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Top 25 Auto Mechanic Schools In The US 2020

In this honest review, we’ll take a closer look at the top 25 programs in the U.S. to find the best auto mechanic school for you.

Let’s start NOW!!

If you’re already interested in cars, becoming an auto mechanic might seem like a no brainer of a career path. There is a high need right now for more mechanics across the United States, so the employability rates are high. With the right training and experience, you can make a great salary doing something you love.

The best first step for those serious about becoming mechanics is to enroll in an auto mechanic school. These training programs are typically 2 years long and end in you receiving your Associate Degree or Technical Certification in auto repair. This gives you the baseline knowledge and schooling you need to pass your ASE exams and become a certified mechanic.

auto mechanic school
Top 25 Auto Mechanic Schools in the US 2020

There are a lot of different auto mechanic training programs to choose from. While some are regarded more highly than others, there’s no one right answer when it comes to picking the right one for you. We’ve picked out our top 25 auto mechanic schools in the nation and ranked them on the list below.

Anyone of these schools can give you the training you need to become a successful auto repair technician. Read what each one is known for below to find the one that’s perfect for your needs.

Top 25 Auto Mechanic Schools In The US

Pittsburg State

Pittsburg, KS

Since it’s built inside the Kansas Technology Center, the repair labs at Pittsburg State are equipped with the latest in diagnostic equipment. This exposure to the cutting edge better prepares students to work in the modern world. The faculty is equally renowned, giving students access to all the resources they need to succeed.

Included Programs

  • Master of Science in Technology (2 years, 30-33 credits)
  • Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology (4 years, credits vary)
  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology (2 years, 64 credits)
  • Certificate in Automotive Service Technology (2 years, 55 credits)


  • In-state: $8,164/year
  • Out-of-state: $18,804/year

Why study here?

  • Offers the full range of degree programs, up through Masters programs
  • Option of taking some courses online
  • 32,000-foot garage equipped with cutting-edge technology
  • Knowledgeable faculty
  • Small classes with lots of hands-on learning
  • Also offers emphasis in Diesel and Heavy Machinery


  • No programs shorter than 2 year

Weber State University

Ogden, UT

Those looking to get a full BS or AAT should seriously consider Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. When you get your degree from Weber State University The flip side of this is it’s a longer program, designed to be taken as a full-time student. If you have the time and money, though, attending Weber State is an investment in your future.

Included Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology (125-126 credits)
  • System and repair courses: 48 credits
  • Management and business: 9 credits
  • Standards and regulations: 3 credits
  • Supporting/general education: 66 credits
  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology (63-67 credits)
  • Automotive services courses: 21-23 credits
  • Supporting/general education: 24 credits
  • Automotive Service Technology Certificate of Proficiency (16 credits)


  • In-state: $4892/year
  • Out-of-state: $14,679/year

Why study here?

  • Offers full degree programs
  • Consistently ranked in the top 10 Automotive Technology programs
  • Passionate and knowledgeable faculty


  • Higher cost
  • Programs will require at least 2 years to complete

Lake Area Technical Institute

Watertown, SD

Studying at Lake Area Technical Institute gives you solid experience with all the latest diagnostic equipment. This makes you very desirable to employers. Most of your time will be spent working on cars in their 27,000-foot repair shop so you’ll graduate with real hands-on experience.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (71 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Repair and technical coursework: 56 credits
  • General education: 6 credits
  • Leadership and career courses: 9 credits
  • AAS: Light Duty Diesel Option (71 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Same credit breakdown as AAS in Automotive Technology
  • Light Duty Diesel Certificate in Automotive Technology (18 credits, 1 semester)

Tuition: $3,975-$4,063/semester

Why study here?

  • Spend more of your time in a garage than in classrooms
  • Gain experience with the most recent diagnostic equipment
  • Choice of automotive gas or light-duty diesel courses
  • Option of taking just the diesel courses if you’re already an automotive grad


  • Program designed only for full-time students
  • Higher per-credit cost

ATU Ozark

Ozark, AR

The program at ATU Ozark is practical in nature. It’s focused on automotive diagnosis and repair. Students learn how to test and fix all of the major systems in today’s modern cars. Taking the full 2-year AAS program will give you a start-to-finish background for working in or even owning your own garage.

