Does the thought of shuffling papers and sitting in front of a computer screen for eight hours a day bore you to tears? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you get a buzz out of helping people? If the answer to these questions is Yes, you may be headed for a career in auto repair.
The job of an auto repair professional isn’t what it used to be. Today’s vehicles are complex. Under the hood, computers drive them. Mechanics need to be able to understand and use sophisticated electronics in addition to wielding screwdrivers, torque wrenches, and specialized testing equipment. When you’re looking for auto repair classes in Hampton Roads, there are two ways to get the education you need: Get a job in a garage and earn as you learn or take formal classes at an accredited institution.
The Pros and Cons of On-the-Job Training vs. Formal Education
Get a job as a mechanic straight out of high school
The obvious advantage here is that you don’t have to pause your income to learn a new trade. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve chosen a Hampton Roads garage with a sound local reputation and an expert at the helm. If you’re a model employee, work hard, learn fast, turn up on time every day, and work well with customers, you have a built-in professional reference when you’re ready to move on.
The downside of working in auto repairs as soon as you finish high school is that you will only learn what the boss knows, which will be limited to the kinds of skills and techniques in demand by the Hampton Roads auto repair market. If your boss still adds up invoices on an old-fashioned adding machine and you have to get on the floor on your back to unplug an oil pan, you won’t have exposure to the latest equipment.
Taking a formal auto repair course in Hampton Roads
One of the main benefits of getting the auto repair education you need in Hampton Roads is exposure to the latest techniques and equipment. You gain skills and knowledge that will help you get a better job, or at least move up the ladder quickly if you start out in an entry-level position.
Employers look favorably on candidates with even a little education beyond high school. If you decide later to strike out on your own and set up your own auto repair shop, you’ll have a solid foundation in both the practical aspects as well as the necessary business acumen.
You will need to learn:
- Hands-on experience in a realistic shop environment with modern testing equipment and specialized tools.
- Knowledge and skills required to get an entry-level job as an automotive mechanic in a top automotive repair center.
- A foundation in business management, communication skills, financial skills, inventory control, and customer service.
The practical elements of a formal education in automotive service management will likely include courses in basic engine repair, vehicle electrical and electronics, heating, cooling, and environmental control, engine performance, and vehicle systems. The business side of the industry will include classes in occupational health and safety, technical writing, computer applications, ethics in accounting, industrial psychology, and a significant service management component.
Are You Ready to Start Your Journey by Earning a Degree?
If you are interested in auto repair classes in Hampton Roads, contact us at Advanced Technology Institute. Find out if you’re a good fit for our Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Automotive Technology program.