Finding A Good Automotive Repair School

If you have set your sights on a career in the automotive industry, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. Just about anybody with a mechanical inclination can bust tires; but if you want your career to go beyond an entry level tire tech or”lube guy” type of position, you will need an education from a good automotive repair school.

An automotive education proves to employers that you know your trade, making them feel more comfortable about taking a chance on you. It also qualifies you for higher-level openings in the automotive industry, such as mechanic or master mechanic positions, depending on your accompanying experience. Here are some ways to ensure that the automotive repair school you choose will make a good impression on your resume.

Verify the school’s reputation. If an automotive repair school has a good reputation among employers, you can bet there is a good reason for it. Most likely, the employers have hired graduates of the school’s programs, and have been duly impressed. Even if you don’t necessarily have the money or the desire to go to one of the nation’s top automotive schools, you can easily narrow down your list of potential schools by eliminating those with questionable reputations in the industry.

Research the school’s degree programs. Almost all automotive schools have an associate’s degree to help you get started in the automotive industry. This degree can usually be completed in a relatively short amount of time, allowing you to enter the field as soon as possible. In addition, many schools also have a master’s program to help ambitious students reach more esteemed positions, such as those of mechanic or master mechanic. In all cases, do your research and make sure the program genuinely teaches all of the knowledge and skills you will need to have in your chosen career.

Ensure that the school offers ASE certification. ASE Automotive Standards of Excellence certification is extremely important to members of the automotive industry. ASE certification lets your employer know which areas you can claim expert status in, as well as reassuring your customers that their cars are in good hands. Any automotive repair school that is worth its salt will gear its programs toward ASE certification. Some schools simply help you study for the tests, while others may offer testing at their location, making it easier for you to get certified.

Make sure the school offers internship or employment opportunities. The best way to enter the automotive industry is to hold a job in the field while you are in school. Working while in school gives you valuable on-the-job experience that will help you to get your first job as a program graduate. Most automotive schools have relationships with local garages, dealerships, auto parts stores, and other businesses in the industry, enabling you to easily find internships or part-time jobs while you are attending the school.

Find out what resources the school offers its students. Most automotive schools offer a variety of student resources. One of the most important resources to look for is job placement assistance. Ensure that the school has a good program for helping students or graduates prepare for their job search, doing tasks such as creating a winning resume, teaching interviewing skills, and providing automotive job listings.

Verify the cost of the program. Most people can’t ignore the price tag on the package, a good automotive repair school also has to be affordable. Research the cost of the program, and what the cost includes: for example, some schools will quote you one price for everything, while others list only the cost of the courses itself, leaving you to buy books, tools, and other necessities separately. Also, find out if the school provides any type of financial aid; many well-established schools can help qualified students get loans to afford their schooling.

What you do to prepare for your automotive career can literally affect the rest of your life. Attending a shoddy school can be almost as bad as getting no education at all. In your search for a good automotive repair school, you will need to look at more than just the degrees a school offers: you will also need to pay close attention to the educational program that you will undergo, the additional resources the school offers, the school’s reputation, and of course the cost of the program. As long as you take your time researching and choosing an automotive repair school, you should get off to a good start in your chosen career!

Jobs Available With An Automotive School Degree

Many who are interested in getting an education from an automotive school are unsure about the job security an automotive career can offer. There are a wide variety of jobs available to graduates of automotive school programs. Because car ownership and usage has only expanded in the past few decades, and continues to increase dramatically by the year, anyone with an automotive background is virtually assured a job.

Oil and lube technicians
Cars require a lot of regular maintenance, such as oil changes, a service that each car owner will need done every three months or less. As a result, there are many oil and lube shops that provide these services. The tight time schedule many of these shops adhere to ensures plenty of jobs for technicians who have the knowledge and experience to perform these tasks quickly and easily. Any graduate of an automotive school will be able to easily defeat the competition for these positions.

Automotive technicians
Automotive technicians are often hired by shops that provide more services than oil changes, air filter replacements, and other simple maintenance. Automotive technicians may be hired to mount and dismount tires, balance wheels, change brake pads, and perform tune ups, in addition to changing the fluids and filters in cars.

Mechanics
Mechanics tend to have more responsibilities than technicians, therefore requiring more education and experience. Mechanics may do all of the jobs often assigned to automotive technicians, but they also perform more complex repairs. Important components, such as shocks and struts, drive shafts, alternators, starters, etc. are usually replaced by mechanics. Additionally, more complex or critical maintenance tasks, such as readjusting the valve clearance in an engine, replacing the timing belt, and performing other engine work, are done by mechanics. Any good automotive school will provide the education and hands-on training necessary to perform maintenance of this caliber.

Master mechanics
The title of master mechanic is one any automotive school graduate would be proud to hold. Many schools include more advanced degree programs, providing the education and hands-on training necessary to be a master mechanic. Master mechanics can find jobs at almost any high quality automotive shop, garage, or dealership maintenance department. Naturally, the pay for a master mechanic position is considerably higher than that of an automotive technician or mechanic.

Auto body and paint specialists
Most have noticed the increased number of accidents you see on the road today. Someone has to repair all of that damage. Auto body and paint specialists are therefore in quite high demand. Auto body technicians are responsible for replacing exterior body parts and repairing the damage caused in accidents. Paint technicians paint the car once the damage has been repaired and the necessary parts replaced.

Parts sales people
There are, of course, the brave car owners who attempt to keep up on their cars’ maintenance and repairs on their own. Therefore, there are also many parts stores and dealership parts departments to keep up with this demand. Graduates of automotive school programs make great additions to parts sales teams, because they have the ability to do more than just look up a part number and grab the part off the shelf: they can discuss problems with the customers, try to help diagnose, and tackle the problems that occur when parts catalogues are wrong and computers fail. Most part sales departments like to have at least one very knowledgeable person on their team.

Automotive sales people
Just as with parts sales, there isn’t a better person to sell a car than someone who knows a lot about them. If you have an education from a good automotive school and you have a knack for selling just about anything, you will always be guaranteed a job at any car dealership. Dealerships love to have knowledgeable, smooth-talking salespeople on their team. A person to represent the dealership’s interests and also knows cars inside and out.

Automotive manufacturing
There are more and more cars on the road every year. Although there are many unskilled positions in automotive manufacturing, there are also many openings for people who know a lot about cars. An automotive degree will give you the knowledge and experience necessary to quickly climb the ladders in automotive manufacturing.

Automotive design and engineering
Cars change more than their looks each year. Technology is constantly making them better, faster, and more reliable. One of the most prestigious jobs in the automotive world is to be one of the concept designers or engineers who make those new cars possible. Designers and engineers must have a solid understanding of automotive theory, as well as engineering practices. This advanced education begins at a good automotive school.

These are only a few of the many jobs available to automotive school graduates. The automotive industry is a demanding field that includes many different positions, from the creation and sales of brand new cars, to the upkeep and repair of cars that are currently in use. An automotive degree will ensure that you always have a place in this exciting and constantly expanding industry.