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What degree do I need to be a mechanic?

In many ways, mechanics keep the world moving. There are mechanics for cars, semis, buses, trains, and planes. There are specialized mechanics for nearly every vehicle and machine that has gears, spark plugs, oil, and pistons. People interested in becoming a mechanic can go far with specialized training and degrees.

An individual interested in a career in mechanics can start their education in high school by taking auto shop or mechanics courses. There are some high schools that offer an advanced courses in mechanics, covering electronics and diagnostics. These courses are called the Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES). Individuals that complete the advanced courses are considered qualified as entry-level mechanics. A high school education offers the minimum training for finding work as a mechanic.

If an individual's local high school does not offer courses in auto repair, the majority of technical schools or colleges do. These programs offer an associate's degree or certification in mechanics. Another way to way to receive a degree or certification in automotive repairs and services is to do apprenticeship with an automotive shop. Full time students can look forward to classes revolving around the business in general, such as math, computers and electronics.

Apprenticeship programs are normally offered by post-secondary schools or auto manufacturers. An apprentice would work normal hours at a car dealership or auto repair shop, then attend evening classes. The classes cover everything from steering and suspension to heating and air conditioning. Individuals looking to further their education and employment opportunities can also look into voluntary certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifies people that have at least two years of related work experience. If a mechanic has had high school or college courses in auto mechanics, they may be able to lessen the two-year requirement. The certification courses cover such areas as collision repairs and engine machinists.

An individual can earn the title of "master mechanic" by being certified in eight tests through the ASE. The tests include engine repair, engine performance, steering, suspension, braking systems, electrical systems, air conditioning, axles, transaxles, manual drive trains, automatic transmissions, and heating. Recertification for mechanics is normally done every five years.


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