Changing Gears: 12 Career Change Ideas for Mechanics

Are you a mechanic looking to make a career change? Find out about job transition opportunities available for mechanics! Learn about required qualifications for new roles and how to develop the transferable skills needed to unlock new pathways for success!
Are you a mechanic who is looking for a new career path? If so, there are many exciting and rewarding career paths that you can transition into. So whether you're ready to change careers or just exploring your options, find out how to make the leap into career satisfaction with our 12 different career change ideas for mechanics. Get the goods, including salary information and how to make the big transition!
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Why Make a Change?

Career changes usually start with feeling dissatisfied with your current job. According to a mechanic of 5 years, being an auto mechanic is not worth it.

Even if you love cars, the automotive industry can ruin your joy and excitement. Some downsides include low income, heavy lifting, and working with chemicals and carcinogens.

Sometimes you just need a new position to find career satisfaction!

How Can I Go About Changing Careers?

Career transitions are not as difficult as you might think. Consider your transferable skills (the skills you already have), and then find the courses you need to upskill and change your career!

As an automotive technician or service technician in a body shop, you have many transferable skills. 

While you may not have a mechanical engineering degree, you can likely make just as much income in positions utilizing your own personal experience and mechanical knowledge without a 4-year degree!

Automotive mechanics are known for their troubleshooting skills, mechanical aptitude, and good understanding of complex electrical systems.

While auto repair may not be your thing, you can stay in the automotive field using your existing skills or move into an entirely new field.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Transferable Skill 1: Mechanical Skills

1- Automotive Service Manager

The estimated total pay for Automotive Service Managers is $59,441 to $74,882 with an average base salary of $66,239. (1)

Qualifications include work experience in the automotive field and a strong understanding of customer service. As an automotive service manager and former mechanic, you're responsible for overseeing shop safety and the process needed to repair vehicles. With the use of familiar diagnostic scan tools and handling the management of service technicians, the only skills you may need to hone are your leadership skills.

Our Unmudl online course on Supervisor Skills can bring you the knowledge you need to get the job! You can learn practical management and leadership techniques, including:

  • Team development
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Employment law

2- Truck Driver

The average salary for a Truck Driver is $81,631 per year in the US. (1) 

You may already have the skills you need to get started in this industry, with an understanding of preventative maintenance techniques that will keep your vehicle running and the know-how to fix problems while on the road!

Of course, you also need a good sense of direction and knowledge of the areas you'll drive.

Transferable Skill 2: Technical Skills

In addition to your technical knowledge, you likely have great technical skills and can interpret schematics, use testing equipment, understand industry standards, and understand complex systems.

Let's look at some technical career paths that you can transition into!

3- Plumber

Plumbers made a median salary of $59,880 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,890 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $46,590. (1)

Use your mechanical aptitude to diagnose problems and identify solutions quickly. By utilizing your existing skillset and learning a few new tricks, you can make a comfortable living in the plumbing field.

Consider our Unmudl course, Fast Track to Plumbing, to get started in this exciting field!

4- Electrician

Electricians made a median salary of $60,040 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,350 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $46,900. (1)

As an electrician, you'll need to understand electrical systems and have problem-solving skills to identify issues and repair them quickly. You'll also need a good set of customer service skills when dealing with clients as well as safety protocols for hazardous materials.

Check out our Unmudl Fast Track to Electrician to get started as an electrician by learning concepts and procedures for building and construction electrical training.

A black male electrician
Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

5- Home Inspector

A home inspector's average salary can range between $44,000 per year on the low end and over $60,000 per year on the high end. The top ten percent of home inspectors can expect an annual salary of $100,520. (1)

You'll need to understand basic systems in the home, such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC units. You'll also need to communicate effectively with clients and contractors.

Consider our Unmudl Fast Track to Plumbing and Fast Track to Electrician to get started with your education for this well-paying career!

6- Gas Plant or Power Plant Operators

"As of Feb 20, 2023, the average annual pay for a Gas Plant Operator is $46,370 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $22.29 an hour. This is the equivalent of $891/week or $3,864/month." (1)

Qualifications generally include showing attention to detail, multi-tasking, and understanding how to balance priorities, follow directions, and work independently. Additional knowledge about manufacturing or the chemicals involved in the job you seek are huge pluses!

To get started showing interest in this career and learning some of the principles involved, consider an online and on-demand course such as:ELEC200-Basic Principles of Natural Gas Spring 2023

Transferable Skill 3: Mechanical Systems

Your mind is likely familiar with using critical thinking to solve mechanical issues. This can be valuable in industries like robotics and industrial automation.

