If you have set your sights on a career in the automotive industry, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. Just about anybody with a mechanical inclination can bust tires; but if you want your career to go beyond an entry level tire tech or”lube guy” type of position, you will need an education from a good automotive repair school.
An automotive education proves to employers that you know your trade, making them feel more comfortable about taking a chance on you. It also qualifies you for higher-level openings in the automotive industry, such as mechanic or master mechanic positions, depending on your accompanying experience. Here are some ways to ensure that the automotive repair school you choose will make a good impression on your resume.
Verify the school’s reputation. If an automotive repair school has a good reputation among employers, you can bet there is a good reason for it. Most likely, the employers have hired graduates of the school’s programs, and have been duly impressed. Even if you don’t necessarily have the money or the desire to go to one of the nation’s top automotive schools, you can easily narrow down your list of potential schools by eliminating those with questionable reputations in the industry.
Research the school’s degree programs. Almost all automotive schools have an associate’s degree to help you get started in the automotive industry. This degree can usually be completed in a relatively short amount of time, allowing you to enter the field as soon as possible. In addition, many schools also have a master’s program to help ambitious students reach more esteemed positions, such as those of mechanic or master mechanic. In all cases, do your research and make sure the program genuinely teaches all of the knowledge and skills you will need to have in your chosen career.
Ensure that the school offers ASE certification. ASE Automotive Standards of Excellence certification is extremely important to members of the automotive industry. ASE certification lets your employer know which areas you can claim expert status in, as well as reassuring your customers that their cars are in good hands. Any automotive repair school that is worth its salt will gear its programs toward ASE certification. Some schools simply help you study for the tests, while others may offer testing at their location, making it easier for you to get certified.
Make sure the school offers internship or employment opportunities. The best way to enter the automotive industry is to hold a job in the field while you are in school. Working while in school gives you valuable on-the-job experience that will help you to get your first job as a program graduate. Most automotive schools have relationships with local garages, dealerships, auto parts stores, and other businesses in the industry, enabling you to easily find internships or part-time jobs while you are attending the school.
Find out what resources the school offers its students. Most automotive schools offer a variety of student resources. One of the most important resources to look for is job placement assistance. Ensure that the school has a good program for helping students or graduates prepare for their job search, doing tasks such as creating a winning resume, teaching interviewing skills, and providing automotive job listings.
Verify the cost of the program. Most people can’t ignore the price tag on the package, a good automotive repair school also has to be affordable. Research the cost of the program, and what the cost includes: for example, some schools will quote you one price for everything, while others list only the cost of the courses itself, leaving you to buy books, tools, and other necessities separately. Also, find out if the school provides any type of financial aid; many well-established schools can help qualified students get loans to afford their schooling.
What you do to prepare for your automotive career can literally affect the rest of your life. Attending a shoddy school can be almost as bad as getting no education at all. In your search for a good automotive repair school, you will need to look at more than just the degrees a school offers: you will also need to pay close attention to the educational program that you will undergo, the additional resources the school offers, the school’s reputation, and of course the cost of the program. As long as you take your time researching and choosing an automotive repair school, you should get off to a good start in your chosen career!