How Long is Auto Mechanic School?
Being an auto mechanic is not for everyone, to be sure. However, for those select individuals who possess a passion for automobiles, fixing things with their hands and dealing with people’s mechanical problems, a career in this field can be a highly desirable option. While it doesn’t take all that long to go through school for certification in this field, it can nonetheless be demanding in its own right. Auto service technician jobs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, so some employers are searching for people who have finished formal training in a postsecondary school. Let’s take a look at everything that’s involved.
What Is Involved in Terms of Education?
Education for a career of this type can start as early as high school! In high school, it is advised that students take some courses in automotive repair, math, English, electronics and computers. Of course, a high school diploma is nowhere near enough to qualify one for work in this field. To get a job for even an entry-level auto mechanic position, it is recommended that high school graduates finish either a vocational or postsecondary training program for automotive service technicians. Programs like this take between 6 and 12 months. If you’re really ambitious, you can earn an associate’s degree in the field, which will take 2 years.
How About Additional Training?
Even when one’s education is all finished, learning doesn’t stop–not if you want to get a better-paying job in the auto repair industry. Even when the actual school portion of education is all finished, on-the-job training still occurs as part of one’s first job in this field. Based on just how much education a service technician already enters the workforce with, it can still take between 2 and 5 years to become a full-fledged auto mechanic. Beyond this timeframe, it can even take up to 2 additional years for a mechanic to become completely familiar with a wide variety of repairs.
What About Certification?
Certification is the last piece of the education puzzle for a person working in this field. The most important standard for anyone working in this field is certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Since certification shows that a mechanic is of a higher competence than one without certification, it typically ensures higher pay for the auto service technician. Today, a lot of employers require that their mechanics get certified. There are eight different areas of possible certification, and the mechanic who seeks certification must already have 2 years of experience in said area and pass the appropriate exam.
When all is said and done, it can take quite a bit of schooling to become an auto mechanic. However, that is only the case if you include the amount of time it takes to complete additional training and certification. The actual program to train as an auto service technician only takes a couple of years at the most after high school. Still, with higher pay being a mighty incentive, mechanic education takes the shape and form of additional training and certification, as well as on-the-job training after school.