Mechanic Vs Engineer [Difference & Educational Requirements]

Mechanic vs engineer is a contentious topic for some people. This is because they are both tied to working with electrical and mechanical technologies. However, these two fields are entirely different from each other.

Mechanics focuses on diagnosing and repairing vehicles, typically in a workshop or garage.

Engineers, on the other hand, focus on a broader aspect of designing, developing, and improving performance.

In this article, I will discuss mechanic vs engineer, their responsibilities or job description, job growth trend, salary, and the difference between these two.

Who is a mechanic?

who is a mechanic - lmshero

A mechanic is one who checks, diagnoses, repairs, and maintains different types of vehicles.

This field relies mostly on trial and error techniques or a piece-by-piece approach to maintaining or repairing automobile vehicles.

What are the educational requirements to become a mechanic?

For one to work as a mechanic, he must complete an automobile service technology program. This program gives you experience doing some hands-on repair and maintenance while completing traditional coursework.

Another valid requirement for a mechanic is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certificate. This exam is usually taken after the mechanic has gotten the required work experience.

SEE: What Are The Requirements For Getting A Ph.D.?

Who is an engineer?

who is an engineer - lmshero

An engineer is generally one who focuses on more detailed technical knowledge.

An engineer focuses on what causes larger issues, also designing new technologies and improving on the already existing ones.

What are the educational requirements to become an engineer?

The educational requirement for an engineer is a bachelor’s degree. Either in auto-mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, or mechanical engineering.

This program usually requires a level of educational training and an internship program to apply the knowledge learned.

Mechanic vs engineer – Job description

For mechanics

The job description or responsibility of a mechanic is performing routine tasks. Such as oil changing, light replacement, tire replacement, and tune-ups.

Additionally, performing repairs to fix a car’s brakes, transmission, electrical system, cooling system, and other parts.

When a customer’s car is experiencing issues, a mechanic troubleshoots to determine the cause. Afterward, he uses different tools to repair or replace damaged parts of the vehicle.

For engineers

The job description for an engineer includes performing research and designing mechanical and electrical schematics.

They also work to improve the functioning of already existing technologies. An engineer is usually involved in project management, cost control, and quality assurance.

Mechanic vs engineer – What are the differences?

Although they may appear to be similar, they are entirely two different fields. The difference between these two fields include;

1. Nature of their duties

Mechanics focuses mainly on the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of a vehicle.

An engineer on the other hand focuses mainly on designing and developing on an already existing technology. It could be either mechanical or electrical.

2. Different requirements

As earlier mentioned, a mechanic job requires only a service program certificate of achievement. While an engineering job requires a bachelor’s degree in any of the engineering branches.

3. Different salary range

Mechanics and engineers have entirely different salary ranges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a mechanic with an experience of 0 – 5 years earns around $30,000 yearly.

While an engineer, either mechanical or electrical, with an experience of 0 – 5 years earns around $70,000.

SEE: Associate Level Meaning, Salary, And Benefits

4. Application

A mechanics job is mostly applicable to vehicles and a few other electrical aspects.

An engineering job, on the other hand, can be applied to various fields such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or even computer science.

5. Workspace

A mechanic works mainly in a workshop or a garage, and some even work with car dealerships.

Engineers, on the other hand, work with car manufacturers, engineering firms, and technology companies.

Mechanic vs engineer – The growth rate

Being in the mechanic or engineering field, you can expect good prospects from these fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), both occupations experience a positive growth rate yearly.

In detail, the BLS states that mechanics experience a growth rate of 6 percent yearly. While engineers experience a growth of 9 percent yearly.

SEE: Difference Between a Doctor and a Physician

Mechanic vs engineer – Which occupation is better?

Although it is up to personal preference, engineering tends to be a better occupation than its counterpart. This is because it is more financially rewarding.

Additionally, engineering is considered a better alternative because it offers a number of disciplines it can be applied to. Mechanics, on the other hand, has a limited number of fields it can be applied to.

Mechanic vs engineering – How do you choose which is best for you?

When deciding which of these two fields to choose, here are a few things to consider.

1. Level of Education

The level of education you choose to attain can play a huge role in deciding which career to follow. If you wish to get a bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s degree, you can go for engineering.

However, if you choose not to go to school or lack the resources to, you can choose to become a mechanic. Because mechanics only need an associate’s degree or certificate at most.

SEE: What Does Graduate Degree Mean?

2. Level of responsibility

Mechanics are more like the “doers,” and engineers are the designers. Ultimately, engineering requires more work effort than mechanics.

So if you feel you want to take on fewer responsibilities, you can follow a career in mechanics. On the other hand, if you feel you can take on a high level of responsibility, then you can follow the engineering path.

3. Problem-solving abilities

Engineers are required to think of ways to solve a problem, while mechanics offer a hands-on approach. If you have a dexterity for using your hands rather than brainstorming solutions, then you should choose to become a mechanic.

SEE: Is Engineering Hard?


Is mechanic and mechanical engineering the same thing?

No, they are not. Mechanics focuses on the repair and maintenance of a vehicle. While mechanical engineering focuses on the design, production, and operation of machinery.

Can mechanics build cars?

No, they can’t. Although, they are some mechanics with enough experience that are capable of modifying cars.

Can a mechanical engineer repair cars?

Mechanical engineers have knowledge of how cars work but may not necessarily know how to repair cars.

How much do mechanics earn yearly?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mechanics earns around $30,000 per annum.


While these two fields are notably lucrative and are still fast-growing, engineering is considered a better choice. This is because it offers more financially and has a broad range of applications.

If you wish to choose one of these two fields, you should consider a few things first. Your level of education, problem-solving skills, and the level of responsibility you wish to take on.

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