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Basically, much of the work of a mechanic involves working with automotive parts and inspecting, troubleshooting, and fixing vehicles. It is one of the most lucrative and fun handy careers, especially if you have a passion for it. While some mechanics are more into general vehicle repair and maintenance tasks, some specialize in engines, brakes, tires, on-board car computer systems, and so forth. But the thing is, auto mechanics is a broad subject. It is not uncommon to see a mechanic going under your vehicle, only to fix a problem with your car in just a matter of minutes. However, it’s never as easy as it looks. There is more to the job than meets the eye.
Before being considered a professional mechanic, you have to acquire a vast array of knowledge and skills through study and training, both theoretic and practical. Also, you may have to pass the various state-based test to get the appropriate certifications, even before someone can consider hiring you. There are also certifications that improve your rank in the industry and may enhance your marketability in the job market. In a nutshell, there are quite a number of things you need to do before becoming a professional mechanic. So, are you planning to become a professional mechanic? Here’s how to become one.
First Things First, Get an Education
As they all say, education is the key to success, but in this case, it is the key to becoming a professional mechanic. In most places, the minimum requirement considered by most mechanic training institutions is a high school diploma. Alternatively, some institutions may consider you if you have undergone and passed a GED program. This means that if you’re passionate about joining the automotive field, your primary focus will be to complete a high-school diploma or GED. As a matter of fact, some countries such as the US have what is known as Automotive Youth Education Services (AYES) program, which acts as a link between automotive manufacturers and high schools, as well as colleges. By so doing, they enable learners to get acquainted with emerging technologies in the industry as they receive training. After earning your high school diploma, you can then specialize fully in mechanics and delve in deeper by training as an auto mechanic assistant, technician, or engineer. This brings us to the next important step.
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The is where the real journey into your auto mechanics career will begin. When it comes to this, there are various training programs provided by community colleges, vocational schools, and some automobile manufacturers. Upon completion of your vocational education in this field, you will earn yourself a certificate or associate’s degree in automotive service technology. If you want to pursue mechanics, you will want to concentrate on courses in areas like electronics, automotive repair, math, English, and computers. This is because becoming a mechanic requires you to have some solid knowledge of automobile parts along with how the parts work together. Most importantly, you will take classes that will teach you a lot about automotive engines, transmissions, brakes, suspensions, and air conditioning systems, just to name a few. Common courses may include introduction to automotive technology, diesel service techniques, automotive electrical fundamentals, fuel and emission systems, among others.
You should also be able to utilize special tools and diagnostic computer software in inspecting and troubleshooting vehicles for certain problems. In addition to this, you will be able to get hands-on practical training on how auto jacks and some of the coolest vehicle lifts as well as hoists on the planet work. Deep knowledge about these special vehicle lifting and supportive tools and equipment can even be an inspiration for you to venture in the auto repair business. Also, equipping yourself with this training and experience will make it easier for you to explain what you’re doing in layman’s language. In other words, it gives you the opportunity to teach or become an inspiration to others, especially once you acquire enough experience, which will be discussed in one of the pointers that follow below.
Training and Experience
Just like in any other industry, a career as a professional mechanic will require lots of hands-on experience, which is something that education and vocational training alone won’t provide. To develop your career and pursue your passion even further, you will want to get employed and get some employer training for at least a few months or several years. To achieve this, you may have to start as a trainee mechanic, a helper or an assistant mechanic. You can try seeking such opportunities at car dealerships, auto repair shops, or even manufacturing companies.
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Your progress and success in advancing yourself may also depend largely on where you manage to get a deal, which makes it important to do some deep research before deciding to work for a particular company or shop. After having gone through what we discussed earlier it is the skills, experience, and expertise you acquire there that will propel you to the next level… make you a professional in the auto mechanic industry. One more thing, it is important to note that the automobile industry is rapidly evolving with advancements in automotive technology, so with time, you will want to join a firm that embraces and keeps pace with this technology.
To become a recognized professional mechanic, you will also need to pursue various certifications. There are quite a number of auto mechanics specialty areas provided for by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Some of these include electrical structures, steering, brake systems, and engine restoration, just to name a few. To become fully recognized, you will also be required to pass the necessary state exams. To get more information about the various requirements, online occupational databases can be of much help. The other good thing about taking and passing ASE certifications is that they can also expose you to more job opportunities if you’re employed in an auto repair shop or manufacturing company and if you have your own service station, they will also help improve your reputation and credibility. Certifications can also allow you to pursue a specific specialty.
In addition to the above, you will also need some good customer service skills to make it in the auto mechanics industry, especially if you’re considering opening your own vehicle service shop. Also, it pays to prioritize on staying organized as a career in this field as it requires quite a substantial level of dexterity. Keep learning, stay abreast with emerging trends in the motor vehicle industry, and stay professional. With the above few pointers, anyone will agree that becoming a professional mechanic may not be as difficult as some people may think it is.