How to Start a Career in the Auto Repair Industry

On Thursday, August 10th, 2017

As the number of vehicles on the road continues to rise, the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) has estimated that the demand for mechanics is likely to increase by a whopping 5% between 2014 and 2024. If you love working with cars, working in the auto repair industry may just be your dream career.

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Not sure what exactly working in this industry involves? Working in auto repair includes any job where you repair or maintain automobiles to ensure they remain in great running condition. It’s perfect for those who enjoy fixing and restoring vehicles to their original state.

As you explore this field further, you need to ask yourself what specific job you’d be interested in specialising in. There are various routes that you could go down within this industry. The most popular and commonly taken route by far is becoming a mechanic.  This job includes a wide range of tasks, including engine replacement, or dealing with electrical and suspension issues amongst others. Or you could work in a repair role, such as working in body repairs or glass repairs.

In the old days, a high school diploma was all that was needed to work in this field. However, due to advancements in automobile technology, formal training at a mechanic’s trade school is now required for most roles. A range of training programs are available in technical or community colleges. These are sometimes required even for entry level positions, so it is worth investigating which specific program is best for your speciality.  You could also look into becoming an apprentice, as learning on the job can be the most valuable learning experience. Alternatively, you could try looking into local institutes that offer specialised courses in other car repair areas, such as paintless dent repair training.

Customer service is also an important skill to possess for those working in this field, particularly for mechanics who will often have to deal with distressed and impatient customers. There are courses available online to help train you in how to handle irate customers effectively and professionally. The mechanic trade can sometimes have a bad reputation for ‘ripping customers off’, so good customer service is very important. If you treat customers well they will inherently trust you more to bill them honestly (which of course you should always do).

There is definitely a space in the market for those who undertake professional auto repair courses and training in the field. The advancement of the technology used in automobiles means those who have a higher level of specialised training will be in great demand. For instance, mechanics with an understanding about hybrid cars will soon be highly sought after. We’d recommend that you keep up to date with changes and trends in the field as it progresses, and try and learn specialized skills that may be more in demand in the future.

With the advancement of autonomous self-driving vehicles, mechanics could be performing computer repairs as well in the future. You never know where this rapidly advancing industry is heading and so it’s an exciting field to get into in 2017.

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