Automotive Repair Technology Adult Education Programs
Like to work on cars? Or perhaps you know little about what goes on under your hood, but wish you did? You could save a fortune on auto repairs if only you could perform them yourself, or at least understand what your mechanic is talking about. If you think it's time to learn a little more about motor vehicles and how to repair them, you can sign up for a class in auto repair at a community college or adult education center.
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 (www.ASEcert.org). This certification, and the training necessary to gain it, will make you a valued addition to any service station or garage.
Courses for Mechanics
Many courses, especially introductory ones, are designed for people wanting to learn to work on their own cars. In fact, many people bring their own cars to class to work on as they learn, although this is usually not required as 'loaner' cars or engine parts will be available for hands-on learning. 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 head lights, checking front disk 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 2005 Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.BLS.gov) reports that automobile mechanics earn a median salary of $15.60 per hour, and also states that graduates of automotive training programs in vocational and technical schools or community colleges should have no trouble in finding employment as there is a shortage of workers with all of the necessary skills to succeed in the automotive repair industry.
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