7- Private Aircraft Pilot or Aviation Mechanic

Aircraft Pilot

Salaries for private pilots run from $50,000 to over $100,000. Qualifications generally the ability to multi-task, think on your feet and remain calm in stressful situations. You'll also need complete hundreds of hours of flight time, understand FAA regulations and safety standards, and obtain certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Consider a complete training course such as Private Pilot Ground School to move into your career in the skies working with private clients! This online on-demand ground school course offers 35 hours of content to help you pass your FAA Written Exam on the way to becoming a Private Pilot.

Aviation Mechanic

Aircraft mechanics who work on jets earn an average salary of $86,030. The range of pay starts at $74,960 and exceeds $100,000 depending on experience, licenses, etc. (1)

Learn how to become an aircraft mechanic using the critical thinking skills you learned working on cars. Diagnose problems using familiar tools with a bit of additional training!

Learn maintenance fundamentals such as Federal Aviation Regulations, aviation math, aircraft drawings, and basic electricity with our Unmudl course Part 65 Airframe & Powerplant Certification Prep.

Gain the knowledge to perform inspections, functional checks, and adjustments on many airframe and powerplant systems. Learn specialized skills in aircraft structural repair.

Co-Pilot flying over Indiana
Photo by Mariah Krafft on Unsplash

8- Mechatronics: Industrial Technician and Maintenance Roles

Earn $46,000-$56,000 per year with great benefits and experience opportunities for growth. In this role, you maintain and troubleshoot material handling equipment in an advanced manufacturing role. 

With Unmudl, our mechatronics courses come with possible cost reimbursement with successful completion.

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Transferable Skill 4: Computer & Technology

Your computer and technology skills can help you transition into other careers working at a desk or even from home!

9- Network Engineer or Computer Programmer

The average Network Engineer salary in the United States is $94,799, but the salary range typically falls between $84,132 and $107,602. (1)

As a network engineer, you are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining networks in large business or government organizations.

Often, you need knowledge of routing protocols such as TCP/IP. Additional certifications may also be required depending on the job position. Consider a certification program such as CompTIA Network+ Certification Training to get started in this lucrative field!

If you're all about systems thinking and enjoy logical progressions of thought, consider computer programming as a career. They make similar salaries to network engineers. 

To get started, check out programming courses such as:

Or try a different type of computer career, focused on hacking!

10- Cyber Security Analyst

Cyber security analysts protect digital information from hackers and cybercriminals by monitoring networks and systems for any potential threats. Average salaries in the US range from $90,000 to $125,000.

This role requires strong technical skills such as programming languages like Java and Python, along with advanced knowledge of computer networking.

A course such as EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (ECIH) can help you get started learning the mid-level skills required. Gain fundamental skills to handle and respond to computer security incidents. Learn proficiency in handling and responding to various security incidents, such as network security incidents, malicious code incidents, and insider attack threats.

Or consider the course EC Council-Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or EC Council-Hacking Forensics Investigator to understand how security incidents come about in the first place!

Transferable Skill 5: Sales & Customer Service

If you're a people person, you may find a new passion in customer service or sales and enjoy the challenges and rewards of more social interaction!

11- Customer Service Representative

The average Parts Customer Service Representative salary in the United States is $37,402, but the salary range typically falls between $33,373 and $42,167. (1)

As a customer service representative for mechanical parts companies, you’ll need strong communication skills and knowledge of the parts industry. You must be able to answer customer inquiries and help them find the right parts.

Becoming a customer service representative is a great way to use your knowledge of the automotive field and help others.

12- Sales Representatives 

Sales representative salaries vary widely depending on the company, industry, and location. However, on average, sales representatives in the automotive field can make $50,000 or more per year with commissions.

Qualifications for this position include knowledge of the industry and excellent communication skills to explain product details and build customer relationships.

Sales representatives use their knowledge to provide advice and support about products, services, prices, and delivery dates.With your prior experience, you have a big advantage when it comes to understanding customer needs and offering solutions.

Our Unmudl online course DISC Communication ToolKit can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in the sales world, including:

  • Social perceptiveness
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking

These are just a few of the job opportunities available for former mechanics! With the right qualifications and skills, you can easily transition into any career that uses your skills and passions. Sometimes all you need is a bit of time and a few classes!

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Let Unmudl's Skills to Jobs Network Get You Started

Unmudl Skills to Jobs™ Marketplace makes career change possible with our extensive community college and vast employer network! Find courses that suit your career aspirations and work with your schedule and lifestyle.

Some courses even include guaranteed interviews or course reimbursement upon successful completion!

Earn the credentials from our Community College Partners for the career you want, and then check out our Employer Network to find your new job! Explore the programs you need to get job-ready quickly & affordably:

Chat, call us at 1 512-669-5624, or check out Unmudl online to learn more!

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