Schools Training

Launch Your Career with an Apprenticeship – Automotive Industry

17 MAY 2012
Career Path : Automotive

You’ve been thinking about getting into the automobile service industry for some time now. You have the passion. You have the drive. Now all you need is to get your hands dirty.

The tricky thing about launching a career in the automotive industry is that going to school and earning a diploma or official certification isn’t always enough. Most dealerships, garages or auto shops won’t hire novices that have little or no experience. But how do employers expect you to gain any hands-on experience if no one is willing to hire you?

The answer, my fellow career-chasers, lies in the almighty apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are ideal for a variety of people who want to become trade specialists. Whether you’re fresh out of high school and are ready to step into the workforce, or if you’re a veteran and have suddenly decided to turn your career in a completely different direction, apprenticeship programs really help jumpstart your expertise in your chosen trade.

Many apprenticeships are offered alongside school training, so your time will be split between taking classes and clocking-in hours at a shop. How it works is that employers will agree to train students who are enrolled in an academic apprenticeship program. The main advantage to this sort of set-up is being able to gain both theoretical and practical knowledge simultaneously. So, it isn’t uncommon for you to read about car alignment one day, and be standing under the lift the next day.

Before you enroll in an apprenticeship program, you’ll need to decide what exactly you want to do. There is no shortage of career prospects within the automobile industry, including:

  • Automotive Service Technicians
  • Automotive Mechanical Installers and Servicers
  • Motor Vehicle Inspectors and Testers

Keep in mind that some automotive apprenticeships will provide a general overview of the trade, while others will zone in on a particular specialty within the automotive industry. So, if you want to pursue a career as an Automotive Service Technician, you may want to consider participating in the Automotive Service Educational Program or one similar to it. These programs are quite broad and cover everything from major automotive assemblies and engines to electrical and fuel systems.

But if you are looking to concentrate your expertise, you will have the option to narrow your focus to a specific sector of the automotive trade. For example, there are Ontario apprenticeships that offer students the Auto Body & Collision Damage Repairer program, which provides a detailed curriculum on auto repair practices, including repairing dents in fenders and skirting, as well as stretching metal panels and welding breaks in body panels.

Regardless of whether you’d prefer a general or specialized focus within the automotive industry, completing an apprenticeship program will be a distinguishing feature of your future candidacies. You will have already gained enough work experience that you can hit the ground running, and prospective employers will recognize that you understand the ins and outs of your future career.