Ford Mechanic: Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a Ford mechanic. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and prospects to find out if this is the career for you.

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The duties of a mechanic include repairing vehicles, providing essential maintenance like oil changes, and troubleshooting electrical problems. While becoming a basic mechanics may not require any secondary education, in order to become a Ford mechanic specializing in Ford automobiles, you must take the two-year secondary program known as the Ford ASSET program. This program will allow you to work for Ford dealership service departments and give you the knowledge to handle any problem with Ford vehicles.

Essential Information

Ford mechanics have expertise in servicing Ford automobiles. They typically complete a specialized curriculum at a post-secondary school and work in Ford dealership service departments or other auto repair shops.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary training is common
Other Requirements Specialized Ford training
Projected Job Growth 1% decline from 2018-2028 for automotive service technicians and mechanics*
Median Salary (2018) $40,710 annually for automotive service technicians and mechanics*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Ford mechanics perform automotive repairs and maintenance to Ford vehicles. They work in the service departments at Ford dealerships or at other auto repair shops. They have expert training in Ford vehicles, which is received through a Ford-created curriculum at postsecondary schools.

Job Duties

Using their specialized knowledge about Ford automobiles, Ford mechanics perform a vast range of duties including maintenance tasks such as oil changes, filter changes, tune-ups, fluid change-outs and tire upkeep. They also troubleshoot problems with Ford vehicles' electrical systems, fuel systems, transmissions, braking systems and engines.

Ford mechanics use diagnostic technology to decipher problems and identify malfunctioning vehicle components. After identifying a problem, Ford mechanics discuss the problem with the vehicle owner and receive permission to fix the problem. They remove, repair or replace components and test the repaired vehicle. Ford mechanics also examine new vehicles for any defects and record the information for further repair.

Education

Ford mechanics need post-secondary training in automotive technology, which is acquired at a vocational school or college. Admission into the post-secondary school often requires students to have a high school education. While in high school, students can take elective courses that teach some automotive fundamentals.

Some high schools participate in Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES), a collaboration between high schools, auto manufacturers and dealerships (www.ayes.org). In addition to their regular coursework, students take classes that teach basic automotive technology or collision repair. They also participate in summer internships where they work under the guidance of professional mechanics.

Ford ASSET Program

Ford Motor Company has created a curriculum for post-secondary schools called the Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET) program. It is a two-year program that trains students to become Ford mechanics while earning an associate's degree. Students receive classroom instruction and hands-on training at a Ford dealership.

All students are responsible for finding a Ford dealer to sponsor them and provide paid, supervised training. Students take automotive classes that are specific to Ford automobiles such as engine repair, electric systems, systems diagnosis, brakes, transmissions and computer skills. Completion of the Ford ASSET program qualifies graduates for entry-level positions at Ford, Mercury and Lincoln dealerships. Some graduates may retain their positions at the Ford dealership sponsor.

Certification

Although it's voluntary, many mechanics obtain certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to validate their experience and knowledge (www.ase.com). To obtain certification, applicants need two years of full-time, hands-on automotive service experience and to pass a written test. ASE offers more than 40 tests in areas like alternate fuels, damage analysis and advanced engine performance, and applicants can take as many tests as they choose. Certifications are valid for five years and individuals must recertify by passing another written test.

Salary and Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that automotive mechanics earned an annual median income of $40,710 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). Those who worked at automobile dealers earned more with an annual median salary of $46,420 in 2018. The BLS also states that mechanic jobs are expected to decline by 1% during 2018-2028; however, mechanics who are experts in certain vehicle makes or models have an edge over their competitors, as well as those with specific skills and certifications.

Aspiring mechanics interested in specializing in Ford vehicles can take a two-year Ford ASSET program. This program provides a formal education for understanding how to diagnose and repair Ford automobiles and prepares you for work with Ford dealership service departments and for additional certifications such as the ASE. In 2018, all types of automotive mechanics earned a median salary of $40,710 a year, and job opportunities were expected to decline from 2018 to 2028.

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