What Are the Requirements to Be an Auto Mechanic?

Dan Cavallari

The requirements to be an auto mechanic can vary by region as well as by the company by which a candidate is hired. In most cases, it will be necessary to graduate from high school; while in school, it is often possible to take part in an automotive training program that will prepare the candidate for a job in the field. Upon graduation, the candidate can then fulfill other requirements to be an auto mechanic, which generally involves a 6-12 month training program or a degree program. In some cases, the candidate can simply find an apprenticeship without undergoing further education.

Mechanics can gain training and certification at an accredited vocational school.
Mechanics can gain training and certification at an accredited vocational school.

Three general paths exist to fulfill the requirements to be an auto mechanic: a formal apprenticeship, an informal apprenticeship, or a formal education. A formal apprenticeship can last anywhere from one to five years, and during this time, the apprentice will work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced mechanic who can teach the basic skills necessary to be successful in the field. Once the apprenticeship is complete, the apprentice will become a mechanic himself who can work independently. An informal apprenticeship may be granted by a more experienced mechanic as well, and skills can be taught in an informal fashion. The apprentice will not end up with any license or certificate at the end of the program, but he or she will have many of the skills necessary to be successful.

Formal training is often required for auto mechanics.
Formal training is often required for auto mechanics.

Post-secondary institutions such as technical schools and colleges often offer programs that will help a candidate fulfill the requirements to be an auto mechanic. These programs are intended to give a broad education, and the student can supplement this education by taking part in a traineeship or internship at an auto manufacturer or repair shop. Upon graduation from the program, the student will have the credentials necessary to get hired in a professional setting.

While not always necessary, it is possible to take part in licensing and certification exams that will help the candidate boost his or her resume. In some cases, such certifications and licenses may be requirements to be an auto mechanic for an auto manufacturer or repair shop. It is a good idea for the candidate to consider what types of jobs he or she will pursue in order to determine whether or not such certifications and licenses will be necessary. In some cases, it may be possible to earn such licenses and certifications after the candidate is hired.

Auto mechanics must know how to read computerized diagnostic codes.
Auto mechanics must know how to read computerized diagnostic codes.

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