Since automotive technology is quickly becoming sophisticated, employers are looking for technicians who have completed a formal education program at a community college or some other institution. Once the person is hired, industry certification is normally required.
Education: Where does it Begin?
Taking classes in electronics, automotive repair, mathematics, computers and English during high school will often provide you with a good background on the way to getting your car mechanic certification. To become fully trained, you will need additional training. Completing a training program at a vocational or post secondary institution is one of the best methods of preparing for an entry-level position. Programs will last anywhere from six months up to a year. They provide you with intense preparation for your career with hands-on practice and classroom instruction. You can also receive a certificate in a specific skill in one of the short-term programs.
Depending on how far you want to go, you can always get a two-year degree in the field. Courses will include mathematics, computers, automotive repair and electronics. Some of the programs have also added in customer service, English and a host of other critical skills. Different dealers and manufacturers often sponsor these two year programs. Students can spend time alternating between taking their classes full-time and working full-time in the shop under the direct supervision of an experienced tech.
Training: What All Do You Need?
Most of the time, you are required to complete training on the job for your car mechanic certification. Depending on your educational background, it can take anywhere from two to five years for you to become fully licensed in the field. After that time, you will also need another one to two years of working experience before you are familiar with all of the different types of repairs there are out there. A new worker will often begin as a trainee technician, lubrication worker or technician helper and begin gaining and practicing their new skills working alongside a technician or mechanic who has experience in the field.
Any technician who is working with refrigerants will have to be properly licensed by the EPA. Formal preparation isn’t required for the test, but a number of places do offer training programs for the test.