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.
On the other hand, engineers focus on a broader aspect of designing, developing, and improving performance.
In this article, I will discuss mechanics vs. engineers, their responsibilities or job descriptions, job growth trends, salaries, and the difference between them.
What is a mechanic?
A mechanic 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?
To work as a mechanic, one 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 the required work experience.
What is an engineer?
An engineer is generally one who focuses on more detailed technical knowledge.
An engineer focuses on what causes larger issues, designing new technologies and improving on 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 requires educational training and an internship program to apply the knowledge gained.
Mechanic vs. engineer – Job description
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.
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 similar, they are two different fields. The difference between these two fields include the following;
1. Nature of their duties
Mechanics focuses mainly on diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining a vehicle.
On the other hand, an engineer focuses mainly on designing and developing an already existing technology. It could be either mechanical or electrical.
2. Different requirements
As mentioned earlier, a mechanic job requires only a service program certificate of achievement. An engineering job requires a bachelor’s degree in any engineering branch.
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 experience of 0–5 years earns around $70,000.
4. Real-life application
A mechanic’s job mostly applies to vehicles and other electrical aspects.
On the other hand, an engineering job can be applied to various fields such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or even computer science.
A mechanic works mainly in a workshop or a garage, and some even work with car dealerships.
On the other hand, engineers 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 per year. On the other hand, engineers grow at a rate of 9 percent per year.
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 several disciplines that can be applied. On the other hand, mechanics 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, you can choose to become a mechanic because mechanics only need an associate’s degree or certificate.
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 want to take on fewer responsibilities, you can pursue a career in mechanics. On the other hand, if you feel you can take on a high level of responsibility, 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 prefer to solve problems with your hands rather than your brain, you should consider becoming a mechanic.
Is mechanic and mechanical engineering the same thing?
No, they are not. Mechanics focus on the repair and maintenance of a vehicle. While mechanical engineering focuses on the machinery’s design, production, and operation.
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 know how cars work but may not necessarily know how to repair them.
How much do mechanics earn yearly?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mechanics earn around $30,000 annually.
While these two fields are notably lucrative and are still fast-growing, engineering is considered a better choice. This is because it offers more financial benefits 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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