Included Programs

  • Associate Degree in Automotive Service Technology (60 credits)
  • Auto repair specific: 51 credits
  • General education: 9 credits
  • Duration: 2 years of full-time
  • Technical Certificate in Automotive Service Technology (36 credits)
  • Auto repair specific: 27 credits
  • General education: 9 credits
  • Duration: 1 year full-time
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Automotive Service Technology (16 credits)
  • Electronics: 6 credits
  • Engine theory: 4 credits
  • Brake systems: 3 credits
  • Chassis and steering: 3 credits


  • In-state: $125/credit
  • Out-of-state: $250/credit

Why study here?

  • Practical preparation for work on modern cars
  • Offers full degree program for prospective garage owners
  • Shorter Certificate program gets you to work in less than 1 year


  • Relatively high cost per credit

Delhi State University of New York

Delhi, NY

Everything at Delhi State University is at industry standard. Faculty are required to have 15 years’ experience in the automotive field and all equipment used by students is what you’ll find in today’s garages. Graduates have a high success rate in both the workforce and continuing education.

Included Programs

  • AAS – Automotive Technology (4 semesters)
  • AOS – Automotive Technology (4 semesters)

Tuition: $7,070/year

Why study here?

  • Nationally ranked by the NATEF
  • All faculty are master-certified technicians
  • Credits are fully-transferrable to a 4-year college
  • Train on customer vehicles in the automotive lab
  • Students can earn up to 8 ASE certifications on graduation


  • Higher cost

Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell

Roswell, NM

Becoming a Master Technician takes serious training. The Automotive Technology Program at Eastern New Mexico University provides the knowledge you need to get there. Along with the degree program, certificates in employability and occupational training make graduates especially appealing when they enter the workforce.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science – Automotive Technology (62 credits, 4 semesters)
  • General education: 21 credits
  • Certificate of Employability (40 credits)
  • Certificate of Occupational Training (52 credits)
  • Automotive courses: 41 credits
  • Certificate in Automotive Brakes (6 credits)
  • Level 1 Certificate (14 credits)

Tuition: $3,103/semester

Why study here?

  • Nationally certified by ASE/NATEF
  • Covers all 8 major areas of study
  • Students preparing for certification as Master Technicians
  • Offers a variety of certifications


  • Not as flexible working with part-time students

Arkansas State University

Mountain Home, AR

You want to get out of school and into the workforce as quickly and affordably as possible. At Arkansas State University, you can earn your AAS in Automotive Technology in just 3 semesters, and at a total cost of just over $10,000. You’ll learn just as much as at other schools, but you’ll learn it faster, and leave with all the tools you need to find a job.

Included Programs

  • AAS in Workforce Technology – Automotive (60 credits, 3 semesters plus lab)
  • Technical coursework: 35 credits
  • Career coursework: 5 credits
  • Automotive lab: 8 credits
  • General education: 12 credits
  • Technical Certificate in Automotive Systems Repair (48 credits, 2 semesters plus lab)
  • Technical coursework: 35 credits
  • Career coursework: 5 credits
  • Automotive lab: 8 credits
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Automotive Systems Repair (12 credits, 1 semester)


  • In-state: $267/credit
  • Out-of-state: $552/credit

Why study here?

  • The fast-paced program lets you earn an AAS in 18 months
  • Full hands-on lab eases the transition into the workplace
  • Students leave with their own repair toolkit


  • Program is intensive
  • Not as flexible for part-time students

Alfred State College of Technology

Alfred, NY

The staff at Alfred State College of Technology are serious about preparing students for the real world. This intensive two-year program covers every system and style of engine, giving graduates the solid background they need to succeed. The option to complete a second Associate degree in motor sports, power sports, or motorcycles can make you even more versatile and employable.

Included Programs

  • AOS – Automotive Service Technician (52 credits, 2 years)


  • In-state: $8,075/year
  • Out-of-state: $14,635/year

Why study here?

