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How Do I Choose the Best Automotive Machinist School?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

When choosing an automotive machinist school, you should first ensure that it holds appropriate approvals or accreditations necessary to operate. Look into the school's reputation and find out whether industry leaders respect the education that it offers and ask the school for some hard numbers as to how many graduates obtain employment as automotive machinists after graduation. If there is a particular type of machinist work that you would like to do, you should also choose a school that offers that specialty. Finally, pay attention to logistical matters, such as the cost of tuition and course scheduling, so that you know that you will be able to afford and attend classes while meeting your other responsibilities.

An automotive machinist uses specialty equipment to make metal parts for automobile engines and other components. Typically, an automotive machinist receives training through an apprenticeship program, a vocational high school, or by attending an automotive machinist school. During training, you can, and should, expect to receive a lot of hands-on training. When selecting an automotive machinists school, you should ask about its on-site facilities and whether you will have the opportunity to work on quality equipment. In addition, you should ask if the school offers internship or apprenticeship arrangements with local machine shops.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

To determine the reputation and quality of an automotive machinist school, contact professional and trade organizations for automotive machinists and ask them for school recommendations. If these organizations sponsor certification programs, ask the certification board for a list of schools that are recognized for gaining certification. It's also a good idea to talk to local automotive machinists to get their opinion of the schools that you are considering. Ask the school if it participates in financial aid programs that can help you pay for your education. Some schools may also offer private scholarships or payment plans.

Inquire as to whether an automotive machinist school holds the appropriate licenses to operate in your jurisdiction. Some schools may also be accredited, which can be helpful if you hope to transfer course credit to another school. If you are currently in high school, you may be able to take machinist classes as part of your regular course schedule. Some community colleges may also provide machinist training, which can be to your advantage, as you may be able to complete an academic degree while also receiving vocational training. Proprietary vocational schools that are not affiliated with an academic institution can sometimes offer a shorter educational program, though you will typically still need to work in the trade for several years before you can be considered proficient.

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