The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected just a 9 percent growth rate for auto mechanics from 2012 to 2022. This average growth rate makes for a competitive environment. While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement, college education and certifications make you more valuable to employers.
Education and Training
You can find some auto mechanic jobs with just a high school diploma. However, some employers look for applicants with degrees in automotive services from community colleges or trade schools. These programs offer increased knowledge and hands-on training. It typically take just six months to a year to complete a vocational program, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Courses include computers, math and repairs. A few years of on-the-job training is typical before you get turned loose to complete work as well.
Certifications and Abilities
Another way to improve your value is to gain industry certifications that show expertise in specific areas. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers certification in several areas, including brakes, suspension, and heating and cooling. It is also important to develop several key skills to go along with mechanical abilities. You need physical dexterity and problem-solving skills to recognize vehicle problems and repair them. Customer-service skills better prepare you to interact with customers, listen to their needs and communicate what you have done.