Mechanical devices and machines need regular maintenance and repair, so a specially trained mechanic will take on the responsibility of ensuring such machines are usable and safe. A mechanic trainee is a person who is in the beginning stages of learning mechanical repair and maintenance skills that will allow him or her to become a full-time licensed mechanic in the future. The mechanic trainee will generally work under the guidance and tutelage of a more experienced mechanic who can teach the skills necessary to be successful in the field.
Due to the differing natures of various types of mechanic work, the duties of a mechanic trainee are likely to vary significantly. An aircraft mechanic, for example, will have different responsibilities than a car mechanic because the natures of these two types of vehicles are so different. A heavy equipment mechanic will need a separate set of skills than an industrial mechanic in some cases. In all settings, however, the mechanic trainee is likely to spend a significant amount of time learning safety procedures that will ensure his or her safety as well as the safety of others on a job site. Classroom sessions as well as hands-on learning are both likely to be included in the trainee's apprenticeship.
In various regions throughout the world, the mechanic trainee is likely to be required to earn certain certifications or licenses that pertain to mechanical work. Such certifications can be earned during the trainee period, and in many cases, the traineeship will not be considered complete until the trainee earns such certifications. Preparation classes or materials may be made available to the trainee so he or she will be ready to take and pass the necessary exams. Once the trainee becomes a mechanic, he or she may need to renew certifications periodically throughout his or her career.
Sometimes a traineeship is known as an apprenticeship, and the trainee is known as an apprentice. Apprenticeships can last anywhere from one to five years, and they tend to be in-depth training periods that will ensure the apprentice is prepared to become a journeyman mechanic. Apprentices generally get paid a percentage of what a full time mechanic would make, though the pay scale can vary by employer. During an apprenticeship, the apprentice is likely to start with fairly simple tasks that require little or no training; as the apprenticeship period progresses, he or she will take on more complex tasks more regularly, always under the guidance of a more experienced mechanic.