There isn’t one standard route to becoming a mechanic, so you can choose the path that best suits you and your needs. Starting from scratch, it usually takes between 2 and 5 years to become fully qualified, depending on which route you take into the industry.
In order to work as a mechanic, you must understand the inner workings of a large variety of vehicles and be able to correctly diagnose problems in the mechanics of a car. You also need to be fairly physically fit as being a mechanic often requires you to spend a lot of the day crouched into uncomfortable positions in order to reach a particular part of the car or engine.
You also need to be computer literate as much of today’s diagnostics are carried out using electrical equipment and computers, so if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with using these methods, a crash course might be a good idea to brush up your skills.
After Leaving Secondary School
There are several courses that you can take after completing secondary school which will give you the basic information needed for you to find an entry-level job in a workshop or garage. These courses usually run for between 6 and 12 months and include written theory as well as practical hands-on teaching. There will be a fair amount of coursework to complete in a variety of different subject areas but by the end of the course you will have a much better understanding of the mechanics of a car and will have the basic knowledge necessary to look for a job.
Regardless of how much time you spend in the classroom in preparation for starting out on a career as a mechanic, you won’t become fully qualified until you have completed at least two years of practical experience. Most of what you learn to qualify as a mechanic will be taught to you on the job, so you will be unable to attain the status of certified mechanic until you have been employed by a garage or workshop for at least 2 years.
Associate’s Degree Programmes
Associate’s degree programmes are another way of entering the business. These are extended versions of the 6 to 12 month programmes which offer courses in customer service and basic finances, as well as car mechanics. There are several of these associate’s degree programmes which are sponsored by automotive firms and manufacturers. You could set off on your degree with funding from one of these companies and an almost guaranteed job at the end of it. If you are really serious about becoming a mechanic then this could be worth looking in to as it is probably the most financially sound way of entering the business.
Last, but my no means least, there are apprenticeships. These tend to have little or no classroom learning at all but all skills are taught on the job. If you are a more practical learner then this is probably the best route for you as you will still learn everything you need to know, but in a more hands-on way. As an apprentice you could also earn a basic salary whilst learning.
There are several educational pathways which are open to you to help you on your way to becoming a fully qualified mechanic, you simply need to think about the ways in which you learn and your financial requirements whilst training. There is no right answer as all of these routes will eventually lead to the same end result.
All about garages
- Tools and Equipment Required to Open Your Own Garage
- What Does a Garage/Workshop Actually Do?
- Educational Requirements to Work as a Car Mechanic
- Specific Areas Dealt with By Car Mechanics