Mechanics can accurately and effectively repair automobiles of all sizes and shapes using their technical knowledge and expertise.
People who appreciate using their hands to do chores and solve difficulties regularly will excel in this sector.
To work in the business, mechanics must possess at least a high school diploma or GED, but there are other methods and timelines for acquiring the required knowledge and abilities.
This page explains what a mechanic does, how long it takes to become an auto mechanic, and the many talents mechanics need to succeed in the field.
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What is an Auto Mechanic School Like?
Tests on fixes and inspects cars and small trucks. They work on brakes, steering, accident-avoidance systems, engines, drive belts, and transmissions.
Some technicians are starting to operate on vehicles using alternative fuels like electricity or ethanol because it’s a widespread trend and popular energy source.
The road to becoming an auto mechanic can take several forms. Trade schools and community colleges offer associate degrees and certificates in automotive technology and mechanics for students considering higher study.
Several auto mechanic courses are available in many associate programs, some of which may concentrate on topics like automobile engine maintenance and automotive transmissions.
Some programs also call for math and workplace skills training. Schools that support ASE certification could provide particular study groups or courses for ASE exam preparation.
However, some car technicians start their training when they are still in high school. Some high schools collaborate with trade colleges to give pupils early-start training programs.
Is Attending an Auto Mechanic School Worth it?
Automotive education might be right for you if you’re a vehicle enthusiast looking for a new career path! There are many different automotive vocations, but working as a mechanic allows you to get your hands dirty by resolving puzzles and repairing problems with your customers’ vehicles.
What Schooling Do You Need to Become an Auto Mechanic?
GED or High School Diploma
To become an auto mechanic, you must have completed high school. You should have a foundational understanding of math, reading, and writing. Several high schools also offer courses in technical education. If there are any available, consider signing up for auto mechanic classes.
You could potentially work as an auto mechanic if you have a GED. You must pass the General Education Development Test to receive your GED. This exam consists of four tests covering thinking in science, language arts, math, and social studies.
You must pass all four examinations and achieve an average of 145 out of 200 to receive your GED.
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Employers frequently require an associate degree or a comparable certification for auto technicians. It is frequently necessary to finish a two-year program to earn this. This can be obtained via a community college, vocational school, or other comparable organization.
If you pursue an associate degree, consider concentrating on automobile maintenance, automotive technology, or a related field.
A lot of these vocational education courses combine classroom and hands-on instruction. These courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and abilities to identify and fix various auto-related issues.
Your curriculum might include electronics, computers, math, English, practical vehicle repair, standard mechanics, brakes for vehicles, conditional air, and many more.
Apprenticeship or internship
You should obtain more practical experience after receiving your degree. Under the guidance of a skilled, certified mechanic, you could complete an internship or an apprenticeship.
Your apprenticeship or internship may be for a shorter or longer period and may take place at a dealership or regular garage. Some programs take several years to finish, but this helps you gain new skills and improve your existing ones.
Becoming an auto mechanic requires completing the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification process. This certification is a tried-and-true method for evaluating and demonstrating your mechanic skills.
Before hiring a mechanic, many employers prefer that they have an ASE certification. By doing this, they can be certain to recruit mechanics with credentials.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence provides ASE certification for new car owners in ten areas.
The majority of employers demand that you have one. But you can obtain an ASE Master Certification if you pass all 10. Suppose you decide to pursue them later in your career. In that case, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence also provides entry-level certificates in medium/heavy vehicles and collision repair and refinishing.
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Certificates for Specialties
Auto mechanics looking to advance their careers or find employment in a particular field might consider obtaining specialty certifications.
Many of these qualifications are offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, but there may be alternative ways for you to obtain them. Consider the following examples of specialty certifications: Repairing and refinishing collisions, Damage analysis, alternative fuel estimation, and many more.
In the US, air conditioning repairs are subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The EPA issues special certifications to auto mechanics who service air conditioning systems. While some organizations provide staff with this training, you may also obtain it independently.
Some automakers provide certifications to help you advance your knowledge of their particular cars, engines, or parts. Numerous renowned automakers offer these certificates.
Although any car mechanic can obtain these certificates, if you work in a specialty repair facility or dealership, it may be particularly crucial for you. Each of these credentials has distinct prerequisites, such as working on these cars for a predetermined number of hours or passing tests.
Technology for automobiles is always changing. Because of this, auto mechanics must finish continuing education programs to stay current on the newest tools and methods. If you want to hone new talents or discover a niche, you might also think about taking continuing education courses.
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How Long Does it take to be a Licensed Auto Mechanic?
Depending on your route, being a mechanic normally takes 2-4 years. The two most popular options are starting a vocational program in high school or obtaining an associate’s degree or certificate at a community college or technical school.
Studying for the ASE or other certifications could prolong the procedure if your state demands particular licensure.
How Much Does it Cost to be a Licensed Auto Mechanic?
Programs for online auto mechanic training typically cost between $700 and $1,000. For $750, the Stratford Career Institute, for example, offers a correspondence course in auto repair that may be finished in six months to two years.
Likewise, an associate’s degree in car repair takes two years and costs between $10,000 and $25,000.
Scholarships of $1,000 are provided to qualified students by national business associations like the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association and regional organizations like the Minnesota Alliance of Auto Service Providers.
The College Scholarships provides a list of numerous rewards in the field of automobile technology.
Salary and Job Outlook for Auto Mechanic after Study
Between 2019 and 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% decline in employment opportunities for mechanics and automotive service technicians. According to reports, the number of automobile mechanics and service technicians employed in the US in 2019 was 756,600.
These mechanics frequently worked in auto dealerships. For mechanics with ASE certification, growth opportunities are best. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for mechanics in May 2019 was $42,090.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be a 4% decline in job opportunities for mechanics and automotive service technicians between 2019 and 2029.
Mechanic demand differs by state, with some having higher demand than the national average. According to the industry, there are differences in the career outlook for mechanics, with some specialties being more in demand than others.
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Frequently Asked Questions
You might or might not need a license to work as an auto mechanic, depending on the state in which you reside. For instance, vehicle mechanics are not required to hold a license in states like Florida or Texas. Most car mechanics require suitable ASE certificates, experience, and skills.
For those wishing to work as auto mechanics, there are numerous virtual training programs and online certificates accessible. Nevertheless, likely, you won’t be able to finish a full program without some experience fixing cars.
By consulting their car manuals and purchasing the appropriate materials, many drivers do basic auto maintenance on their own, such as oil and brake changes. Numerous videos that lead you through auto repairs step-by-step are also available online. Without formal training, it may be difficult to become a proficient vehicle mechanic.
The type of training you choose to pursue will determine how long it will take you to become a mechanic. A high school diploma or GED and enrollment in a training program or vocational school are prerequisites for becoming a mechanic.
While some mechanics complete their training in high school vocational programs and can start working as trainees immediately after graduation, others may need to spend one or more years finishing their training after high school. A mechanic may need two to five years to complete the appropriate education and training.