Starting a Career in Mechanics? 10 Unique Specialties to Consider

Mechanics have a wide range of career options beyond traditional automotive repair. For people who are considering this path, it’s good to know the variety of career options and specialties that are available. Some people don’t care what kind of mechanic work they do while others have a passion for a specific type of work or a specific type of vehicle, such as aircraft or classic cars. Here are some interesting and unusual jobs for mechanics:

Aircraft Mechanic

Aviation mechanics are necessary to work on the maintenance and repair of aircraft, including engines, electrical systems, and avionics. This field offers opportunities to work with various types of aircraft, from small planes to commercial jets, and in both the private and public sectors. Examples of public mechanic work include those doing Boeing landing gear services. Many aircraft mechanics are hired by the various branches of the United States military. Aircraft technicians are certified by the FAA and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make around $65,000 a year. Understandably, the highest number of jobs for people with this certification can be found in areas with large airports or Air Force bases.

Marine Mechanic

Marine mechanics specialize in the repair and maintenance of boats and other watercraft. This involves working on engines, propulsion systems, electrical systems, and other components. Mechanics working on ships and boats average around $50,000 a year in income, depending on the types of boats they repair and who they work for. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of marine mechanics work for private repair companies, vehicle dealers, and small businesses. Most marine mechanics live in areas near coasts or large lakes, and many work for the military.

Industrial Machinery Mechanic

The repair and maintenance of heavy machinery and equipment used in manufacturing, construction, and other industries are usually done by industrial mechanics. This may include diagnosing and fixing mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical issues. This career pays around $60,000 a year. Industrial mechanics often receive on-the-job training as well as certifications or degrees and sometimes have finished apprenticeships. The demand for industrial mechanics is expected to grow faster than the average rate for all jobs.

Renewable Energy Technician

These specialists focus on maintaining and repairing equipment used in renewable energy generation, such as wind turbines or solar panels. This field combines mechanical skills with knowledge of sustainable energy systems. Many people in this field are focused on the installation of renewable energy, especially solar energy systems. However, there are many other options in this career as well. There are a variety of pay scales in this field depending on the specialty of each technician. For example, wind turbine mechanics might make more than $60,000 annually while solar panel installers average just under $50,000 a year.

Heavy Equipment Technician

Mechanics that specialize in heavy equipment spend their time servicing and repairing large construction and earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers, excavators, and loaders. This job involves diagnosing mechanical problems, replacing parts, and conducting routine maintenance. While many aspects of this job are similar to the work other mechanics do, much of the work is specialized. Mechanics learn on the job as well as through education in certificate or degree programs. The average pay for heavy equipment mechanics is between $50,000 and $60,000 annually.

Robotics Technician

Robotic technicians are trained to work with robotic systems, maintaining and repairing industrial robots such as those used in manufacturing, automation, or research. This field requires knowledge of mechanical systems, electronics, and programming. Unlike many people in mechanics specialties, robotics technicians often take a different educational path. Robotic technicians earn over $60,000 a year and have degrees in such areas as robotics, electrical engineering, and technology. Certificates and on-the-job training are also available.

Motorsports Technician

Motorsports technicians are mechanics who specialize in high-performance vehicles used in motorsports, such as race cars or motorcycles. This job involves optimizing vehicle performance, making modifications, and troubleshooting mechanical issues. Like other mechanics, most motorsports technicians have a degree or certificate as well as on-the-job training specializing in motorsports vehicles. Mechanics in this field tend to make an income similar to that of all mechanics.

Railroad Mechanic

Railroad mechanics are trained diesel mechanics who work on and repair locomotives, train cars, and other railway equipment. This field requires expertise in diesel engines, electrical systems, and hydraulics. Most railroad mechanics are trained in a certificate or degree program for diesel engines and then go on to learn more specifically about trains once they are employed. Apprentice programs are also common. Diesel mechanics earn an income of $40,000-$60,000 yearly.

Vintage Car Restorer

Car restoration mechanics restore and refurbish classic and vintage cars, bringing them back to their original condition. This job combines mechanical skills with an understanding of automotive history and craftsmanship. Most people in this career start as mechanics on regular vehicles and, once they have more experience, are able to begin specializing in restoring vintage cars. Classic cars are somewhat rare and valuable, so restorers doing this kind of work will have to understand a lot about the specific vehicles they are working on. Beyond training as a mechanic, restoration specialists learn through on-the-job training.

Agricultural Equipment Technician

Agricultural equipment technicians are diesel mechanics who service and repair farming machinery, including tractors, combines, and harvesters. This job involves diagnosing and fixing mechanical issues, performing routine maintenance, and sometimes operating the equipment. While most farmers can perform many services on their own equipment, sometimes a specialist or mechanic is needed for more complicated or lengthy repairs. Mechanics who work on farm equipment usually begin with basic mechanic training and then specialize in agricultural equipment with training and experience. The average salary for an agricultural equipment technician is around $50,000 a year, similar to other mechanics.


From this list of specialties, it is easy to see that with a few exceptions, most mechanics arrive at their careers by following a similar path and the average salary for most of these positions is similar. Mechanics usually get their education by finishing a certificate or degree program and then become specialized in a particular field through on-the-job or apprentice-type training. Some specialties pay more, while the average pay for mechanics in general tends to be around $50,000 to $60,000 a year. Mechanics remain in high demand and this is a good career choice for mechanically-minded, hard-working individuals.