How to Become a Mechanic

To become an Automotive Technician you must have a strong knowledge of automotive parts, as well as how those parts work together. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our career aptitude quizzes.

For those who possess a keen interest in car mechanics and love to do hands-on work, this would be a good choice for a career. Statistics show that the average automotive technician earns a salary between $23,000 – $61,000 annually in the year 2016.

Automotive Technician Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $38,450
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,545,650

Automotive Technician – Education

The technology in cars continues to become more sophisticated each year requiring those who work on them to need more specialized training. More and more, automotive technicians need to work on cars that include complex computer systems, and without the aid of diagnosis computer programs, their work on vehicles would become problematic. Before you choose your professional direction, make sure this path is good for you and take a career and personality test to avoid later disappointment.

If you are interested in becoming an Automotive Technician you will need to receive automotive training from some automotive training program either as a post-secondary school or community college. This will provide you the classroom and hands on training needed to stay competitive in the automotive technician job market.

Automotive service technicians must have earned a secondary education degree (high school or GED diploma) and their professional education in post-secondary schools will last two years. This training will prepare them for a career in the world of auto techniques. When they have found a decent job, they must get gain certification, and continuing education is required to keep up with developing techniques and industry requirements.

Automotive Technician – The Job

An automotive technician is the professional who handles the problems with your car. They perform everything from basic maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations to more complex issues in dealing with the internal computer systems in today’s cars. There are technicians who specialize in diesel trucks and buses, motorcycles, and small engine machines as well as automobiles.

An automotive technician is more commonly referred to as a “car mechanic” and these professionals typically diagnose, perform maintenance on, or repair automobiles. When they perform diagnostic tasks, automotive technicians will use electronic equipment for testing and to identify issues. Additionally, automotive technicians use a range of specialist tools to repair your vehicle. They need to be able to deal with both mental and physical tasks as they will need to deal with customers (often mental issues), whereas repairs to automobiles require physical labor.

Work environments for automotive technicians are usually well-ventilated but noisy garages where the lighting is good. Automotive technicians frequently need to work in uncomfortable positions and when they work on automobiles, they often will get covered with grease. Automotive technicians mostly are employed by service repair facilities, and their colleagues are usually other car mechanics or supervisors. Automotive technicians are not required to have a formal college degree, but they should have received proper formal training at a technical college.

Automotive technicians must be able to communicate with customers and parts and sales units. They will diagnose malfunctioning vehicles and use electronic testing gear for this purpose. They must be able to perform maintenance and repairs on their customers’ automobiles as well as maintainventory of parts and tools.

Automotive Technician – Certification

Acquiring National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification has become a standard level of qualification for employers looking for technicians. In order to receive an ASE certification you will need to have 2 year hands on experience in a particular automotive area then pass the certification tests for that specific area. The certification lasts for 4 years. There are 8 different areas of ASE certification:

1. Engine Repair
2. Automatic Trans/Transaxle
3. Manual Drive Train and Axles
4. Suspension and Steering
5. Brakes
6. Electrical/Electrical Systems
7. Heating and Air Conditioning
8. Engine Performance

Receiving certification in all eight areas the technician is known as a ASE Master Certified Technician. This distinction is very difficult to obtain but master technicians are well respected, earn the highest wages, and are the ones that work on the most challenging of repairs.

Top Automotive Schools

1. Universal Technical Institute

2. WyoTech

3. Marine Mechanics Institute

4. Nashville Auto Diesel College

5. Lincoln Technical Institute

6. Baran Institute of Technology

7. YTI Career Institute

8. Westwood College

9. Ashworth College (online classes offered)