Formal, postsecondary auto mechanic training is increasingly necessary for employment in this rapidly developing industry. As automotive technology advances, the skills needed to maintain and repair newer cars and trucks are becoming increasingly complex and in demand.
Automotive training programs prepare students for entry-level employment as an auto mechanic or automotive technician, able to work with the latest technologies as well as perform basic repairs (see: Mechanic Job Description). Programs generally last from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the credential sought. Diplomas and certificates usually take from several months to a year to complete, while associate degree programs can take up to 24 months. Click to see a list of recommended automotive training programs.
Automotive Training Curriculum
Students of auto mechanic training programs learn about the various areas of auto maintenance and automotive systems, including diagnosis and repair. Though specific classes vary from school to school, some of the subjects studied by automotive students can include:
- Basic Engine Systems
- Driveability Diagnostics
- Drivetrain Systems
- Chassis Repair
- Electrical Systems
- Fuel and Ignition Systems
- Brakes, Steering and Suspension
- Computerized Diagnostic Systems
- ASE Certification
After graduation from an accredited automotive technician program, auto techs may become certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Though certification isn’t mandatory, it is the standard for auto mechanics, especially in large, urban areas.
To become certified, auto mechanics pass an examination for any of several areas, such as electrical systems, brake systems, suspension and steering, and heating and air-conditioning. Mechanics can become certified in as many areas as they wish. Becoming ASE certified requires 2 years of experience, one year of which can be substituted for graduation from a formal training program.