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Electrician Vs. Mechanic

Electrician and mechanic are both skilled vocations that involve specialized knowledge and physical dexterity. Mechanics ensure that vehicles operate safely, while electricians install and maintain electrical systems in buildings.

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Comparing Electricians to Mechanics

Both electricians and mechanics work with electrical systems. Electricians are experts in many different kinds, particularly those found in homes and businesses, while mechanics work on the electronics of automobiles, as well as all of the parts that keep vehicles running safely. Other similarities and differences are discussed below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Electrician High school diploma or equivalent; technical school training or apprenticeship $54,110 9%
Mechanic High school diploma or equivalent; completion of a postsecondary automotive service technology program $39,550 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Electricians vs. Mechanics

Both electrician and mechanic are skilled vocations that require mental and physical stamina. Both work with their hands and must stay up to date on the most recent developments and technologies in their fields. The main overlap in their daily work is electronics. Electricians, as you may have guessed by their name, are experts in this field. They work with all kinds of electronics and may specialize in a certain area, such as lighting or security. As cars have become more technologically advanced, a mechanic's duties have involved more work with electronic systems and computers. Additionally, mechanics work on all aspects of vehicles, including the more traditional elements, such as engines, brakes, and tires.

Electricians

Electricians are the skilled professionals who implement and maintain the electrical systems in homes and businesses, including lighting, communications, and the systems that control various appliances. Electricians must be comfortable using blueprints during installation projects, as well as tools to test systems, such as voltmeters, cable testers, and thermal scanners. A high school diploma is generally required, as well as some sort of additional training, whether through a vocational program or apprenticeship. In addition to knowledge of the most recent technology, electricians must be comfortable performing physically demanding work in a variety of conditions and times.

Job responsibilities of electricians include:

  • Maintain a working knowledge of electrical schematics
  • Adhere to all safety regulations
  • Manage less experienced workers
  • Safely and correctly use hand and power tools for repairs

Mechanics

Mechanics, also known at automotive service technicians, inspect, diagnose, and repair vehicles. These technicians must be knowledgeable about all vehicle parts and systems, including engines, belts, transmissions, and electronic systems. Mechanics must also be familiar with computers and diagnostic equipment used to determine potential issues. To be an automotive technician you must be comfortable working in a noisy garage setting, in potentially physically taxing positions. Communication skills are also important, since mechanics must explain complex issues to customers who may not be familiar with the inner workings of their vehicles. A high school diploma and the completion of a postsecondary training program are generally required.

Job responsibilities of mechanics include:

  • Replace common parts, such as brakes and bearings
  • Test various automotive systems on vehicles
  • Keep up a personal inventory of tools
  • Make repairs to meet manufacturers' specifications and recalls

Related Careers

Those interested in electronics or becoming an electrician may pursue further schooling in order to become an electrical engineer. If, like mechanics, you are very knowledgeable about vehicles, you may enjoy becoming an auto broker, which is another name for a car dealer or sales person.

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