Car mechanic training offers a comprehensive education focused on the tools and technologies of the trade. Ranging from associate's degree programs to shorter certification classes, your mechanic training can be customized to your individual needs.
Graduates of car mechanic training may work as mechanics or technicians for automobile dealers, automotive repair and maintenance shops, gasoline stations, automotive parts, accessories and tire stores, or the local government. In larger shops, mechanics might specialize in one of the following positions:
- Transmission technicians
- Tune-up technicians
- Air conditioning repairers
- Front-end mechanics
- Service managers
Beyond auto maintenance and technician work, a range of jobs may be available to those with proper training. Careers related to auto mechanic work include automotive body repairers, diesel service technicians and mechanics, heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics, and small engine mechanics.
Car Mechanic Training: Degrees and Coursework
Training to become an auto mechanic is essential for many careers in the field. An accredited training program can help you deepen your skills on a broad range of vehicles and processes, introduce you to the latest technician technology, and gain hands-on experience under the watchful eye of a professional. Even if you have some experience as a mechanic, formal training boosts your resume and brings you one step closer to a competitive position.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that formal automotive technician training is the best preparation for aspiring automotive service technicians and mechanics. For those seeking work in large urban areas, earning National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is recommended.
Training to become an auto mechanic usually requires both classroom education and hands-on training. Community colleges typically reward an associate's degree or certificate. Take a look at coursework found in a typical auto mechanics training course:
- Suspension and Steering
- Chassis Circuits
- Engine Repair
- Automotive HVAC
Associate's degrees take about two years of full-time work to complete, while a certificate program traditionally requires significantly less time. After graduation, new technicians may find work as trainee technicians, lubrication workers or technicians' helpers, building up knowledge and experience with on-the-job training in a supervised work environment.
As an aspiring auto mechanic, certifications help you prove your ability in a specialized field. Certifications are like glowing recommendations of your skills and are required by some employers. The most popular certifications are the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and ASE Master Automobile Technician.
In order to earn the ASE Master Automobile Technician certification, you must pass all seven examinations offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence as well as hold at least two years of hands-on work experience. Tests required to earn the Master certification include:
- Collision Repair
- Engine Machinist
- Medium/Heavy Truck
- School Bus
- Transit Bus
- Truck Equipment
Auto Mechanic Career Outlook
With the right training, auto mechanics can earn a healthy salary in an enjoyable career. Auto mechanics and technicians earned mean annual wages of $37,880 in 2009, the BLS reports. Take a look at earnings for popular industry profiles within the auto mechanic occupation:
- Automotive repair and maintenance: $34,820
- Automobile dealers: $43,160
- Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores: $33,550
- Gasoline stations: $33,850
- Local government: $44,620
The BLS also reports mean annual wages from 2009 for occupations related to auto technician work. These occupations usually require additional specialized training:
- Automotive body and related repairers: $41,020
- Diesel service technicians and mechanics: $41,590
- Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics: $45,630
- Motorcycle mechanics: $33,870
According to the BLS, the best opportunities should be for those with formal automotive training. Excellent job opportunities are expected for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians with specialized heavy equipment training or certification.
Resources for Auto Mechanics