Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Mechanic and Technician

Mechanic vs Technician

If you go to an automobile garage or factory, you may hear about mechanics and technicians. Some think these words are interchangeable, but in fact a mechanic is different from a technician. This article will define both words, explain their differences and similarities, and give you some example sentences so you understand how to use them correctly.

A mechanic, pronounced /məˈkænɪk/, is defined by the Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary as “a person whose job is repairing machines, especially the engines of vehicles” (countable noun). You will most often hear the word used in such collocations as “car mechanic” or “auto mechanic.” There are other types of mechanics, too, including bicycle mechanics, motorcycle mechanics, diesel mechanics, air conditioning mechanics, and general mechanics.

A technician, pronounced /tekˈnɪʃn/, 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” (noun). In this sense, you could talk about a “laboratory technician” or a “computer technician.” Technicians usually work with technology. There are also lighting technicians, chemical technicians, dental technicians, and veterinary technicians.

A big difference between mechanics and technicians is that mechanics use their hands to fix things, while technicians use computers to diagnose problems. For example, a mechanic knows how to take apart an entire engine and put it back together; a technician knows how to make small changes and adjustments to the whole engine in order to help it run smoothly.

Now that you understand the basic differences between a mechanic and a technician, let’s look at some sample sentences and scenarios:

The technician used his diagnostic tools to figure out why my car’s brake warning light was on. Once the technician diagnosed the problem, he gave the car to the mechanic so the mechanic could repair the problem. After the mechanic fixed the problem, the technician used his diagnostic tools again to make sure the problem was really fixed.
The mechanic fixed my car’s leaky water pump by patching the hole.
The technician found a problem with my car’s exhaust pipe.
The bicycle mechanic looked at my bike and figured out how to stop the chain from rubbing.
The aircraft mechanic fixed the airplane’s uneven wheels.
The dental technician used molds of my teeth and mouth to make a retainer for me.
The lighting technicians set up the lighting equipment in preparation for the concert.

Technicians are generally seen as having more detailed, technical knowledge of how things work. Mechanics are seen as laborers who can fix things quickly. Some technicians can also work as mechanics, though they will not necessarily have the skills to do so. A technician may find a problem and then replace the entire part because he does not know how to fix the one problem. In contrast, a mechanic would be able to fix the one problem without having to replace the entire part.

Both mechanics and technicians are important in today’s world. As technology gets more complex, technicians are useful because they can use sophisticated tools to diagnose problems and offer solutions. Mechanics are useful to fix the problems in the best way they know how.

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  1. “technicians use computers to diagnose problems”

    It isn’t true. Today, computers are used to many, many things, like E-mails, researching or reading of technicial documentation.

    I think, working as a technician has very little to do with computer. If You are computer or network technician – OK. If You not – it is only addition to Your work.

    • This is a new age. I’m a technician/mechanic for BMW. A computer system plays a huge role in finding the solution to a problem and I use one every day for that specific reason

  2. Second thing.

    Your art is a depreciation of mechanic profession. It is not about names – it is about job professionalism.

  3. I’m a certified master Ford technician and I can assure you this explanation, while properly defining the words “technician” and “mechanic”, is totally wrong.
    In this day and age, it would be far too inefficient to have a shop with “technicians” diagnosing a problem, sending it to the “mechanic” to fix it, then back to the “technician” to make sure it’s properly fixed.
    No, it doesn’t work like that.
    If someone wants to fix automobiles for a living nowadays, they will have to be able to do everything a “technician” and “mechanic” does.
    This is why we don’t make enough money.

  4. I think the definition are in general correct, ‘in general’s, and actually technician and machenic supposed to do as the definition says above, the problems is that companies Norway’s are pushing for profit and they want their staff to be lean, so they won’t be able or afford to have both the two, now organisation as big a NASA or Boeing yes will go that route. So guys don’t feel offended cos there is nothing offensive here

  5. Mechanics have had complex diagnostics tools for decades before the relatively recent trend of calling them technicians. These same mechanics also made the repairs. To me this trend is driven by companies who want to attract new young employees by giving those normally less desireble positions the more attractive job title of technician.

  6. You are so out of date even back in 2016
    mechanics have been using oscilloscopes /computers for years for diagnosis as they are only some of the diagnosis tools used by mechanics
    So when a mechanic diagnoses a fault using equipment is he then a technician or a qualified mechanic ?
    Dictionaries are only written by a person with limited experience and using there imagination as to what/ think they know what a tradesman does,
    they think some one with a blue collar cannot use there brain.

    But can you give an academic a tool and then know the technical knowledge how to make it operate and function properly not just give a technical information only

  7. I’ve been a mobile heavy equipment mechanic for 30 years, always working at dealerships. I am proficient and very comfortable with computer diagnostics. But a computer is nothing more than a fancy multimeter. A real diagnostic person uses all of his senses including codes and computer parameters. The guys that rely on their computers are the ones I have to constantly go behind.

  8. In Canada journeymen/red seal mechanics get a certificate as as automotive service technicians so this is not correct. Also if you take your car to a mechanic who can not diagnose the issue and has to rely on a technician to diagnose it take it somewhere else. A mechanic should be able to diagnose and repair a vehicle!

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