Automotive Technician Careers Opportunities Abound
Many working in the automobile industry started their careers as mechanics. These people can have an advantage over other job candidates and coworkers when moving up through the ranks because of this strong basic mechanical knowledge. Just like the house needs a strong foundation to build on, a bright future in the automotive business benefits from formal training as a technician.
Opportunities in the Automobile Industry
The automotive industry is a big part of the global economy but in the United States its second only to the food service industry. If you doubt this statistic you can drive down any main thoroughfare running through a large town and take note of the amount of restaurants and auto related businesses. It would seem valid to consider a career with so many opportunities available.When it comes to kicking off a career one of the biggest criteria for success would be the amount of jobs available in that segment. For technicians places of employment abound. New car dealerships, independent service shops, franchise repair centers and companies that run fleet operations are just a few of the large businesses that employ trained mechanics. If spinning wrenches and getting dirty is not your cup of tea some of the other automotive technical careers include parts counter person, parts manager, service adviser and service manager. All of these positions benefit from a strong understanding of auto technology. These positions also have ample opportunities for advancement. As an example of where these jobs can take you, if you meet with the general manager of a new car dealership you will find that he has held one or more of the positions listed above.
What is an Automotive Service Technician
An automotive service technician assesses automobile problems and performs all necessary diagnostic tests to identify faulty components. In the past highly skilled individuals where referred to as technicians as opposed to mechanics. Those in the business no longer consider the word mechanic a verbal slur. The word technician conjures up the vision of someone wearing a white lab jacket and holding a clipboard. Working on cars is a greasy and dirty operation. In the real world few mechanics or technicians wear anything white while working on an automobile.No matter how you refer to this person working on the car, they must learn to work on all systems of the automobile. Even if they decide to become specialized in certain areas they still train in basic theory first. Field specialists concentrate on being an expert at servicing one particular system of the automobile such as brake systems, transmissions or air conditioning repair. The more you specialize in a single area the less job opportunities will present themselves although this can be offset with the speed that you can achieve expert status in that field.
How do You Start a Technician Career
Although formal training from a trade school or college is not required it’s highly recommended. Taking this route can accelerate a technician’s career when compared to someone who learns from Job shadowing or hands-on training under the shade tree. Those wishing to put their career on a fast-track will benefit from becoming certified as soon as possible. The recognized standard for certification in the United States can be obtained through a nonprofit known as ASE (Automotive Service Excellence). This organization works to improve the quality of auto repair through testing and certification of professional mechanics. To be eligible for testing you must show 2 years of professional experience. They count formal education towards this experience requirement.There are many ways to train for a successful career in automotive service. Some of the most popular would be apprenticeship or co-op programs that are sponsored by car-makers. These can be intense learning experiences that are typically two years in length and combined with hands-on experience with a sponsoring dealership. Examples of this are the ones offered by the big three. Chrysler calls theirs C.A.P (College Automotive Program) and the A.S.E.P. (Automotive Service Educational Program) is sponsored by General Motors. Ford and Toyota also offer their own version of cooperative educational programs. Since this training is offered through community colleges completion and graduation comes with an Associates degree in applied science.
The automotive industry offers numerous types of employment for people with a good understanding of advanced auto systems. Even if your career travels down a different path and away from car related businesses this training is not a waste of time. Automobiles are so integrated into our everyday lives you will often find yourself falling back on these valuable skills.