To work as an automobile mechanic, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- complete a formal training program; and
- complete short-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Many automobile mechanics learn their skills through formal training programs. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer these programs. Most auto mechanic programs combine classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Training lasts six months to two years.
Some automobile manufacturers and dealers provide training programs at professional-technical or two-year schools. In this type of training program, you study in the classroom and work in the dealer's shop. Every six to eight weeks you rotate between work and study. Some dealers help pay for tuition or the purchase of tools.
Many automobile mechanics receive on-the-job training. An experienced mechanic trains you in basic tasks. You begin by working as a helper. During training, you learn to:
- lubricate parts;
- change oil; and
- provide routine service and repair.
On-the-job training usually lasts up to one month.
The military trains people to become automotive and heavy equipment mechanics. Training lasts from eight to 29 weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.