  • 100% of graduates go on to full-time employment or further education
  • Includes 1,800 hours of practical training in automotive repair
  • Covers every system and type of car, including diesel
  • Certified by NAFTC, NATEF, and the NYS inspection station
  • Option to complete a second AAS in 1 year
  • Can directly enter a BA program following degree completion


  • Not suitable for part-time students
  • Not as much program variety

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI

Looking for a school that offers online learning? Ferris State University gives you the option of completing their Automotive Management course remotely. This is ideal for those already working in a garage who just need the degree to expand their knowledge. There is also an in-person course with hands-on experience.

Included Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology (4 years)
  • Bachelor of Science in Automotive Management (4 years)
  • Associate Degree in Automotive Management (2 years)


  • In-state: $431/credit
  • Out-of-state: $696/credit

Why study here?

  • Can earn an Automotive Management certification online
  • Programs include instruction in marketing, accounting, and other business skills
  • Can transfer credits easily to and from nearby universities
  • Over 80% of students receive financial assistance
  • Multiple degrees tracks available


  • Doesn’t focus on as many technical aspects of auto repair
  • Lengthy program with a higher overall cost

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, MI

The hands-on aspect of the automotive technology program at Northern Michigan University is the most helpful part of the program. Along with the technical aspects of car repair, you’ll learn how to run a safe and efficient workplace. This makes it ideal for someone who wants to run a garage, not just work in one.

Included Programs

  • AAS in Automotive Service Technology (65 credits)
  • Automotive repair: 41 credits
  • Industry and safety: 5 credits
  • General courses: 19 credits
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • Certificate in Automotive Service Technology (46 credits)
  • Technical courses of the AAS without the liberal arts requirement.
  • Duration: 1 year

Tuition: $5,364/semester

Why study here?

  • Teaches everything you need to manage a garage
  • Focus on full mechanical aptitude
  • Certificate option lets you complete the coursework faster


  • Higher cost per credit

Eastern Arizona College

Thatcher, AZ

The student experience at Eastern Arizona College is just like working in a real garage. You’ll make actual repairs while you learn the methods behind them. This is true of all their programs, which range from a consultant certification to a full AAS.

Included Programs

  • AAS – Automotive Service Technology (64 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Technical courses: 37-39 credits
  • Supporting/general education: 25-27 credits
  • Automotive Service Consultant Certificate (30 credits, 2 semesters)
  • Technical courses: 21 credits
  • Supporting courses: 9 credits
  • Automotive Technician Certificate (23 credits, 2 semesters)
  • Auto Maintenance Certificate (16 credits, 2 semesters)


  • In-state: $1,350/semester
  • Out-of-state: $5,700/semester

Why study here?

  • Tons of hands-on experience
  • Also provides the experience you need to manage a repair shop
  • Offers both AAS and technical certifications
  • Fully prepares students to take all necessary tests


  • Very expensive for out-of-state students

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Shell Lake, WI

The vocational programs at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College are nationally ranked. More importantly, their graduates are consistently hired in serious garages. By focusing just on car repair they condense the program down to 9-12 months, one of the fastest on this list.

Included Programs

  • Automotive Technician (55 credits, 2 years)
  • Technical Diploma – Automotive Service Technician (29 credits, 9-12 months)
  • Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician (11 credits, 1 semester)

Tuition: $4,992 for full program

Why study here?

  • The full program takes only 9-12 months to complete
  • Financial aid is easy to apply for
  • Credits can be transferred to a 4-year school for further education
  • Flexible programs and class times work with real life


  • Diagnostic training isn’t as in-depth

UA Cossatot

De Queen, AR

All of the courses in the technical sciences at UA Cossatot are designed to get graduates directly into the workforce. This focus on advancing your career makes it a practical choice. UA Cossatot also offers one-semester certificates in a wide range of skills, making it an appealing option for continuing education.

Included Programs

  • Technical Certificate – Automotive Service Technology (45 credits, 1-2 years)
  • Certificates of proficiency:
  • Brakes, Suspension & Steering (8 credits)
  • Drive Train Specialist (8 credits)
  • Engine Performance (10 credits)
  • Diesel Engines (8 credits)
  • Engine Repair & Climate Control (10 credits)
  • Diesel Brakes (8 credits)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems (9 credits)
  • Diesel Electrical/Electronics (8 credits)
  • Diesel Steering and Suspension (8 credits)

Tuition: $74-$102/credit

Why study here?

