work in automotive repair garages. Others work for car rental services or dealerships. Still, others work independently and, in the case of tractor-trailer breakdowns, frequently perform on-site roadside repair.
Mechanics aren't limited to working on automobiles. Small engine mechanics work on smaller equipment, such as golf carts, lawnmowers, chainsaws and leaf blowers. Heavy vehicle mechanics maintain and repair tractor-trailers and farm machinery. Diesel mechanics specialize in increasingly complex diesel engines found in buses, planes and large trucks.