Auto mechanics work on a variety of vehicles, diagnosing and repairing cars, vans, trucks, and more. These professionals might be employed by large companies, car dealerships, repair shops, or other automotive facilities.
If you have an interest in engines and enjoy working with your hands, this may be the perfect career for you. Some mechanics like the variety of working on any type of vehicle or repair, while others specialize in a certain type of vehicle or particular type of repair.
West Virginia Auto Mechanic Schools
West Virginia schools offer a variety of automotive technology programs where students can earn degrees or certification. Here are five schools with training programs in the field:
- Garnet Career Center: Located in Charleston, Garnet Career Center provides instruction on automotive diagnostics and repair through its Automotive Technology program. Instructors hold Master certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), with professional experience as automotive technicians.
- Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College: This school, found in Moorefield, offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Automotive Technology, as well as a certificate program. Students receive training on safety protocols in addition to the eight basic principles of auto repair, preparing graduates for ASE certification.
- James Rumsey Technical Institute: JRTI's Automotive Technology program has NATEF accreditation and prepares graduates for an entry-level career position as a mechanic. Students learn the eight fundamentals to prepare them for ASE certification.
- Fred W. Eberle Technical Center: This school offers its Automotive Technology program for both full- and part-time students. Training is designed to prepare graduates to attain ASE certification in the eight fundamental principles of auto repair for a successful career as an automotive technician.
- Putnam Career & Technical Center: PCTC's Automotive Technology course offers training in diagnosing and repairing mechanical issues using diagnostics. Graduates can complete basic repairs and maintenance, and go on to pursue ASE certification.
What to Expect from West Virginia Auto Mechanic Programs
In most cases, students in automotive technology programs can expect to study the eight basic principles of auto repair:
- Automatic transmission/transaxle
- Drive train and axles
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Engine performance
- Engine repair
- Heating and air conditioning
- Steering and suspension
Training prepares graduates to work on the complex, computerized vehicles of today. Mastery of these eight principles also helps prepare you for ASE certification in each category. Achieving all eight earns you Master Mechanic status.
In addition to classroom-based lessons, most programs include a hands-on training component. These exercises, which give students the chance to work on actual automotive systems, may take place at a campus workshop or even a local auto repair facility.
West Virginia Auto Mechanic Licensing and Certification
West Virginia does not require auto mechanics to hold a special license. However, Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification may help boost your resume and can even increase your earning power. In addition, some shops require their mechanics hold ASE certification.
The EPA also requires mechanics working with refrigerants, such as A/C repair technicians, to obtain proper certification. Learn more about the ASE and EPA certification processes by following the links below.
Resources for Auto Mechanics in West Virginia
- ASE offers free practice tests and registration for ASE Certification.
- The EPA offers information and tests on Stationary Refrigeration Certification.