Schools and Programs
If you enjoy working on cars so much that you're thinking of making a career of it, you can check into enrolling in a program to become a certified mechanic. Such programs are offered at many community colleges and trade schools and can lead to certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This certification, and the training necessary to gain it, will make you a valued addition to any service station or garage.
Programs At a Glance
|Program||Program Length||Program Levels||Class Format|
|Automotive Technology||1.5 years for certificate, 2 years for associate degree||Certificate/degree||On-campus|
|Automotive Systems Technology||5 semesters (including summer)||Diploma||On-campus|
Courses in Automotive Repair Technology Adult Education Programs
Many courses, especially introductory ones, are designed for people wanting to learn to work on their own cars. You will learn such introductory automotive skills as checking and replacing fluids, jacking up the car, changing a flat tire, lubrication maintenance, battery service, changing bulbs, changing fuses, aiming headlights, checking front disc brakes and practicing safety techniques.
Slightly more advanced courses will teach skills such as wiper washer service, suspension systems, interior care (cleaning, maintenance, stains, torn upholstery), diagnosis and repair of rear brakes, electronic ignition diagnostics, basic computer system diagnostics, and dealing with electrical system problems (including shorts, broken wires, and malfunctioning lights), changing tail light sockets, adding accessories such as CD players, engine compression testing and engine vacuum testing.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Automobile repair is usually considered a pretty 'recession-proof' industry, as people will always need their cars, and will need to find good mechanics to keep those cars running. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected automotive service technicians and mechanics to have a job growth rate of 5%, from 2014-2024. As of May 2014, their median annual salary was $37,120.