With the ever-increasing complexity of vehicles today, there are a variety of kinds of automotive training offered in order to repair cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
Some high schools offer a robust variety of courses that encompass a range of knowledge relating to auto repair. For example, a high school might offer classes in brakes, electrical electronic systems, engine performance, and suspension and steering. A high school can receive program certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). This indicates that the curriculum meets the national standards set forth by these nonprofit organizations.
Career, Technical, and Vocational Centers
Many career, technical, and vocational centers are secondary schools offering automotive training programs that are certified by ASE or NATEF. They may include brakes, electrical electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, and suspension and steering.
Community colleges offer a broader range of certified programs, and often partner with vehicle manufacturers and local dealerships to include both classroom and on-the-job training. Their areas of certification may include those offered at secondary schools, plus such areas as automatic transmission and transaxle, manual drive trains and axles. Some post-secondary schools also offer certified courses in alternative fuels, such as CNG conversation and installation, CNG diagnosis and repair, CNG maintenance, LPG conversion and installation, LPG diagnosis and repair, and LPG maintenance, suspension and steering.
There are a number of specialty post-secondary schools around the country that provide intensive automotive training and that produce graduates who are fully educated and ready to enter the world of auto repair.
On the Job Training
Although auto repair today requires a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge, there are still scattered opportunities to receive on the job training. This is particularly true for those who decide to specialize and who do not need comprehensive automotive training. For example, someone who specializes in brake repair does not need to know how to rebuild an engine.
Just as in many fields, the range of knowledge required to keep pace with the changes in automotive technology means that it’s important for automotive service technicians to continue their education over time. There are a few ways to keep up with automotive training, some formal and others informal.
Among the formal continuing education choices is the Continuing Automotive Service Education, or CASE, which is sponsored by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. Many technical schools and other training facilities offer a CASE program, which is auto training specifically designed for those who work in the field.
But keeping abreast of the developments in auto repair doesn’t always mean going to class. There are a number of online communities made up of service technicians and those in automotive management jobs. These communities can provide everything from articles and downloads from professionals working in the automotive repair industry, to forums for assistance from other technicians, to classified ads for used engines and used automotive equipment, to job listings and the ability to post resumes.