Becoming an Automotive Technician
Auto technicians use both wrenches and computer programs with equal ease.. Cars today operate with the assistance of computer systems that control heating and cooling systems, fuel feed, ignition and and several of the conveniences such as the sound system and GPS programs. The challenges for auto technicians today include the traditional variations in design and functionality used by various auto makers. Equally challenging is the fact that auto producers continually upgrade the technology used to operate today’s vehicles.
You can study with auto manufacturers. In order to keep auto technicians up to date many manufacturers operate training schools who want to learn from the source. Nissan, BMW, Toyota and Ford all offer training programs that lead to certification. Continuing education is also offered by many of the other auto makers; sometimes those courses are available at automotive vocational schools. The changes in both design and complexity for the inner workings of automobiles change much more rapidly today than a generation ago
Choose an area of expertise. Most auto technician training facilities separate their teaching into three areas: Basic auto repair, collision repair, and diesel maintenance and repair. Diesel mechanics typically work on buses and trucks. The salaries for all three of these options have a variation of about ten percent among them, according to the Department of Labor.
Many automotive professionals seek certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a testing program that leads to certification, a factor that can be important to employers. The general requirement for taking the ASE examination is two years of experience in the field, but graduation from an automotive vocational program can be substituted for one of those years. For automotive repair alone, there are eight specializations such as brake repair and ignition systems that are available for ASE certification, each with its own exam.
Consider whether your preference is working for a dealer or for a repair shop. This isn’t a decision you need to make immediately, your school offers special courses for individual brands, as some do. Usually selecting one of these additional courses adds a few weeks to the educational program, which are generally about a year in length. If you choose to study the workings of Volkswagen or BMW autos, for example, it will be an excellent addition to your resume but may limit your options for seeking employment.
Give some thought to becoming a manager. Some automotive vocational schools include classes in business management and the oversight duties involved in running a shop. If you want to learn these skills at the beginning of your career, find an academy or community college program that includes them. And whether or not you choose to pursue management opportunity, continuing education will be a part of your life. A good question on a job interview is whether or not the employer pays for refresher courses for the staff professionals.
Bob Hartzell is a freelance writer who covers careers for GetDegrees.com. You can find comprehensive information about automotive technician degrees on the site. You can be on your way to a career that coincides with the development of new hybrids, new fuels and electric automobiles.
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