When Henry Ford first started building cars back in 1896, he revolutionized transportation, built an industry, and created a brand new career path for millions of Americans. And there’s never been a better time to be an automotive tech because there have never been more vehicles on the road!
Last year, there were nearly 258 million cars, trucks, and SUVs in the United States. The record number of vehicles being driven around the country is good news for people interested in becoming auto techs—but it gets even better.
People are holding on to their vehicles longer, too. IHS Automotive reported that people are owning their vehicles for an average of 77.8 months, or more than six years. Yes, there’s going to be an increased need for automobile mechanics. As a matter of fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5% increase in job growth between 2014 and 2024. So if you are considering a career as an automotive tech, you are going to want to attend one of the best automotive tech schools.
Here’s a look at the attributes and opportunities offered by the best automotive tech schools:
The Best Auto Tech Schools Are Certified
Certification matters a great deal in the world of automotive technicians and mechanics. That’s why the best automotive tech schools are Master Certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
To become certified, the best automotive tech schools must demonstrate the ability to prepare their students with thorough knowledge of automotive systems and components, computer skills, communication skills and above average mechanical aptitude. In other words, schools certified by NATEF are the schools you want to consider attending.
. . . And Practical
You can’t learn to drive a car, truck or SUV by simply reading an owner’s manual—and you can’t learn to repair them if you only get to read about it.
The best automotive tech schools provide students ample opportunities to gain real-world experience. They let you roll up your sleeves, practice logical diagnostic procedures and effective repair methods, and make mistakes.
When you are considering which school is right for you, make sure to look for a school that will provide hands-on experience in a realistic shop environment. That way, you will be better prepared for success after you graduate.
The Best Auto Repair Schools Go Bumper-to-Bumper
The automotive repair industry is more sophisticated than ever, which is why you want a school that provides bumper-to-bumper training.
You want to be prepared to diagnose and repair any problem. That means you’re going to need experience and knowledge working with everything from tires and suspension to computers and on-board technology. The best automotive tech schools get you under the hood, axles and dashboard on a regular basis. And don’t forget the bumpers—they matter, too!
One of the best ways to ensure you will get a robust education is to look at a program’s curriculum. If it doesn’t address everything from the fundamentals of technology to steering and alignment to brakes to emissions and beyond, it’s probably not one of the best automotive tech schools in the country.
And Of Course, They Have Connections
At the end of the program, your goal is going to be to land an entry level job in automotive maintenance and repair. You will needs skills and knowledge, but you’ll also need connections.
Make sure the school you choose is connected to the profession. Make sure it has an alumni base that is actively working in the industry so other graduates can help you land your first job.
Even though the job market for automotive techs is expected to grow between now and 2024, you’re still going to need connections in the industry to improve your chances of landing the job you want. The best automotive tech schools have track records of success and alumni who want to help other students succeed.
Discover How ATI Strives to Be the Best
If you are ready to join the ranks of automotive service technicians and become part of a proud tradition that dates back to the days of the Henry Ford’s first Model T, connect with the Advanced Technology Institute to learn more about earning an Automotive Technology with Service Management (AOS) degree. Here, you can learn more about what all of the best automotive tech schools offer—and how they can help you reach your career goals.
Finished the program and got a spot in the BMW STEP program because of the school. Because of ATI I have a job with a major manufacturer. Thank you!
Posted by Jeremy Fisher on Friday, August 14, 2015
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