If you love cars, you might be considering a career as an auto mechanic. While you already know a lot, you can take your training further to increase your likelihood of getting hired quickly.
Auto mechanic school can give you the skills and knowledge you need to become a qualified professional. We'll outline some basic steps to becoming a mechanic and turning your passion into a successful and fulfilling career.
Before College or Trade School
If you are still in high school but already know you want to work with cars as an auto mechanic, take classes now that will help you in the near future. You should concentrate on electronics, math, and English. If your school has an auto shop class, you should enroll in it, too. Take as much time as you can to familiarize yourself with different vehicles by working on cars for family and friends.
Learning about communications and customer relations will also prepare you well — maintaining customer relationships will be an important part of your future career.
You may have taken auto shop in high school, but there is still another step to take after you’ve graduated and are 18 years of age. More often than not, you will need a diploma or certificate to be hired. Trade schools, community colleges, car dealerships, and car manufacturers all offer training programs.
Trade school will certify you in programs such as automotive mechanics and automotive technology in as few as 10 months. There are also 2-year associate of science degrees offered through community colleges or bachelor’s degrees from 4-year universities. When choosing a program, consider the cost and the time you will invest in training and how it aligns with your career goals.
In these programs, you'll become familiar with all tools of the trade — from basic to trade-specific. Mechanics use a lot of tools, and it’s important to have working knowledge of them. Classes and training programs will prepare you to put these tools to good use.
Classes will also thoroughly cover topics such as electrical systems, brakes, automatic and manual transmissions, steering and suspension, emissions, and more. Programs usually provide excellent career preparation by combining classroom instruction with hands-on work experience.
Few states require mechanics to become licensed. However, as a mechanic, you will want to become ASE certified. To obtain this certification, you need to either have at least two years experience in the field, or one year of school plus one year of work-related experience. The ASE certification proves to potential employers that you are not only fully qualified for the job, but deserve better pay as well.
There are nine areas in the cars and light trucks category the ASE evaluates. If you pass the first eight of them, you will have earned the title of master mechanic — which is highly respected and sought after by employers.
Mechanic Training Programs Get You Ahead
While anyone with the right knowledge can work on or fix a vehicle, the mechanics who receive formal training are the ones who stand out in the eyes of employers. School provides you with the valuable instruction, guidance, and experience companies look for.
Start your journey by finding training available near you! Select your state to get started on your education today.