The facts should inspire confidence in anyone who knows their way around an engine.
Statista says that there are nearly 275 million vehicles registered in the United States. They are cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and an array of other vehicles. Some are old, some are new.
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says that more than 45,000 auto mechanics will be needed between now and 2026. CNBC reports that there are more drivers on the road and a greater need than ever for highly trained auto mechanics.
It all adds up to good news for anyone looking for a job maintaining and repairing automobiles–even if you don’t have any experience.
There are a lot of roads that can lead you to a long and successful career as an auto mechanic. You can go from shop to shop, filling out applications, trying to prove that you’ve got the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, and hoping someone will take a chance on you.
Or you can take the route that most often leads to success–you could enroll in a formal education program, reap the benefits, and then start applying for jobs.
Here’s a look at five ways auto mechanic school could pay off:
You’ll get to hone your skills
It’s one thing to know your way around your own garage and be good with tools when no one’s watching. It’s something else entirely to do it when you’re on the clock and working on someone else’s car.
Going to auto mechanic school could allows you to hone your skills by revisiting the basics, which are the foundation of every successful career. You should get to spend time studying engine repair, brakes, vehicle systems, steering and alignment, electronics, and overall engine performance.
By the time you graduate, your skills will be as sharp as ever.
You’ll study the soft skills
Everyone who ever owns a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, or RV will probably need an auto mechanic at one point or another. But not everyone enjoys bringing their vehicle into the shop.
That’s because the vehicles are complex, and not everyone understands how they work, what causes them to fail, and all the work that goes into fixing them. This can breed distrust, and distrust is bad for business.
A big part of your job will involve using soft skills to educate customers.
When you’re in a formal training program for auto repair, you should learn to communicate effectively with customers, to provide exceptional customer service, and to manage a business in a way that benefits both your employer and the people who pay you to fix their vehicles.
You’ll develop management skills
These days, being an outstanding auto mechanic requires more than just the ability to pull apart an engine, fix it, and put it back together again. It requires service management skills–and you could develop them in auto mechanic school.
Service management involves everything from making it easy for customers to make appointments to providing customers with updates to developing processes that allow the shop to run effectively and efficiently.
Mechanics that have service management skills as well as great garage skills are typically in high demand.
You’ll get comfortable with computers
Today’s vehicles rely so heavily on computers and code that USA Today once wrote a feature story about it. There’s the oxygen sensor, the powertrain control module, the CANbus, airbag controller, window switches, and many, many more.
And you’re going to have to know how they all work, what they do, and how to fix them.
It can sound overwhelming to someone who hasn’t been fully immersed in the world of automotive electronic control units. But don’t worry, you generally learn all about the maze of wires and computers that is used to keep today’s cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles running well on the roads.
You’ll get hands-on experience
It has been said that there is no substitute for experience, and that is certainly true in the automotive repair industry. The best mechanics have spent hours and hours toiling away under the hoods of all types of vehicles. There isn’t too much they haven’t seen.
Garages want to hire the best mechanics, so they want people with experience–and you should get plenty of that in a formal auto repair training program.
You will have to put your skills and knowledge to the test in a shop environment that mimics a real-world garage. You should get to use new tools, make mistakes, and learn how to fix them under the supervision of expert instructors.
Ready to get started?
A formal degree in automotive technology could give you a head start when it comes to your career. If you want to earn an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Automotive Technology with Service Management, consider ATI’s accelerated and hands on learning program. For more information, connect with a helpful admissions advisor today.