If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a new career as an automotive technician, there’s no time like the present! But where do you start? Let’s go over how to become an automotive technician.
Most auto techs today attend a postsecondary education program in order to qualify for their positions. And there are plenty of educational options out there—including certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs—so you can get the training you need in just a year or two.
Automotive technician training typically covers foundational skills, such as math, writing, electronics, and climate technology, to prepare you for learning all you need to know to succeed in the shop.
And the hands-on curricula is where it really gets fun: programs typically include assessments, maintenance, and repair for all aspects of today’s motor vehicles. Some students even specialize in engines, brake systems, climate control systems, diesel technology, or high-performance automobiles
Specific requirements for certifications and licenses can vary depending on your specific job role, your employer, and your industry. But auto techs generally need some type of credential in order to find work with reputable employers—although in many cases, certifications are earned after graduation, with collaboration from your employer.
The most common certification is from the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) and may only be earned after you’ve completed relevant full-time, hands-on experience.
Many students enjoy opportunities to intern with potential employers or in potential work environments—and in some cases, even while they’re still attending school! If you know what specific type of job you hope to find—such as with a mechanic or in a dealership—now is your chance to get some experience in that environment.
And if you’re not sure what type of work you want to do, that can be even more reason to seek an internship! Internships can give you the real-world experience you need to help you decide what kind of automotive technician job you would most enjoy.
Ready to get started? The Imagine America Foundation has a database of schools you can easily search to find programs in your area so you can begin your journey to an automotive technology career! IAF is proud to work with partner institutions like Universal Technical Institute, who offers training programs in a variety of technical fields—including for automotive technicians.