Community colleges put higher education close to where you live, work, and play. There are many reasons community colleges are attractive. They have an open admissions policy and offer many courses, including courses that will help prepare you for a bright future in the automotive industry. Their low tuition helps keep higher education within the reach of many Americans. These factors make community college a good place to go to gain job skills.
Training to become an automotive service technician may occur at high schools, post secondary public schools, community colleges, or at public and private vocational and technical schools. Typically, a technician receives general training in maintenance and repair early on but can later move to a manufacturer-specific program for advanced training. Many community colleges across the country have training programs that are directly affiliated with automotive manufacturers.
In high school, a student may receive a career technical certificate along with their high school diploma. In addition, they may receive a student achievement certificate and/or articulated college credit. At a two-year institute or community college or technical college, graduating students typically receive a certificate of completion and/or an Associate's Degree in Automotive Technology. Technicians may also receive manufacturer-specific certification when they attend a more advanced program. At many different points in a student's education, they may take a series of tests that are based on ASE standards (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) to become a certified technician in such specialties as electrical/electronics, engine performance, steering/suspension, brakes, and/or others.
The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), an affiliate of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), establishes the standards by which training facilities become certified.
Many workers choose a community college when they want to upgrade their skills or to enter a new field. It is now common for a person with a college degree to attend a community college to update work skills. Community colleges are also flexible. Nearly 50 percent of their students work full time, so they offer courses at convenient times.
What Do You Want to Do Next?
Find community colleges that offer training/programs in automotive:
The U.S. Department of Education has a web site, Prepare for My Future, which gives you some questions you'll want to ask. There are many schools to choose from. You can use this web site to help you choose the right school to meet your career goals.
Finally, there are different certifications available via the Certification Finder.
Whatever you decide, you are in the driver's seat!