  • Will be thoroughly trained up to NATEF standards
  • Focus on preparing you to enter the workforce
  • Technical certifications are ideal for continuing learners
  • Easy to transfer credits to other institutions
  • Can pair certifications with an AAS in Skilled and Technical Sciences


  • No AAS in Automotive Technology

Alexandria Technical & Community College

Alexandria, MN

If your main interest is in diesel engine repair, including trucks and industrial equipment. You’ll get all the classroom knowledge, of course, including the theory of mechanics and current industry standards. More important, though, are the labs, where you’ll work directly on equipment.

Included Programs

  • AAS in Diesel Mechanics (75 credits, 108 hours)
  • Repair and technical courses: 58 credits
  • General education: 12 credits
  • Internship: 4 credits
  • Job seeking: 1 credit
  • Diploma in Diesel Mechanics (66 credits, 99 hours)
  • Repair and technical courses: 53 credits
  • General education: 8 credits
  • Internship: 4 credits
  • Job seeking: 1 credit


  • Online: $199/credit
  • On-campus: $165/credit

Why study here?

  • Options for online or in-classroom work
  • Full introduction to repair of diesel engines
  • Intensive internship prepares you for the workplace
  • Includes a course on finding and keeping a job


  • Higher cost per credit than other schools

Athens Technical College

Athens, GA

In addition to full courses in automotive repair, Athens Technical College offers a variety of certifications in systems like Climate Control and Electrical/Electronic Systems. All are certified by NATEF. With a mix of full 2-year degree programs and individual certifications, it has a lot to offer for car technicians in all stages of their career.

Included Programs

  • Associate’s in Automotive Technology (44-46 credits)
  • Diploma in Automotive Fundamentals (55 credits)
  • Diploma in Automotive Technology (62-63 credits)
  • Climate Control (14 credits)
  • Chassis (17 credits)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems (9 credits)
  • Engine Performance (16 credits)
  • Engine Repair (15 credits)
  • Transmission/Transaxle (18 credits)


  • In-state: $2,794/year
  • Out-of-state: $4,930/year
  • Single credit: $363

Why study here?

  • Multiple options for full degree programs
  • System-specific certifications for those not interested in a full degree
  • Flexible scheduling with both day and night classes


  • Will need to invest 2+ years to obtain Diploma or Associate’s

Pickens Technical College

Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College doesn’t just prepare you to work as an automotive technician, they also teach you how to go out and find a job. The program ends with a 3-week internship with the potential to lead straight into employment.

Included Programs

  • Maintenance and Light Repair Certificate (27 credits, 2 semesters)
  • Automotive Service Technician Certificate (16 credits, 1 semester)
  • Master Automotive Service Technician Certificate (17 credits, 1 semester)
  • NATEF Automotive Service Technician Certificate (60 credits, 4 semesters)

Tuition: $1,600-$2,300/semester

Why study here?

  • Emphasis on getting a job after school
  • Affordable alternative to full AAT programs
  • 2-year NATEF certificate is a full comprehensive program


  • No Associate degree programs

Salina Tech

Salina, KS

The instructors at Salina Tech have over 30 years of experience working with cars. This depth of knowledge is what makes their program so effective. They focus on real-world and hands-on experience in transmission, electrical systems, and all the other crucial components of today’s vehicles.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (68 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Technical courses: 53 credits
  • General education: 15 credits
  • Technical Certificate in Automotive Technology (53 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Technical courses of the AAS without the general education requirement

Tuition: $2,500/semester

Why study here?

  • Impressive faculty with extensive real-world knowledge
  • Gives students hands-on experience
  • Offers both Associate Degree and Technical Certificate options
  • Also offers an AAS in Auto Collision Repair


  • The program can take up to 2.5 years to complete
  • Not as much focus on finding employment

Northwest Iowa Community College

Sheldon, IA

As the school’s site says, this program studies cars from bumper to bumper. The inclusion of light duty diesel right in the automotive coursework is helpful, saving you time on additional certifications. Use of the latest technology and diagnostic tools also helps prepare students for real-world work.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science – Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology (78 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Automotive courses: 60 credits
  • General education: 12 credits
  • Internship: 6 credits

Tuition: $169-184/credit

Why study here?

