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Steps to Become an Automotive Technician
Step 1: Help your student engage
Help your student engage with local dealers while they're in high school. Have them reach out to see if they can work part-time as a shop hand or apprentice technician.
Step 2: Provide research support
Provide support with researching post-high school program options.
Step 3: Help them pick their path
Help them pick their path between Community College and for-profit school. Community College is less expensive and they'll earn an associate degree, but it does take two years to complete. For-profit schools only take one year to complete but are more expensive and award a certificate. There is no wrong choice, it depends on what your student prefers.
Step 4: Investigate programs
Support your student and assist in investigating brand-specific programs that are offered in the path they selected.
Step 5: Secure an internship
Once your student gets into their auto program of choice, help them look for internships with local dealers (talk to their school counselors, teachers, and alumni).
Who is the ATC?
The Automotive Technician Collaboration (ATC) was founded with the goal to increase awareness in the automotive technician career, create strong cultures for technicians to grow in, and mitigate the risk of the ongoing technician shortage.
As the number of technicians in demand grows, the automotive industry loses out on potential revenue. In order to reverse this demand, each member of the ATC has come together to invest in the growth, development, and happiness of their technicians, as well as spread awareness for how this career has changed.
What is the Technician Shortage?
The automotive industry needs an additional 20,000 technicians per year to meet demand (75,000 total!) - and that number has continued to climb as more and more people choose to attend a 4-year college in the US. As fewer people go into trades, the demand for technicians grow.
Why should your student become an automotive technician?
The automotive technician career involves working with computers - as well as your hands. The culture of each dealership is team-oriented - some dealerships even do team-based bonuses, so everyone on the team wants to see each other succeed. Technicians have to solve problems every day, meaning each day is different than the one before. The combination of these abilities leads to a skillset that is transferable across multiple industries and roles.
Where do students go for education to become an automotive tech?
There are a couple of different options automotive technicians have when it comes to education. Automobile manufacturers, vocational schools and community colleges offer training programs that award certificates of completion in automotive service technology or associate degrees. Learn more and find educational programs near you.
What are certifications? Why are they important?
Certifications come from the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certifications allow technicians to have continued learning and specialization within a specific sub-set of the career. They boost technician pay and increase technician demand, as customers want to work with a technician that has been quality certified to repair their specific vehicle. To learn more and find these certifications, visit ASE's website.
What are the opportunities for career advancement?
There's a huge opportunity for advancement. Technicians start as apprentices then become Main Line Technicians. From there, they work up to Master Technician and have the options to become a Shop Foreman or Manager. You can read more about automative technician career advancement here.
Where can my student learn about local apprenticeships and internships?
There are apprenticeships throughout the US! Visit ASE's site to learn more.
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