Want to become a mechanic? Here’s what you need to do!

Figuring out your financial future is tough, especially in this economy. Going back to college is undesirable for most because of the student debt involved. But waiting around for work at a department store also isn’t plausible. The only other option is to pick up a trade, which takes less time to learn and can be equally rewarding as having a degree. When you choose a trade, you want to ensure it’s something that will be around for many years. Becoming a mechanic is a great option for this reason. People will always need help with fixing their cars and trucks, so your services will always be in demand.

If you’re interested in learning mechanical skills or would like to certify the skills you already have, then you need to take the following steps.

Determine Which Area of Auto Repair You Want to Work In

There are many different types of vehicles you can work on. Specializing in a particular area can make your skills more valuable to customers. Just make sure the area of auto repair you focus on is actually lucrative. Do your research of the different positions to see which of them have a lot of business. Some of the options include:

  • Small engine mechanic: This includes motorcycles and other motorized bikes. Your responsibilities in this field would be performing routine engine maintenance, diagnosing problems, repairing and replacing parts that have gone bad and disassembling and reassembling engines.
  • Diesel mechanic: This includes motorcycles, small vehicles and heavy vehicles, such as farm equipment. Your responsibilities in this field include test driving vehicles for malfunction, repairing malfunctioning parts and using hydraulic jacks.
  • Auto mechanic: This revolves around general vehicles, with specialization in brakes, air conditioning, bodywork, transmission, front-end systems and engine. Your responsibilities would include diagnosing computer issues, maintaining the car, repairing parts, disassembling and reassembling vehicles.

Get Educated

There are various local and online courses you can take to teach you how to become a mechanic. You’re going to need either real world experience or an education before you start looking for work. It’s a competitive job market, so you need to make your resume stand out above the rest. Also, make sure the course you take offers hands-on training, so you can get your hands dirty. There’s only but so much a textbook can teach you.

A certificate in automotive repair can take between six and 12 months to complete. Or you can opt for an Associate’s degree in service technology, which can take two or more years (about 1,000 hours of class).

Gain Real-World Experience

Once you’ve become certified (or degreed), you can start looking for work at a mechanic shop. You can also offer your services independently until you find full-time work. You can try applying for an apprenticeship, so you can get on-the-job training. Make sure you acquire the proper licenses, such as ASE, which is provided by The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This would look great on your resume as well.

Once you’ve landed your first mechanic job, you can celebrate with your family by putting on the grill and cooking up some Omaha Steaks!