Cars have captured the attention of people of all ages for decades. If cars have always been a passion of yours, you’re good with your hands and enjoy problem-solving, a career as an automotive technician might be the right fit for you. With over 284 million registered vehicles in the United States, there is certainly a demand for automotive technicians and the many skills they supply. You may be wondering where to start and what qualifications you’ll need to become a certified automotive technician. Here is a guide to get you on the map and driving towards your future.
Education and certification
In order to start your career as an automotive technician, there are some educational requirements to ensure your technical understanding. Most automotive technicians are required to have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. In addition to your secondary education, you should receive automotive and diesel certifications. There are many programs to consider. One highly respected training program is the New York Auto & Diesel Institute. While taking their classes you would learn to correctly test, diagnose, and repair the components in the areas of engine performance, brakes, steering, and suspension. You would also learn to fix electronic systems, engines, heating, and air conditioning systems, automatic transmissions, and the car’s manual drive train. A program like this supplies you with theoretical instruction and “hands-on” practical exercises ensuring that your understanding is well rounded. Some employers don’t require these kinds of certifications, but it will make you a more competitive candidate and qualify you for a higher pay grade, due to your specialization. If money is a concern, the New York Auto & Diesel Institute does offer financial aid for students who qualify. Your commitment to learning will set you above the rest.
Getting your hands dirty
Now that you have your degree, the best way to ensure that your education is serving you is to get “hands-on” experience at an automotive shop. While working on repairs, you’ll put your knowledge to the test and receive even more practical experience. It’s also a great way to start meeting teams of mechanics. Fitting into a shop’s work culture is very important, and making connections could lead to a promotion. Before you start your first day of work, it’s important to dress appropriately for the conditions of the shop. Consider garments that are flame retardant or western apparel that is comfortable, easy to work in, and durable. Online shops like Zane Western Apparel & Work Gear are a great one-stop place to order clothes and accessories for your whole workweek. You’ll be able to purchase overalls, leather boots, and twill shirts from trusted name brands like Justin, Lucchese, Corral, Wrangler, Cinch, and Stetson just to name a few. Always go with the brands you trust to keep you safe and comfortable.
After spending so much time training and getting certified, it’s important to know if the money will be enough to support you and your family. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for automotive technicians and mechanics is $40,710. If you work your way up to a master mechanic, that number may increase. With your certifications, you will be making good money in no time!
There’s a lot of knowledge and experience that goes into being an automotive technician. Finding a great institute to train with will give you all of the knowledge you need to reach your goals. Your skills will only sharpen as you grow with firsthand learning experiences under the guidance of your co-workers and superiors. Who knows, you may even be teaching them a thing or two.