  • Makes use of the latest technology and tools
  • Includes diesel engines in the main coursework
  • Summer internships add to the hands-on experience
  • Comprehensive system by system training


  • Not as flexible for part-time students
  • Relatively high per-credit cost

South Seattle College

Seattle, WA

The automotive repair program at South Seattle College is relatively small, offering only a single 1-year certification option. This focus lets it excel at what it does, though. If you want to quickly learn what you need to know for an entry-level repair position,  you can do it here.

Included Programs

  • Maintenance & Light Repair Certificate
  • Steering/Suspension (4hrs)
  • Tires/Wheel Alignment (4hrs)
  • Brake Systems (7hrs)
  • Engine Diagnosis (4hrs)
  • Engine Rebuild (8hrs)
  • Drivability (3hrs)
  • Automotive Technology (9hrs)
  • General Courses: 15hrs
  • Total Credits: 54 (1 year)


  • 1-10 credits: $285/credit
  • 11-18 credits: $60/credit

Why study here?

  • 1-year option for a full certification
  • Relatively low cost per credit for full-time students


  • No individual certifications
  • No option for a full Associate’s
A video about South Seattle College

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

Alexandria, LA

The automotive repair program at Central Louisiana Technical Community College is straightforward and effective. All instruction is NATEF certified and designed to prepare you for the institute’s certification test. Since you can get a certificate after each semester, it’s a great choice if you’re not sure that you’ll complete a full 2- or 4-year program.

Included Programs

  • Technical Diploma in Automotive Technology (60 credits)
  • Electrical Technician (12 credits)
  • Engine Performance Technician (15 credits)
  • Steering, Suspension & Brake Technician (12 credits)
  • Heating & Air Conditioning Technician (7 credits)
  • Automatic Transmission & Transaxle Technician (7 credits)
  • Manual Drive Train Technician (5 credits)
  • Engine Technician (20 credits)

Tuition: $2,250/semester

Why study here?

  • Option to complete full program or earn competency certificates each semester
  • Competencies offered in all the major systems
  • Full preparation in all aspects of automotive repair
  • Learn about motorcycles, aircraft, and marine vessels as well as cars


  • Not a full Associate program
  • No internship or lab for true hands-on learning

Washburn Tech University

Topeka, KS

Washburn Tech offers a range of transportation training programs, from truck driving to collision repair and even locomotive diesel technology. Their faculty has a depth of knowledge you won’t find in other programs. You’ll learn the ins and outs of how car engines work at both an intellectual and a practical level. Graduates leave well-prepared for a variety of repair careers.

Included Programs

  • Auto Service Technician Certificate (1-2 years)
  • Engine courses: 23 credits
  • Transmission/transaxle: 10 credits
  • Steering/suspension: 5 credits
  • Brake systems: 6 credits
  • Electricity/Electronics: 14 credits
  • Heating and air-conditioning: 4 credits
  • Auto OJT: 2 credits

Tuition: $2,100-$2,200/semester

Why study here?

  • Nationally certified program
  • Includes both classroom and hands-on learning
  • Gain in-depth technical knowledge of engine operation and repair
  • Can go on to complete a full AAS at Washburn University
  • Includes certifications in a variety of systems
  • The option of full-time or part-time coursework


  • Doesn’t offer a full AAS program

Southwest Tech

Fennimore, WI

 Here’s another program that will teach you all the basic servicing techniques you need to start a promising career as an auto technician. It’s definitely aimed at traditional students, with little in the way of scheduling flexibility.

Included Programs

  • AAS – Automotive Technician (60 credits, 2 years)

Tuition: $136-$204/credit

Why study here?

