A certificate can often be earned in about one year. Programs include hands-on training working on vehicles, in addition to classroom instruction. Many certificate programs welcome students with no prior automotive experience, but programs do require students to have a high school diploma or GED before beginning classes. Many graduates choose to pursue certification, after they have earned the requisite two years of experience in the field. The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers more than 40 exams for those seeking certification.
Vehicle Maintenance Certificate
Students in vehicle maintenance certificate programs have the opportunity to learn about the repair and maintenance of the many systems that operate a vehicle. Some of the courses that students might take cover such topics as:
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Brake systems
- Starting and charging systems
- Fuel systems
- Steering and suspension systems
- Engine systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for an auto service technician was $40,720 in May 2015 and the mean hourly wage was $19.58 (www.bls.gov). While businesses in Alaska, District of Columbia and New Jersey typically paid their auto service technicians more than those in other parts of the nation, West Virginia, Maine and Montana had the highest concentration of jobs. Employment for auto service technicians is expected to grow by 5% between 2014 and 2024.
According to the BLS, ASE certification is important for mechanics who wish to stay competitive in large, urban areas.
In just one year, students can obtain a vehicle maintenance certificate and earn a job as a automotive service technician and mechanic. The field is projected to grow by 5% over the next decade and students can improve their job prospects by earning professional certification offered by the ASE.