Auto Mechanic Training Programs and Requirements

An auto mechanic is a craftsman who specializes in the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. The role of the auto mechanic has evolved to include high technology, in addition to basic mechanical systems.

Essential Information

Auto mechanics, or automotive service technicians, are skilled in diagnosing problems, estimating repairs, completing repairs, and maintaining vehicles. They must know how to use diagnostic and power tools, as well as be experienced in customer service and computer technology. Although it is possible to secure a position with only a high school diploma, many students interested in becoming an auto mechanic choose to pursue a certificate or associate degree in the field. Auto mechanics may also choose to become officially certified. Most auto mechanics begin their education with some sort of vocational training in high school. Many auto mechanics choose to continue their education by enrolling in certificate or associate degree programs in auto repair at a community college or vocational school. Some automobile makers or dealers also offer training programs through local colleges that include specific training for working on their makes and models of vehicles.

  • Prerequisites: Certificate or associate degree in automotive field; High school diploma or GED may be accepted

Auto Mechanic Training and Certification

Students generally receive a great deal of supervised, hands-on experience during the completion of a formal education program. Much experience is also gained on the job when mechanics have the opportunity to work closely with experienced professionals. Many auto mechanics begin working as a technician trainee and spend a period of time performing basic repair tasks. At least two years of experience are necessary before auto mechanics are qualified to execute more advanced service and repairs. Several years of intensive training is necessary to become proficient in complicated repair specialties.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Automotive Mechanics is a 2-year, undergraduate degree program that introduces students to many of the basic skills associated with auto repair. Students may take courses in a variety of subjects, such as engine reconditioning, suspension, and auto electronics. The curriculum of most AAS programs usually includes general education classes.

Continuing Education

Auto mechanics can voluntarily pursue certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This involves having at least two years of full-time experience working in automotive repair and passing a written examination. Mechanics may become certified in eight different areas of auto repair, including suspension and steering, engine repair and braking systems. An auto repair specialist may become an ASE certified Master Automobile Technician by passing all eight certification exams.

There are many workshops available to professional auto mechanics. Because the technology associated with the field is constantly improving, many workshops are designed to address these advances. Workshops and training may be offered at local colleges or auto repair garages.

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