To train to become an auto mechanic, take an associate degree or certificate program to undergo an apprenticeship at a vehicle manufacturer or repair shop. After completing the degree or program, apply for an entry-level automotive job as a trainee technician.
Automotive mechanics typically fix and maintain cars and light trucks. Aspiring mechanics often have to complete an associate degree or acquire a certificate in automotive technology, where they learn in the classroom about automotive emissions, engine diagnosis and suspension and steering. Students also do computer-based work and gain first-hand experience in handling vehicles. Associate degrees take two years to complete and require becoming an apprentice at an auto manufacturer. Students usually receive a wage during the apprenticeship.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that becoming a fully qualified auto mechanic may require up to five years of experience. Those who specialize in specific components, such as brakes or transmissions, may have to acquire one to two more years of training. It is essential to obtain a certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service by gaining sufficient experience and passing an exam.
After graduating, aspiring auto mechanics can train further by starting as trainee technicians and helping experienced mechanics. Employers usually require mechanics to stay educated with the latest industry trends and technology improvements by sending them to training programs.