Auto Technician Training Advice
Career Path : Automotive
Automotive service technicians and mechanics are often called service techs. They inspect, maintain, and work on mechanical engines and parts of light trucks and cars. As most newer vehicles have electronic and computer systems for steering, braking and others, they must be familiar with how those systems work as well. Service techs and mechanics are even becoming well-versed on autos that run on alternative fuels such as electricity or ethanol, using a wide variety of diagnostic tools as well as power tools and hand tools to diagnose and repair an issue.
In many shops, technicians can specialize in a certain kind of repair, such as:
Installing and repairing air conditioners and parts like condensers and compressors. Auto techs in this field must be trained in all government regulations for this kind of specialty.
Adjusting and replacing brakes, linings and pads and other repairs on brake systems.
Aligning and balancing wheels, repairing suspension systems and steering parts. These front-end technicians frequently use special machines for alignment and wheel balancing.
Technicians well versed in transmission related parts and controls such as hydraulic pumps, gear trains, couplings and extensive computer controls.
Technicians that conduct extensive tune-ups, such as adjusting ignition timing, spark plugs and other necessary labour and parts, often using specialized testing machinery to diagnose and fix malfunctions or issues such as emission control or ignition.
Type of Education Needed
Most employers are looking for qualified candidates with auto technician training, certification or degree in a formal program. Many high school graduates can receive auto technician training with courses in electronics and automotive repair. Even during high school, students who take electives in automotive repair as well as computers, math and English have a laid a good foundation for auto mechanic school.
Students learn both classroom instruction and gain practical experience while in auto mechanics school. Many specialized short-term certificate programs are also available. Some automobile dealers and manufacturers sponsor associate’s auto technician training and degree programs.
All mechanics and service technicians must complete two to five years of practical on-the-job training before they can actually look for a job. It typically takes another couple years of experience for service technicians to understand and be familiar with the variety of repairs out there. Auto technicians generally begin their careers as tech helpers while acquiring more skills by working with more experienced technicians and mechanics.
Most auto employers want their service technicians to be certified, which offers higher salary and demonstrates competence. Mechanics and technicians can become certified in specific focuses including electronic systems, automatic transmission, brakes, engine performance and repair, heating and air conditioning, and more. Technicians must have at least two years of experience in each of these areas to pass the certification exam.
Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information about an auto mechanic apprenticeship.