Difference Between Mechanic and Technician

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 23, 2023

       

Difference Between Mechanic and Technician

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Introduction

In the past, not very old; the term that used to come to mind when one’s car needed maintenance or repair was ‘mechanic’. But nowadays, we tend to accord a little more respect to the one who will fix your car, and thus the term ‘technician’ is more prevalent nowadays. But there’s a downside to this term: there are many who feel that the rates for engaging a technician outweigh those that were paid to a mechanic. However, that difference does not really cover the basic concept behind each of the two terms we are planning to study in this article.

As already mentioned, one of the reasons why the term ‘technician’ came into ordinary parlance was to grant a little more respect to the profession. This can be understood by considering the stigma that was associated with the term ‘mechanic’ as mechanics were considered people belonging to the lower strata of society. It should be noted that whoever can fix the problems with your car, is willing to get dirty while trying to achieve that purpose, and is even willing to take the risk of an injury when doing the same, deserves a lot of respect.

But there are other reasons why the stigma is fast disappearing. Call him what you may, but the guy who repairs your car, nowadays, can be seen wearing a clean uniform, which would most probably be a lab coat. But the nature of the job remains the same. The patch, however, has changed. The debate is neverending. The only answer to this confusion is that the term ‘mechanic’ has evolved over time, and what was once looked down upon is now a respectable profession, and therefore it is rightly called ‘technician’.

Mechanic vs Technician

The key difference between a Mechanic and a Technician can be appreciated by considering the usage of their skills. In other words, the former’s skills are more physical while the latter tends to depend more on mental skills; that is, the Mechanic is concerned more with the repair work, while the Technician is the one who is known for his diagnostic capabilities. We will try to illustrate the difference with an example. Consider a car which requires the replacement of the front brakes. Now both of our subjects are capable of doing the needful, but if the customer comes up with the question ‘why the need for change of brakes?’ it is only the Technician who can give an explanation to that.

Further, the systems of vehicles of our modern age are a lot more complicated than what one would find in the vehicles from yesteryears. The controls in vehicles from olden days consisted of mechanical and hydraulic systems. But nowadays, the systems are so complex that they need specialized knowledge, which a Mechanic does not possess. Earlier, a mechanic could do the simple task of rebuilding front brakes because something like worn-out pads could be detected by the naked eye, but the reason behind the same problem would require the expertise of a Technician since he is educated in the knowledge of the car’s systems which nowadays are computerized.

Differences Between Technician and Mechanic In Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonMechanicTechnician
Main differenceIt is the mechanic’s job to repair stuffThe technician’s job is to ensure quality servicing.
Main domainThe mechanic’s domain is restricted to automobiles and certain other vehiclesThe technician has an edge over the mechanic because his work is spread over many domains.
Tools and implementsThe mechanic depends on his bare hands and simple tools like drills and hammersThe technician is way ahead of the mechanic in this regard because he is capable of using computers.
Knowledge levelThe mechanic’s knowledge base is limitedThe technician’s knowledge base is far more detailed than that of a mechanic
Type of skillsetThe mechanic’s skillset is totally labour basedThe technician’s skillset is based on intellect

What Is a Technician?

The world of vehicles can be quite vast, so vast, in fact, that it can be compared to the world of medicine. This is because there are different fields in the world of automotives, and each requires a different specialist. It is thus that repair or fixing of an automotive needs more than just a mechanic. It requires the expertise of technicians. Unlike a mechanic who has learnt the tricks of his trade mainly by hit and trial methods, a technician has gone into indepth study and training as far as the electronics segment of his field is concerned. He has attained expertise in the technical diagnosis of automobiles. He is, therefore, very comfortable with regards to the electronic system of the vehicle in question and can perform various functions like troubleshooting, maintaining, and repairing the same. He does this with such perfection that there is no chance of him causing any further damage to the vehicle.

This brings us to the definition of a technician. A technician is one whose primary focus is to diagnose the electronic systems of a vehicle and to find and fix problems of the same. In other words, he is an expert on the electronic components of an automotive.

Types of Technicians

Service Technicians

Routine servicing of vehicles is carried out by service technicians. They align themselves with the manufacturer’s suggestions and accordingly check oil levels. They follow servicing schedules while they are checking the mechanical and electrical parts of the vehicles. Ignition systems also fall under their purview and are, therefore, concerned with poor starting of cars and also they diagnose and correct fuel consumption when it breaches normal levels.

Diagnostic Technicians 

They perform certain duties which are similar to the duties of service technician. Just like the latter, they have certain tools at their disposal which they use to narrow down on the problems with ignition and other functions of the engine. As the automotive systems become more complex with the passage of time, diagnostic technicians are being seen more and more in the workshops.

