If you want to take your passion for cars, trucks and other automotive vehicles to the next level, it might be time for you to change careers. The following guide outlines how easy it is for anyone to learn how to become a mechanic. Use it to determine the next steps you can take to get started.
6 Steps on How To Become a Mechanic
Mechanics work on cars, buses, trucks, and other types of vehicles. Their work enables people to enjoy the convenience of using private transportation to get around. Their skills help keep the economy going because they are responsible for maintaining transportation, commercial and logistics industry fleets. In the past, people relied on their parents’ and individual experiences to gain the knowledge and expertise needed to become mechanics.
Now that today’s vehicles are imbued with so much technology, and because so many people have newer-model vehicles, experienced, and novice automotive repair professionals, as well as those who are exploring career options, are finding it necessary to complete a formal training program to improve their skill set and gain acknowledged credentials. It is not necessary for one to have an in-depth understanding of vehicles and their components to become a mechanic. There are plenty of educational and training opportunities available to get you up to speed.
How To Prepare for Mechanic Training
Do you think you have what it takes to become a mechanic? If your lifelong dream is to become an automotive mechanic, and you’re looking for information on how you can live it, you’ve come to the right place. Many people believe all they need to do is go to YouTube to watch DIY videos and read a few car repair manuals to become experts. However, there are certain steps you must take before you can become an automotive repair professional. Use this how-to guide to becoming a mechanic to learn how to prepare for a challenging, yet immensely rewarding, career.
Assess Personal Skills
There is nothing wrong with having the desire to embark on a new career path. Or, maybe you want to learn how to become a mechanic so you have more control over your auto repair expenses. No matter your reasons for reading this guide, just know that you’ll need a ton of drive and determination to persevere in the field. Here are some personal skills that can help you to succeed in this endeavor:
- Outgoing personality
- Take-charge attitude
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Good work ethic
- Intuitive nature
- Strong technical and mechanical skills
- A fair amount of physical strength
- Good flexibility and range of motion
Everyone is not naturally gifted with these attributes. If you fall short on some of them, relax. Believe it or not, mechanics start with a lot of different personalities and abilities. As you become experienced and knowledgeable in this craft, you’ll eventually develop the qualities you need. If you already have them, you have an excellent head start. It is important for you to keep an open mind and remain able to think on your feet.
Consider the Benefits of Becoming a Mechanic
Mechanics are professionals who seldom have to look long and hard for work. They can work for automotive manufacturers, repair shops or run their own businesses. As long as society has a dependence on vehicles, mechanics will always have ways to earn a comfortable living. According to U.S. News & World Report, automotive repair specialists consider their profession to be a highly rewarding career path. On average, they make more than $38,000 each year. Possible reasons for their satisfaction include being able to interact with the public, providing a valuable and much-needed service to help others, earning an attractive wage, and not having to rely on others to repair their vehicles.
There is also the draw of the return on investment. Due to skyrocketing education costs, many people are not too keen on going to school and taking on related expenses to broaden their skills and career opportunities. Auto repair experts generally do not have those concerns. Many of them find great-paying positions before and after completing their studies, enabling them to pay off their school debts faster. So, if you think you have what it takes to become a repair expert in the automotive field, pay close attention to the following education requirements.
Training Requirements On How To Become a Mechanic
The following information on the criteria to become a mechanic is meant to be used as a guideline to give you a firm idea of what you can expect. Depending on your personal goals, skills and career expectations, you may decide to pursue further training or credentialing.
Earn a High School Diploma or GED
Potential applicants should have a high school diploma or a GED to qualify for admission to a trade school and to receive any financial aid. Though some individuals may have taken automotive classes in high school, in order to gain the necessary professional credentials, they must have successfully completed all basic high school education requirements prior to enrollment in an automotive trade program.
Find a Good Vocational Education Program
There is a growing demand for mechanics, especially those who are certified or have degrees. There are many online and brick-and-mortar trade and vocational schools and programs to help train students to meet it. However, not all mechanic training programs are the same. It is strongly advised that prospective students thoroughly research their options before committing to a school or program. Factors to consider during selection include education and career goals, personal and employment commitments, ability to pay and preferred training schedule and location. Some training programs are strictly onsite because being a mechanic is a highly physical and technical job. There are also hybrid training programs that are a mix of online and onsite classes.
Evaluate Affordability and Financial Aid Options
The cost of education and training on how to become a mechanic is also something for potential students to think about. Education expenses vary widely. Some programs charge a flat-fee matriculation that includes the costs of books, tools and other training materials. There are also some training regimens that charge different fees for different mechanic courses. Ideally, students should assess their ability to pay without the possibility of receiving financial aid to better determine affordability. They should also learn what funding options are available to lessen the costs, and apply early to take advantage of financial aid, which is usually given on first-come and need-demonstrated bases.
How To Become a Mechanic Curriculum
Students will take courses that teach how to identify automotive systems and components, and processes necessary for proper functioning of vehicles. They will also learn how to break down, repair and build engines and systems, as well as industry safety practices and requirements.
Types of classes students can expect to take are heating, ventilation and air conditioning, brake systems, engine, transmission and hands-on training. Students who enroll in online training programs often complete their training locally at repair shops, or automotive supplier or manufacturer facilities. They can also further hone their skills and knowledge by working on their personal vehicles.
You can also check: Trade Schools In Badger AK for mechanic curriculum
Upon successful completion of the curriculum, students can choose to take the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification or other industry credentials, pursue a college degree, seek out gainful employment or use their skills recreationally. The ASE exams cover eight core areas, such as engine performance, automatic transmission and transaxle, brakes, suspension and steering, manual drivetrain and axles, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, and electrical and electronic systems.
How To Become a Mechanic Training Completion Expectations
The time it takes students to become mechanics varies. Individuals who enroll in degree-seeking programs usually achieve proficiency within two to four years. Students who are going for their associates and bachelor’s degrees and have other obligations that require them to maintain a part-time to half-time status instead of matriculating full-time generally take a little longer to finish, usually between three and five years.
How To Become a Mechanic Certification and Beyond
To be eligible for ASE certification, candidates must have at least two years of hands-on experience or have successfully completed a mechanic education/training program. Individuals should also choose a specialization before applying for certification. Applicants can choose as many specialties as desired, but to become certified, they must pass the ASE exam for each concentration. Anyone who successfully passes certifications for all ASE specialty areas becomes a Master Mechanic, which is one of the highest designations available for automotive mechanics.
To sit for the ASE exam, applicants must register and pay all associated fees. Individuals who pass the exam can use the ASE credential to attract repair customers, pursue better-paying positions in the industry and improve their professional standing. Recertification is necessary every few years. ASE-certified individuals can branch off into other industry-related niches to increase their knowledge, certifications, and marketability.
How to Become a Mechanic Career Outlook
Mechanics can take their pick of automotive industry jobs located anywhere in the world, especially in the United States. For example, they can work in manufacturer settings, supplier positions, as diesel repair experts and more. Many mechanics enjoy some flexibility in their shifts and can choose their working hours, although those who do not work for themselves often have schedules that center around traditional business hours.
It is highly recommended for anyone who thinks he or she is destined to become a mechanic to take some time to visit different automotive repair shops. Talking to those who already work in the field can give you a better idea of career options and potential. This research can help to maximize the benefits of any education and training you choose to complete.
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