You will probably need to own the hand tools that you use on the job. You may start acquiring them when you are in training. Many experienced technicians have thousands of dollars invested in hand tools. Your employer usually owns the expensive diagnostic equipment.
As auto technology continues to advance, you will need to keep your skills up-to-date. Expect to take classes throughout your career. Often manufacturers of cars, trucks, and complex parts teach these courses. The good news is that usually you can expect your employer to pay for this training.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence does not just certify training programs. It also certifies technicians. Getting certified gives employers confidence in your skills and thus can lead to jobs. To be certified, you need work experience and must pass an exam. There are different exams for different specializations. It helps to be certified in several areas. To remain certified, you must retest every five years. This proves that you are keeping up with changes in technology.