How to Become an Auto Tech in 3 Steps
Have you always been intrigued by the ins and outs of the automobile engine? Does troubleshooting and taking apart the parts of a car sound like a good way to spend your Monday afternoon? Are you always looking at the latest models of cars and seeing what their upgrades include? If all this fits and you’re looking to continue your education, a career as an automotive technician may be the path you have been searching for.
Auto technicians inspect, maintain and repair cars and light trucks, often doing so in a body shop or dealership setting. Cars increasingly rely on electric gadgets and computers, but set aside any preconceived notions you may have about auto techs being replaced by computerized repairs. The number of cars on the road is constantly increasing, as more cars are manufactured every day. In 2010 in the U.S., over 250 million highway registered vehicles were built, over 190 million of which were passenger cars, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics U.S. Department of Transportation.
Even though these cars are built well, they still need repairs and maintenance to operate reliably. Even if cars do not have any major structural flaws, the suggested maintenance schedule should be followed in order to ensure the car's safety and longevity. While computers can do a lot, skilled technicians are still needed to make judgement calls on diagnostic tests and physically make necessary repairs.
How to Become an Auto Tech in 3 Steps
If you are interested in getting under the hood of cars, now is the time. While demand is high, you can become an auto tech in three straight-forward steps.
1. Get formal training from an accredited auto-tech program
Anyone can walk into a body shop and try to learn on the job. But if you go down that route, you will have a lot of work to do to catch up to your more educated and experienced co-workers. Additionally, auto techs do more than just work on cars, as a lot of the job entails computer work; this aspect may even require some additional classroom training. While automotive technology is a hands-on job, it requires a certain set of skills and technical know-how. This in-depth knowledge and understanding comes from training in an accredited program that offers more than just the basics. Lincoln Tech offers an accredited Auto Tech career training program with access to industry professionals and leading employers to support the students’ path to success.
2. Gain experience with on-the-job training
An essential part of becoming a skilled technician is having the opportunity to practice those skills. While a thorough education will prepare you, job training will hone those skills so they become second nature. To become a fully qualified senior mechanic or service technician, you must complete two to five years of on-the-job training. Before becoming a technician's assistant or lubrication specialist, for example, you have to start as a trainee and work your way up. As you become comfortable with more skills and become familiar with all types of repairs, you will be able to move up and gain more responsibilities. At Lincoln Tech, there are plenty of opportunities for externships that help graduates get a leg up.
3. Get ASE certification to demonstrate your qualifications
You are eligible to test for certification after completing an automotive education program and gaining one year of experience as an auto technician, or after two years of hands-on work experience. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is an independent non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals. Lincoln Tech’s auto tech programs prepare students to take the ASE certification exam with specialized training and classes. With this certificate, you will be a trusted technician to both your employer and your client.
With the promise of a growing field, the right topics to pique your interest and ample opportunity for you to get started, the path is cleared for you to kick start your future in just three steps. Start training today to become an Automotive Technician!