Auto mechanics entering the industry today face a wide range of challenges that supercede even the most technologically advanced fields, such as information technology and health care. Keeping pace with the constant myriad of changes that govern automobile mechanics lead many to consider other career options. For those who stay the course, however, there are ways to improve their skill sets and knowledge base while making themselves more marketable to employers.
The most common method for entering the auto repair field is not surprisingly also one of the best ways to stay current with new technology or concentrate on specializations within the industry.
Automotive technical schools around the country provide advanced training and employment assistance that leads to entry level positions at repair shops and dealerships. For the seasoned mechanic, however, they can also provide instruction on recent advances as well as training on specific automobile systems. Many graduates return on a semi-annual basis for shorter courses that serve as a refresher or to learn about manufacture specific advances. Even mechanics who started their careers through high school level vocational training or from working in family businesses often end up entering technical schools to increase their overall automotive understanding and employability.
Another method of career building for mechanics is to obtain National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (known in the industry as ASE) offers certifications that can truly benefit automotive technician professionals over the course of their careers. Regarded in the automotive industry as the general standard for mechanic competency and ability, ASE certifications can help mechanics find the best employment opportunities.
ASE examinations are offered twice a year. Mechanics can take one or a variety of certification tests for general automotive knowledge or specializations such as transmissions, fuel systems, electronics systems and more. Those who pass an ASE exam and have two-years of relevant hands-on work experience or one year of hands-on work experience and are graduates of an automotive technical school will become certified. Many employers will pay for their employees to take the exams or reimburse their employees once they become certified.