Whichever career path you choose, you have to start at the bottom and make your way up. It is no different when it comes to the automotive industry where beginners have to start with entry-level jobs.
On the job or classroom learning?
One factor that will determine the entry level jobs you will be able to get is the credentials you have. Some people have a natural flair for parts and know how to fix a vehicle that has broken down and get it to work again. If you are content with doing general repairs on vehicles, you can work at a garage and learn on the job.
However, if your plan is to qualify as an accredited auto technician who can work at dealerships, car manufacturing plants or professional auto shops, you have to get the papers. There are various auto courses that you can take depending on your interests. You can choose to specialize in particular systems such as braking systems, engines, auto body finishing and others.
Another option is to start as a brand auto technician. This means training with various manufacturers at their dealerships or plants. Apprentice jobs are one of the entry level jobs you can get in the auto industry.
There are two main advantages of this kind of entry job. One is that the apprenticeship involves working on every part of the assembly line so you’ll get a variety of skills which will be valuable when you are seeking better opportunities. Another is that you can register for courses that will give you higher qualifications so you’ll have the chance to advance from an entry-level job.
Jobs after post-secondary training programs
Apart from training with vehicle manufacturers, another route to automotive technician jobs is getting some post-secondary training. Programs typically last for between six months and a year. The courses entail intensive training through theory and hands-on training. You can opt for short courses in particular skills.
Better papers, better pay
There are standard qualifications that will get you past beginner jobs to better paying auto jobs and give you a chance at building automotive careers. Employers value certification and are willing to offer better pay for it. The majority of employees require that their service technicians get certification.
Certification is available in eight different areas. When looking to move past beginner jobs, and become a full-fledged automotive technician, consider if you wish to specialize and what you want to specialize in depending on your interests and career aspirations. You can choose to train in engine repair, engine performance, automatic transmission and transaxle, braking systems, heating and air conditioning, electrical and electrical systems, suspension and steering or manual drive train and axles.