Education & Training
To work as an automobile mechanic, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- complete long-term on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some automobile mechanics learn their skills through formal training programs. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer these programs. Most auto mechanic programs combine classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Training lasts six months to two years.
Some automobile manufacturers and dealers provide training programs at professional-technical or two-year schools. In this type of training program, you study in the classroom and work in the dealer's shop. Every six to eight weeks you rotate between work and study. Some dealers help pay for tuition or the purchase of tools.
Many automobile mechanics train on the job. An experienced mechanic trains you in basic tasks. You begin by working as a helper. During training, you learn to:
- lubricate parts;
- change oil; and
- provide routine service and repair.
On-the-job training usually takes two to five years.
The military trains people to become automotive and heavy equipment mechanics. Training lasts from eight to 29 weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
- Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician
- Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technologies, General.
- Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician
- Medium/Heavy Vehicle and Truck Technology/Technician
- High Performance and Custom Engine Technician/Mechanic.
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
- Automotive Engineering Technology
- Automotive Technology
- Boat Maintenance and Repair
- Diesel Technology
- Motorcycle Repair
- Small Engine Repair
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Auto Collision Technology
- Auto Repair Technology
- Diesel Mechanics and Repair
- Introduction to Mechanics
- Motorcycle Mechanics and Repair
Many automobile mechanics are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:
- Introduction to Business
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.