Courses needed to become an auto mechanic include classes on batteries and starting systems, ignition and computer systems, electricity and electronics, air suspension, and wheel alignment, as well as classes on fuel injection systems. Before finding a job, mechanics typically need a high school diploma along with these technical training courses that are often available from community colleges, technical training schools, auto dealerships and car manufacturers.
To correctly diagnose and repair problems with automotive parts, mechanics must be familiar with a broad range of technical equipment and computer systems. Engaging in post-secondary training in automotive service technology is one way to learn about these systems through coursework while also qualifying for an entry-level mechanic position. These programs often include both classroom instruction and hands-on practice working with machinery and automobiles. An added benefit to many of these programs is the opportunity to learn under the guidance of an experienced automotive technician while taking classes.
In addition to technical classes offered through certificate and degree programs, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence provides credentialing for mechanics in eight different professional areas, including automotive transmission, manual drive train and axles, brakes, electrical systems, engine performance, suspension and steering, heating and air-conditioning, and engine repair. Each area of certification requires two years of hands-on experience as a mechanic. However, coursework can substitute for some of this requirement. This allows students with a formal education in the area to earn certification earlier, according to ASE.