The ability to fix cars and troubleshoot engine problems quickly is a skill you probably wish you had when your car stalled in the middle of that deserted highway not so long ago. Auto repair skills come really handy. There’s clearly a market for it since most people would require tune ups and repairs every once in a while for their cars, both old and new.
Here are the steps to building your reputation in auto repair.
- Enroll in vocational or technical courses. Everything has to start somewhere so if you’re still young, it would definitely pay off if you can enroll yourself in vocational or technical courses that focus on auto repair. If you’re interested in subjects like physical sciences and mathematics then these courses would feel like second nature to you. Some auto manufacturers also have in-house schools for training aspiring mechanics who wish to work for them or who wish to improve skills.
- Experience is the best teacher. You learn skills by actually doing actual work, so there’s no better training that working under someone who does it for a living. Inquire about possible apprenticeship programs and entry level positions in reputable auto repair shops. The familiarity that you’ll gain through this would prove valuable to your future in the business. This also exposes you to the networks that are at work in the scene.
- Formal education and certification. To formalize your education, you would still have to have to attend a technical school or any institution that has a set curriculum for automotive repairs. This widely accepted as an industry standard. You also stand to gain the skill needed to pass certain certification exams later on.
Just like in any field, the people with the most certifications and merits are the ones that have a better chance of getting the job. Make sure that your company or training facility allows you the space to grow as a professional. Most companies have an in-house review program for those who want to advance through certification.
- Keep updated. You have to be familiar with the commonly used cars in your town or immediate area as these makes are mostly likely the cars that you will be working with. Models keep on changing from year to year so make sure that you’re updated on the latest inner workings of commonly used cars. Baseline knowledge about sedans, SUVS, automatic transmission and stick shifts would definitely be a great foundation to your automotive vocabulary.
- Broaden your range. It’s not just about the engine of course! As an auto repair specialist, you can also be tasked to fix the wipers, the air conditioning system and sometimes even do some body work, like retouching the dents and dings. Just like a doctor assigned at the Emergency Room, you never quite know what you’re going to get, so you have to be ready for anything.
Always talk to other specialists in your facility, like the electrician, transmission specialist, painter and the like, to keep yourself in line with the standard by which your company operates. This allows you to also learn from your peers and be a teacher if you have something useful to share.
If fixing cars is really your passion, these tips should come as second nature. If your heart is in it, it will be very easy to start out in the auto repair industry.