Brake and Transmission Technicians

Technicians in this category are entrusted the job of ensuring the safety of the vehicles. This they do by first diagnosing, and then based on that diagnosis, they repair brake systems, which include electronic systems that come with the braking systems. This is a highly specialized branch of technicians, and only big workshops can afford to employ them to take care of braking as well as transmission systems. Their task is not limited to just braking systems, but they also shoulder the responsibility of making sure that the efficiency of the steering components and power train is maintained at the highest level. They are expected to have the know-how of various electronic systems that control parts of the vehicle, such as four-wheel-drive systems.

Body Repair Technicians

Technicians in this category are in charge of repairing and/or replacing worn-out body parts. Similar action is expected of them in the case of damaged components. The components or parts include panels, headlights, fenders, etc. The main causes for damage or worn-out components are accidents or normal wear and tear over time. It is in their hands to decide whether to repair or replace the components in question. For this, they have to work on the economic factor. Minor dents and scratches require repairs of a cosmetic nature, and these technicians are adept at the same.

What Is a Mechanic?

A mechanic is one who is responsible for maintenance of a preventative nature. His job entails inspecting the mechanical parts, especially the engine, repairing brakes, and transmission, as also the replacement of the same. Further, he is involved in setting the heating and air systems of the vehicle.

With respect to the engine, a mechanic is an expert in disassembling and reassembling it. The mechanic performs certain basic functions, such as changing the oil and the pads of the brakes of the vehicle.

Types of Mechanics

Diesel Mechanic 

As the name suggests, this category of mechanics works with vehicles that support diesel engines. These include trucks, cars, and generators. So basically, they are concerned with equipment that is heavy in nature.

Brake and Transmission Mechanic

Their job involves the repair of transmissions and braking systems

Automotive Service Mechanic

Routine maintenance of the vehicles comes under the ambit of this type of mechanics. They serve the purpose of tire rotations and changing of oil. Diagnosing issues with the engine of the vehicles is one of the most important function of such mechanics.

Lube Mechanics

They are mainly concerned with changing of oil and basic maintenance of automotives.

Front-End Mechanics

Repair of steering and suspensions form the basic functions of this type of mechanics.

Race Car Mechanic

This is a specialized type of mechanics. They work on cars that are used in racing. It would be fair to say that they are concerned with vehicles that are associated with high level performance.

Main Differences Between Mechanic and Technician In Points

Job Responsibilities

A Mechanic’s job responsibilities differ from those of a Technician. The former is responsible for repairs of a routine nature. He is involved in testing automotives and checking their mileage point. Preparation of price quotes and conducting quality checks also figure in his job responsibilities.

A technician’s role is more specialized than that of a mechanic. He has to deal with the diagnostic codes of vehicles. He is the one who does the planning of repairs, which the mechanic then carries out. He is capable of using computers to assess the vehicle’s problems. Also, he is the only one who can tell what malfunctions are present in the vehicle.

Nature of Work

There is a stark difference when it comes to the nature of work that Technicians do vis a vis the work that Mechanics do. The technician’s job is more mental, while the mechanic’s job is more physical. Technicians are involved in critical thinking and deductive reasoning. Their job entails strategizing. Mechanics are not expected to reason and strategize; they have learned most of their work by hit-and-trial methods.

Usage of Technology

Nowadays, it’s not just about wrenches and screwdrivers when an automotive is concerned. Most vehicles in this digital age work on complex computer systems. Mechanics of the olden days are not expected to be familiar with this kind of technology, and therefore, the onus is on the technicians to understand and implement such specialized knowledge.

Domain

Mechanics are more often than not limited to automobile work only. But a technician is a broader term that encompasses domains like computers, electronics, and even medical equipment.

Tools

A mechanic is associated with tools like hammers and drills, but the technician is known for his capability to use advanced tools like computers.

Conclusion

The usage of the two terms Mechanic and Technician can be confusing when it comes to assigning the job to the right person. However, it is generally seen that mechanics work on older vehicles while technicians work on newer vehicles. The reason for this is that modern-day vehicles come with complex computer systems that do not fall under a mechanic’s role. The mechanics have learned their job by trial and error, which is obviously not enough when there is a need to diagnose a complex computer issue. The technicians have undergone specialized training because of which they can deal with issues of such nature.

However, there is a considerable overlap when assigning work to our subjects of discussion. Nowadays, even mechanics are upgrading their knowledge about the modern-day systems of an automotive. Often, it is seen that even the mechanics are adept at handling issues with newer cars.

Mechanics with a high aptitude are drawn towards higher remuneration, and this asks them not to limit themselves to just one line of work. So, gaining that extra bit of knowledge is highly recommended for the mechanics. But it is not only the mechanics who stand to benefit from the upgradation of knowledge. When a mechanic steps into the shoes of a technician, the automotive business also stands to benefit because then it needs to hire a lesser number of people, which ultimately leads to a reduction in costs.

References

  • https://knowhow.napaonline.com
  • https://www.indeed.com
  • https://work.chron.com
  • https://www.postonmotorcompany.com

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"Difference Between Mechanic and Technician." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 17 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-mechanic-and-technician>.



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