  • Occupational internships included in the coursework
  • Courses like Workplace Communication make you a better employee
  • All courses in the degree are focused on work as a repair technician
  • Some financial aid is available


  • No night-time classes
  • The full-time two-year program is the only option
  • Out-of-state tuition is steep

Northeast Community College

Norfolk, NB

The goal of Northeast Community College is to prepare students for entry-level positions as technicians in repair shops. They combine classroom and garage education to do this, and the program includes an internship for real-world training.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science – Automotive Technology (77 credits, 2 years)
  • Automotive courses: 66 credits
  • General education: 15-16 credits


  • In-state: $99/credit
  • Out-of-state: $139/credit

Why study here?

  • The co-operative internship provides on the job experience
  • Can transfer credits to a 4-year program
  • Fully accredited to prepare you for certification tests
  • The comparatively affordable program, especially for Nebraska residents


  • Less scheduling flexibility

The University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

You’ll get a pretty standard two-year college experience at the University of West Alabama. The program is designed for traditional students and has a larger general education component. If you’re especially interested in the engineering and technology behind car repair, you’ll love this program.

Included Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (62 credits, 4 semesters)
  • Engineering technology courses: 42 credits
  • General education: 29 credits


  • In-state: $8,450/year
  • Out-of-space: $16,900/year

Why study here?

  • A comprehensive education in automotive education
  • The curriculum includes courses on industrial equipment
  • The full degree program for a more well-rounded education
  • Prepares you for a career in a dealership or repair shop


  • More emphasis on classroom learning than hands-on work
  • Will spend more of your time in general education courses
  • Tuition cost is on the high side

Polk Education Pathways (Ridge Technical College, Traviss Technical College)

Winter Park, FL

This is a relatively small school, focused entirely on the automotive sector. The Automotive Service Technology program run by Polk Education Pathways is designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs in the automotive repair sector. Taking the course makes you eligible to take an Automotive Service Excellence test approved by NATEF.

Included Programs

  • Automotive Service Technology 1:
  • Automobile Services Assistor (300hrs)
  • Brake System (150hrs)
  • Suspension/Steering (150hrs)
  • Electrical/Electronic (300hrs)
  • Engine Repair (150hrs)
  • Automotive Service Technology 2:
  • Engine Performance (300hrs)
  • AT/Transaxle (150hrs)
  • Manual Drivetrain and Axle (150hrs)
  • Heating/Air Conditioning (150hrs)
  • Total class hours: 1,050 (AST 1), 750 (AST 2)

Tuition: $3,919/year

Why study here?

  • Offers great hands-on experience
  • Small school means more personal attention from faculty


  • No full Associate’s Degree option

Job & Salary Outlook for Auto Mechanics

auto mechanic school
The best first step for those serious about becoming mechanics is to enroll in an auto mechanic school.

Auto mechanics as a whole have a bright outlook right now in the United States. Everybody needs their car and needs it to work well. Much of today’s workforce is older, though, and likely to retire in the next 10 years. This means a lot of openings for those coming out of auto mechanic school.

You can make good money as an auto mechanic. Salaries vary based on your education, experience, and whether you’re employed in a garage or work independently, ranging from a low of $11.26/hour to a high of over $32/hour. The average hourly wage for a mechanic in 2018 was $19.78, which translates to around $40,000 a year.

Mechanic School Checklist

Having a degree from an auto mechanic training course is the best way to push yourself toward the upper end of that pay spectrum when you enter the workforce. But how do you choose the right school to get you there?

Online learning is one way to get around relocating for school.  With something like repairing cars, though, you really need the hands-on experience. If you already work in a garage, an online course might work for you. For those new to auto repair, though, an in-person program is a must.

What else should you look for when choosing your school? Here’s a brief checklist of the main factors to consider:

Are they accredited?

The most important thing is to find a school accredited by the NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation). Only accredited programs can offer the ASE tests students need to take to become certified Master Technicians.

How large are the classes?

The teacher-to-student ratio at a school tells you how much personal instruction you’ll get from the faculty. Auto mechanic training works best in small classes, where everyone can get their hands on the cars and really learn how to make them work. Large lectures can be fine for general education classes, but when it comes to the more technical stuff, look for smaller class sizes.

How advanced are the facilities?

Car manufacturers are constantly updating their vehicles, and mechanics need to keep up with these changes. Make sure the school uses the latest diagnostic and repair equipment so you’re ready to work in real garages when you graduate.

