Applicants should have high school diplomas or GEDs for admission to the program. They must also be 18 years old to participate in possible internships. Certification is available after graduation. Post-certification, some students choose to pursue higher degrees in vehicle mechanics, which may increase their chance of obtaining better paying jobs.
Diploma in Vehicle Mechanics
In addition to the lectures and classroom courses, many lab courses allow students to gain hands-on experience by learning and working in garages as part of their internship or cooperative education opportunities. In fact, they may complete internships in specialized areas of vehicle mechanics. In addition to problem-solving skills, students also develop the analytical, technical and communication skills needed in this profession. Topics of study can include the following options:
- Vehicle electronics
- Fuel and ignition management
- Automatic transmissions
- Automotive computer systems
- Engine, suspension and steering performance
- Air conditioning
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service technicians are expected to experience average employment growth between 2014 and 2024, with the BLS predicting that jobs will increase by 5% percent during the decade (www.bls.gov). Increasing numbers of vehicles on the road, as well as their increasing lifespan, contribute to the rising employment in this field. As of May 2015, automotive service technicians earned a median annual wage of $37,850, reported the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of the vehicle mechanic diploma program might seek work immediately or choose to advance their education. The BLS reported that vehicle mechanics with formal training or postsecondary education would see the best employment opportunities; thus, many students might decide to pursue associate's or bachelor's degrees in automotive technology or a related field.
Although not a legal requirement, professional certifications are preferred, and might be required, by many employers. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers various levels and types of certifications that are recognized throughout the automobile repair industry. Many courses included in diploma programs help students prepare for these certification examinations.
For students aged 18 and over, a diploma in vehicle mechanics, combined with internships, is a great way to get into the vehicle technician and mechanics industry. Learning vehicle electronics and automotive computer systems will prepare students for a career in the field.