Becoming an Auto Mechanic 101: Certifications and Training
Are you an auto enthusiast with a genuine interest in working hands-on with cars and helping people continue to be safe on the road? Did you know that these are some of the simplest things you will learn to do as an auto mechanic?
If you’ve decided to pursue a career as an auto mechanic, it’s important to understand what certifications and training will be required and how one goes about becoming one. Don’t try to figure it out alone! This blog post should be your launching point, helping you get started on the long journey ahead – good luck!
Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated as of 2022 to reflect current industry standards and technical knowledge.
What Does an Auto Mechanic Do?
Simply put, auto mechanics are in the business of expertly diagnosing and repairing vehicle problems in an effort to keep drivers and their passengers safe on the road. No two car problems are the same, so you’ll be faced with needing to complete a wide range of automotive services, including:
- Completing part replacements
- Diagnosing problems
- Evaluating current health
- Performing maintenance work
Of course, you can always choose to specialize in a variety of areas that excite you, but having general know-how of some of the most common operations can get you far.
What Education is Needed to Become an Auto Mechanic?
Vehicles today are more complex than ever before. So, how can you attain the knowledge and technical know-how to succeed as a trusted mechanic in the auto repair industry? The first step to becoming an auto mechanic begins with a simple GED or high school diploma. This provides the basic knowledge (mostly math) needed to learn and complete auto services of all kinds.
When it comes to growing your auto repair knowledge and hands-on experience all in one move, enrolling in a trade school may be your best option. Research automotive trade schools in your area and apply for training and education.
At a trade school, you’ll learn what you need to know from auto mechanic experts in a face-to-face setting. And while you may be tempted to enroll yourself in an online auto repair course, it’s best to avoid them because they don’t provide any hands-on work or proper exposure to vehicles.
What Certification is Needed to Become an Auto Mechanic?
Technically speaking, there is no one specific qualification or certification needed to become a mechanic or work in a professional auto repair shop. Knowledge and skills always outweigh certifications and traditional education.
With this said, depending on the state you reside or work in, there are certifications you can seek out to prove your reliability and knowledge as a mechanic.
For example, a mechanic who has earned the Automotive Services Excellence (ASE) certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence holds the highest level of auto repair certification in the industry.
Established in the 1970s, the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence was created to educate mechanics and assist consumers seeking a qualified auto mechanic. To earn an ASE certification, one must complete and pass any of the 40 exams designated by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence.
What Experience is Needed to Become an Auto Mechanic?
Whether you’ve completed your certification or you’re applying to trade schools, the best way to continue to learn and grow as an auto mechanic is to continue doing as much hands-on and shop work as you can. Practice makes perfect!
You Have to Start Somewhere
Start with an entry-level position to learn the trade. Even if you’re still working on your certification and education, you can gain real-world experience and interaction with industry professionals as a parts runner, general service technician, or even a clerk at the front desk. You’ll be able to network and build your professional resume all at the same time!
Ready to Begin Your Career with a Neighborhood Favorite in Auto Repair?
So, what’s next? Whether you’re just getting started or you’re deep in your certification training, we’re cheering you on and hope that this information is helpful as you grow in your professional skillset. And just to let you know - Christian Brothers Automotive’s countless auto shops spanning the United States are always hiring, so be sure to check out our career page – you’ll never know what you may find!
Be sure to explore our map of local auto repair shops and our career page to learn more about current job openings!