Having a career in auto mechanics is just like any other field – you need to have a certain degree of education and training if you want to succeed. If you want to become an auto mechanic you will not be able to go to a regular liberal arts college or university, however. Though there are exceptions to the rule, your best bet to prepare yourself for a career in auto mechanics is to go through an auto mechanic training program. Before you sign up, take a moment to learn the basics about these programs and their requirements.

What Will You Learn in Auto Mechanic School?

Auto mechanics are problem solvers. It is their job to be able to diagnose problems and to then determine and provide a solution to the problem. In order to do so, you will need to have a thorough understanding of all of the different systems that work together in a vehicle. Sometimes a repair involves a minor fix while other problems are much larger, involving multiple systems. When you complete an auto mechanic training program you will learn everything you need to know about how cars and trucks work and how all of these systems work together. You will receive hands-on experience as well as classroom teaching to prepare you for this kind of career.

Prerequisites and Requirements for Auto Mechanic Programs

Each auto mechanic training program is unique, and so are the requirements. If you want to start yourself off on the right foot you should take as many science, math, electronics, and shop classes as you can in high school. If you didn’t graduate high school, you may need to complete a GED program before you apply to auto mechanic schools. In addition to a high school diploma, you will need to have the ability to work with a team as well as some basic customer service skills – if you can’t communicate with customers and other mechanics, you won’t succeed. Some auto mechanic schools require written recommendations for their applicants while others just require a high school transcript and diploma.

Auto Mechanic Training and Continuing Education

Once you are accepted into an auto mechanic training program you will receive a combination of classroom training and supervised hands-on experience. Some certificate programs can be completed in as little as 7 months while an associate’s degree program takes closer to 24 months. Some people participate in apprenticeship programs while they are in school to maximize their hands-on education. After graduating, you will probably end up in an entry-level job performing basic repairs and maintenance on cars and trucks. Once you have two years of experience under your belt, you may be able to move up to more advanced service and repair tasks. If you want to specialize in something you may need an additional few years of training and you might also want to complete a short-term certificate program.

Once you have started working as an auto mechanic it is your job to stay up to date with the latest technology. One way to do so is to pursue a certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This certificate requires two years of full-time experience working as an automotive technician or mechanic and you will also have to pass a written examination. There are eight different areas of certification for this program so you can pick and choose the ones you want. If you pass all eight certificate exams you will become an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. Even if you don’t want to pursue any additional certifications like this, you can still take workshops and other classes to further your education.

Because the field of auto mechanics is so complex and ever-changing, having the right background for education and training is absolutely essential. If you want to succeed as an auto mechanic you need to find a quality program and get as much hands-on experience as you can.