There are four items to consider when choosing a mechanic school: accreditation, faculty, specialized programs, and reputation or ranking. This type of school is usually organized within a large community or career college. Upon completion of mechanic school, graduates can look for employment opportunities as an auto mechanic, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanic or production line mechanic. The career options available are based on the exact program and options selected from the school.
Mechanic school is ideal for people who are good with their hands, enjoy solving problems, and like to physically see the results of their efforts. Candidates who report the greatest satisfaction with mechanic school are focused on a specific career path and are willing to work in an environment where physical effort is required. These career options are considered to be high-demand occupations, with good employment and compensation options for the next five to ten years.
When looking for a mechanic school, the first item to check is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party and their academic and administrative policies reviewed. This is especially important for a skilled trade, as many licensing boards will not accept courses completed at a non-accredited school. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certifying and licensing boards. Only accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs.
Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors with care. Most schools post biographies of their course instructors on their websites. Review this information and look for both academic credentials and working experience. Mechanic is a skilled trade, so it is not uncommon to find instructors with more working experience that academic certification. However, they must be master mechanics in their respective fields. Many instructors also take courses in adult education to learn the latest educational theories.
Look for specialized programs or traineeships. Many mechanic schools have partnerships with the automotive industry, HVAC suppliers, and packaging companies. These connections provide relevant, up-to-date training and opportunities for job placements. Take advantage and learn as much as possible from these programs. They will provide the ability to make important connections and obtain references that will be very useful in your employment search.
The reputation of the school is very important when choosing the best mechanic school. Talk with the local professional mechanic association to get a sense of the reputation of the school. Ask the admissions counselor about speaking with former graduates or employers. Ask them about the quality of education they received at the school, the relevance, and any other information they are willing to share.