Automotive mechanics, also called automotive technicians, repair a variety of vehicles and often specialize in working on a particular vehicle type, such as large equipment or motorcycles. Their work involves examining, diagnosing, and repairing malfunctioning vehicles. You may choose to focus on one or two types of repair work, such as heating and cooling or transmission systems.
People who are good at analytical thinking, pay attention to detail, and enjoy working with their hands may enjoy a career in this field. Those considering becoming auto mechanics in Alabama may find career opportunities in service centers, auto dealerships, garages, and more.
Alabama Auto Mechanic Schools
Those considering a career in this industry may consider attending a trade school or technical program, as well as seek out certification or licensing. Here is a sample of the many auto mechanic programs throughout Alabama:
- Faulkner State Community College: Located in Bay Minette, this school offers a two-semester training certificate program in Automotive Technology designed to prepare students to enter the field immediately upon completion.
- Bevill State Community College: This school in Jasper offers the Vehicle Technology & Repair program with three concentration options: Automotive Service Excellence, Auto Body Repair, and Diesel Technician.
- Trenholm State Community College: This Montgomery school offers three award programs in Automotive Technology, where students study the principles of the National Automotive Service Excellence Certifications.
- J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College: This school in Huntsville offers students two degree programs in Automotive Service Technology, both designed to prepare students to repair modern vehicles and light trucks.
- Lawson State Community College: Those in Birmingham may consider this school, which offers the Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence, with six available programs: Auto Body Repair, Automotive Mechanics, Ford ASSET, General Motors ASEP, Toyota T-TEN, and Medium/Heavy Truck Technician.
What to Expect from Alabama Auto Mechanic Programs
While all programs may vary, students in a typical automotive technician program study the following basic principles of auto repair:
- Automatic transmission/transaxle
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Heating and air conditioning
- Engine performance
- Engine repair
- Drive train and axles
- Steering and suspension
Typical beginner courses include Fundamentals of Automotive Technology and Electrical Fundamentals. Training includes diagnostics that aid in figuring out why the equipment isn't working properly, and then developing and executing a plan to repair it.
Alabama Auto Mechanic Certification and Licensing
The state of Alabama does not require licensing for auto mechanics. However, you can make yourself more valuable to prospective employers with the right certifications.
Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification may boost your résumé and earning power, and some shops require it. In addition, the EPA requires certification in the proper handling of refrigerants for mechanics working with this substance.
Resources for Auto Mechanics in Alabama
- ASE offers free practice tests and registration for ASE Certification.
- The EPA offers information and tests on Stationary Refrigeration Certification.