How To Find The Right Training For A Career As A Mechanic

I once had a school counselor give me some advice on my career options, she said; “to be honest there is a steady job for almost any decent, well-trained diesel mechanic”.

That was all it took for me to enroll in our local community college’s auto mechanic training program. I never once looked back and I’ve always been grateful for that advice at a young age.

Nowadays, more and more Americans are looking for reliable, stable employment opportunities. The choice is just the same as was for me back in the ’80s, mechanics are needed everywhere across the country and as a consequence of dismal economic climate that we’ve been in for several years now, ASE certification can give you the keys to a rewarding career.

car mechanic

With the rise in auto sales since the government bailout of GM in 2009, the demand for car mechanics and technicians has given thousands of hard-working Americans a reliable paycheck. In addition, their careers are continuing to prosper as the entire auto sector has hit new record highs over the past 18 months.

When looking at various auto mechanic schools out there, you need to speak with other techs, recent program graduates and to carefully review the course offerings at each program. From automotive technology to collision repair to automotive technician schools, most schools specialize in one or two particular industries and you might wish to start out with a general course that gives you exposure to several different disciplines. With these various options, you can decide which program interests you the most and then enroll in courses that will help you have a successful career after graduating.

Our Top Rated Diesel Mechanic Schools


As a technical institution that offers career-oriented education, WyoTech’s auto mechanic programs provide students with the skills necessary to achieve their professional goals. You can fast track your career with WT as they offer an associate degree program in automotive technology that takes only 16 months to complete. For advanced automotive diagnostics and light-duty diesel repair, students have a large selection of career paths within the industry!

Dunwoody College of Technology

Dunwoody has a sophisticated automotive educational laboratory and support from partners in the industry. Dunwoody College of Technology offers highly rated programs in automotive collision and automotive service.

New York Automotive and Diesel Institute

By producing qualified auto mechanics who have received rigorous up-to-date automotive training, the New York Automotive & Diesel Institute has built a reputation based on excellence. They have three automotive programs: Certified Automotive Technician, Certified Truck and Diesel Technician, and Master Certified Collision Repair Technician. If you’re interested in working with trucks in particular, this might be the right mechanic school for you.

New England Institute of Technology

By offering real-world training in an automotive technology classroom environment, an associate degrees from the NEIOT gives you a in-depth learning environment with a hands-on application of modern methods in the automotive field. To help working adults, they offer an evening program and an advanced automotive technology day program, so you can get your education whenever the time is right for you.

It is important to remember that no one path is right for everyone. This is especially true with professional training for your career in the automotive industry. For me, community college was the best route because of price and location. For others, you may be better served attending a dedicated automotive training program like UTI. We have even had a few readers switch from mechanics programs to freight brokerage programs after seeing a different path for their career.

The hours of schooling and the investment of at least $30,000 in tooling is a big step- both financially and time-wise.

Your first few years out in the field will be your biggest test. It will be a test of will and determination because you will be competing with much more knowledgeable and experienced technicians for work orders. Remember, most auto techs are not paid by the hour but are paid by the job.

If you are a fast learner and retain your skills, you should have no problem making a career out of your education. With that said, I would advise against spending $40,000 on an automotive education school that would not be worth it. Any honest technician will tell you this is not an easy way to make a living. I have worked alongside techs that have been through a trade school for 9 months and those that went to the higher-priced schools enough to know that what they leave the classroom with is not that different at all. At least not enough, to make up for the difference in price. I’ll take the community college trade school education and put it up against what they teach at those high priced schools any day.

Can you make a good salary in this industry? The money is out there for you if you are willing to work hard for it. I got my start as a lube tech at $9.00 an hour within a few short years I was earning $33.00 a flat rate hour as an Ase certified technician. If you are considering a career as a mechanic, I would recommend that you go speak with a shop service manager and then with some technicians in your area before your decide.

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