Whether you're interested in working on common automobiles or speciality vehicles, auto mechanics must be properly trained and gain practical experience. It's best to get an early start–especially if you want to work on foreign makes, such as German cars.
Take courses on general car repair. They are offered at many high schools through vocational programs. If you're out of high school, look into community colleges and night schools.
Gain experience by working at a car dealership or repair shop that specializes in German cars. Even if you’re only cleaning around the shop or processing orders, you’ll still learn a lot about German cars and their parts.
Complete the Automotive Service Excellence or ASE certification. This certification is awarded after completing college-level courses, although some technical schools offer the certification. Many employers consider ASE certification mandatory.
Try to get an apprenticeship with a German car repair shop. Some dealerships also offer apprenticeships that can lead to full-time positions if you are impressive.
Look for repair shops that offer training programs. They pay for your schooling, in return for a promise that you’ll work for them for a specified period–usually two to five years–following graduation.
2016 Salary Information for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
Automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a median annual salary of $38,470 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a 25th percentile salary of $28,140, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $52,120, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 749,900 people were employed in the U.S. as automotive service technicians and mechanics.