Mechanic is defined by the Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary as “a person whose job is repairing machines, especially the engines of vehicles.” Mechanics usually work with hand tools.
An automotive mechanic can be anyone, certified or not that is more equipped to handle the mechanical aspects of automotive repair.
Technician is defined by the Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary as “a person whose job is keeping a particular type of equipment or machinery in good condition.” Technicians usually work with technology.
The conventional view is, Automotive Technicians are individuals who deal with more of the computerized side of vehicles. This became popularized as cars started to become more computerized, which presented a need to deal with the on-board diagnostics. Automotive Mechanics tend to be self-taught and deal more with the nuts and bolts of vehicle repair. However, that does not mean an auto mechanic cannot be skilled in many aspects of vehicle repair. Many mechanics have adapted a wide array of skills that has enabled them to become capable of servicing vehicles of all makes and models.
Modern vehicles are much more complex then their older predecessors. With electronic control systems taking over what used to be controlled purely by mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems in the past, the modern automobile exposes the ever-widening gap between the skills required to be considered a technician versus that of a mechanic.
Repair shops should not hire an Automotive Technician to simply diagnose problems and then hand off the second part of the job to someone who is labeled as an auto mechanic. Auto technicians typically take care of the diagnosis and repair. Otherwise, it would cost a repair shop much more in terms of payroll. In the end, all technicians are mechanics, but not all mechanics are technicians. It is up to you as a business owner or service manager to hire accordingly.
-Jon Parks, October 26, 2018