What is their student success rate?

The true measure of a school’s quality is how well their students do after graduation. How many of the program’s graduates found work in their field within the first 6 months? The higher this percentage, the better your chances to enter the workforce.

How experienced are the faculty?

You want the people instructing you to be experts in their field. The more experience they have, the more they’ll be able to pass on to you. Check out the faculty bios and look for people with at least 10 years of experience as working mechanics.

What specialties do they offer?

Some schools also offer courses in collision repair, motorcycle repair, and other tangential services. Specialties like this can often make you more employable, especially if they’re something you already have an interest in.

How much does it cost?

We all know college can be expensive. The good news is that most of these courses are offered by trade schools and community college, which are on average far cheaper than 4-year universities. Still, if budget is a factor in your decision, pay attention to the cost per credit. It varies widely from one school to the next.

How long is the program?

To be ASE certified, you need to enroll in at least a 2-year program. You can also take the test with two years of work experience, however. If you already have that, you might prefer a program that gives you the knowledge you need to pass the ASE exams in 1 year or less.

Mechanic Licenses & Certifications

In order to become a certified technician, you have to pass the ASE exam. ASE stands for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, an independent organization that safeguards the quality of the auto repair.

Certification also requires either two years of on-the-job training or a two-year degree from an accredited repair program and one year of on-the-job training. This is the main reason most mechanics seeking certification attend an automotive training program.

The automotive school also gives you the knowledge you need to pass the ASE exams. The tests are difficult, and only about 2/3 of test-takers pass their first time.

Automotive technicians also need to re-take the ASE exams every 5 years to maintain their certification. Returning to school for a semester to prepare for the exam can help keep you current with the industry’s standards.

Essential Skills & Experience for Auto Mechanics

Before you decide to enroll in an automotive technician training program, you should make sure it’s the right career path for you. There are some common traits and skills that make someone a good auto mechanic. Ask yourself:

Are you physically able to be a mechanic?

Auto technicians don’t sit at a desk. For most people, this is one of the most appealing things about the job. Just make sure you’ve prepared for the reality of being on your feet or under cars pretty much all day.

Are you good with people?

Whether you work for a dealership or own your own garage, there’s an element of customer service in every mechanic’s job. Explaining complicated problems to a layman can be tricky, especially a layman who’s already mad about his broken car. A good mechanic needs customer service skills as much as technical knowledge.

Are you good at problem-solving?

Mechanics have a lot of diagnostic tools at their disposal, but they won’t always give you the answer. An auto technician uses the clues from the vehicle to diagnose and solve the problem as quickly as possible. If you’re good at identifying problems and finding solutions, you’ll be a good mechanic.

Are you technically proficient?

More and more, there are two levels to a mechanic’s technical proficiency. You still need the mechanical aptitude to get under the hood, but now you also need the technical knowledge to get inside the dashboard. Understanding electronic systems is a huge advantage for a modern mechanic.

Can you work well under pressure?

Nobody wants to wait around for their car to be fixed. Every time a car comes in, you want to get it back on the road as fast as possible. A good mechanic can keep his cool and maintain his focus even in a hectic environment.

Do you like to learn?

A car mechanic isn’t done learning when he graduates. Staying up-to-date with the latest developments in-car technology—and how to repair them—means being a life-long learner. An auto repair technician is a great career for somebody who loves figuring out new and better ways of doing things.

Do you know a lot about cars?

This one might seem obvious, but it helps to have a starting background in car repair before entering into an auto mechanic training program. If you already know how to do simple repairs, you’ll catch on faster with more advanced techniques.

Read more: Top 35 Auto Blogs for Car Enthusiasts 2020

Tim MillerFounderOBD Advisor

I’m Tim Miller from Denver, Colorado. I’m the founder of obdadvisor.com, an automotive blog about "Auto Diagnostic Tools and Repair Guides". My fan page is facebook.com/autozikcom. I've been working as an automotive mechanic and blogger for over 10 years writing articles to share my experiences and expertise.

Web: https://www.obdadvisor.comEmail: [email protected]
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