A mechanic apprentice works under the direct supervision of the master mechanic. An apprentice is a student who is learning the job while working. It is the responsibility of the master mechanic to train the apprentice and provide opportunities to use new skills. A mechanic apprentice can work in a wide range of industries, ranging from automotive to a production facility.
Apprenticeships are a traditional method of training people in the skilled trades. At the beginning of the industrial age, young men in their early teens, would leave their homes to go and live with a master tradesman. They would work in the shop for free, while slowly learning the trade. Over time, they would gain the skills necessary to set up their own shop.
Over time, this process has changed slightly, so that both men and woman are accepted, it is no longer necessary to live with the master tradesman, and most apprentices have finished high school. Many states do not require high school graduation to work as an apprentice, and this career path is popular with students who do not enjoy classroom learning.
There are three main tasks of a mechanic apprentice: cleaning, observing, and practicing. The very first task assigned to a mechanic apprentice is usually cleaning. Although not very glamorous, cleaning allows you the opportunity to observe the different positions in the company, find out where everything is, and get used to a work environment.
Cleaning is an excellent way for the employer to evaluate your work ethic. Someone who is diligent at the most menial task has the attitude required to become a careful, successful trades person. An apprentice who is unwilling to work hard, puts in a poor effort, and has excuses for their lack of performance will soon be fired.
Almost all master mechanics will establish a learning program for the apprentice. Throughout the workweek, the master mechanic will take time to teach a new skill to the mechanic apprentice. An opportunity to practice the skill will be provided. The trainer will then inspect the quality of the work, provide instruction where needed, and review lessons learned. Over time, the apprentice learns all the skills necessary to complete the tasks of the trade.
People who report the greatest satisfaction as a mechanic apprentice are mechanically inclined, enjoy problem solving, and are good team players. Although skilled trades have traditionally been a male-dominated industry, an increasing number of women are finding their niche in this area. Invest the time necessary to learn about all the different kinds of mechanics to see if this type of career is of interest to you.