8 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Automotive Mechanic School


With so many automotive schools around the country, it can be hard to decide which is best for you. But don't worry! Asking the right questions can help narrow down your search. To get you started, here are eight questions to ask before choosing an automotive mechanic school. you.

1. Are You an Accredited Automotive School?

Accredited trade schools must meet specific standards to prove they offer high-quality, relevant education. 

Therefore, attending an accredited automotive school can help prepare graduates to pursue a career in the industry—something Universal Technical Institute’s (UTI) automotive technician program prides itself on doing.1 

All UTI’s campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)—an agency whose mission is to ensure quality education. 

2. What Type of Automotive Training Is Offered at the School?

When browsing automotive schools, ask your top choices, “What will I learn?” 

Entry-level automotive technicians are responsible for servicing, maintaining and diagnosing various types of automobiles, so you want to be sure the program will prepare you to do just that. 

A well-rounded automotive school will build your knowledge from the ground up. UTI’s auto mechanic school accomplishes this through a blend of online instruction and hands-on training led by experienced instructors.18 Course topics include: 

  • Automotive Engines Service & Repair 
  • Professional Automotive Service Writing 
  • Automotive Powertrains & Transmissions
  • Vehicle Steering & Suspension Service & Repair 
  • Vehicle Brake Systems
  • Vehicle Electronic Systems & Technology 
  • Automotive Climate Control Systems & Repair 
  • Automotive Power/Performance Tuning & Emissions Repair 
  • Hybrid Vehicle System Maintenance 

3. Do You Have Specialty Automotive Programs?

Many automotive students’ thirst for knowledge only grows after completing a core program. If you think you might want to take your skillset to the next level, ask the schools you’re interested in what kind of specialty training they offer.    

UTI’s automotive technician program offers nine manufacturer-specific advanced training (MSAT) programs that eligible students may enroll in, including: 

Completing a specialty training program may make graduates more appealing to certain employers as well.1   

John Norlington, head of recruiting at Sewell Automotive in Dallas, Texas, shared, “I prefer students who have taken an MSAT program. They’re more familiar with the vehicles and they hit the ground running. It’s a quicker transition from student to a full-fledged tech.”

Depending on the program, students can receive manufacturer-specific credentials or earn credit toward manufacturer-specific credentials that could be helpful if they pursue careers with these brands. Different MSAT programs are available at different participating campuses.

4. What’s a Day in the Life of a Student Like?

This question will help you gauge if the school’s learning model fits you well. It will also help you determine how well the automotive program can prepare you for the field. 

The learning doesn't end at graduation. Many employers require ongoing training, and attending an automotive school that mimics this training style may be helpful. 

To accomplish this, UTI practices a blended learning model. Students complete half of their schoolwork through instructor-led online training and the other half through hands-on application in the lab. 

Not only does this provide students with the flexibility many of them need, but it also closely represents the type of training technicians undergo in the field. Scheduling a campus tour will give you a better idea of what this looks like.  

5. Will I Get Hands-on Training With Industry-Standard Equipment?

As technology advances, so does the automotive field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists troubleshooting skills as one of the most important qualities for automotive technicians to have. 

The BLS reasons, “Service technicians use diagnostic equipment on engine systems and components to identify and fix problems in increasingly complicated mechanical and electronic systems. They must be familiar with electronic control systems and the appropriate tools needed to fix and maintain them.” 

UTI prides itself on preparing students to pursue entry-level positions in a rapidly advancing field. Throughout the program, students learn electronic technology and gain hands-on practice using industry-standard equipment, such as multimeters and scanners. 

UTI automotive technology graduate Austin Adair shared, “Coming out of UTI I was up to date right away. I knew how things worked and how they were evolving. I feel like I got a jump on everything.”6

6. What Certifications Are Available Upon Completion?

According to the BLS, employers prefer candidates who’ve completed postsecondary education. A degree, diploma or certificate that demonstrates training may help in a career pursuit. 

The BLS also states that most employers require their employees to work toward an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. Therefore, another thing to consider is whether the automotive school will prepare you to test for ASE certification. 

UTI’s automotive program is accredited through the ASE Education Foundation—a division of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence —establishing it as a place to begin preparing for certification. Many potential students are also pleased to know that they can substitute their training for one of the two years required to take the ASE certification exam after graduation. 

Additionally, all UTI automotive instructors are ASE certified and may be able to provide support for students and graduates preparing to take the test.

7. Does the Automotive School Offer Financial Aid or Scholarships?

These types of aid can make attending automotive technician school more affordable and allow you to focus on learning rather than how you're going to pay for it. Many schools offer a variety of resources and assistance, such as grants, scholarships and loans, that can help qualifying students cover their education expenses. 

UTI is offering more than $15 million in scholarships and grants available this year alone to those who qualify.10 We also have a financial aid team that can point potential students in the right direction. 

8. Does the Automotive School Offer Career Services?

The best automotive schools will take a genuine interest in your chosen career path. But what does this look like?  

At UTI, we offer several career services, including résumé development, interview training techniques, career development courses, career coaching, and access to a nationwide database of career opportunities. UTI also offers the following services:  

  • Help locating part-time employment during your studies: UTI’s career advisors can help you find a job that fits in with your schedule and helps cover your day-to-day expenses.1
  • Help locating employment opportunities after you graduate: UTI’s specialists work closely with national dealerships, distributors, and other employers to find potential job opportunities near graduates. Alumni can also lean back on UTI’s career services to help them find advancement opportunities down the road. 


What Do You Need to Know Before Becoming a Mechanic?

Before becoming a mechanic, it's important to have an understanding of basic automotive, electrical, and computer systems and to have experience handling tools. Most automotive technicians gain this knowledge by attending an automotive school.  

What Is the Best Automotive School to Become a Mechanic? 

The answer to this question depends on your personal goals. When searching for the best automotive program for you, research the curriculum and accreditation of each school, as well as any career services they provide. 

What Are the Three Qualities of a Great Mechanic?

In addition to technical aptitude, automotive technicians often share a common set of traits, including passion, persistence and adaptability.  

Enroll in Automotive School at UTI  

We hope our guide on questions to ask when choosing an automotive mechanic school will help you pick out the best program for you. 

If you’re itching to get started, take the first step today—request more information online and we’ll connect you with an Admissions Representative. Alternatively, schedule a campus tour at a UTI campus near you! 

With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training.Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
No Pressure to commit.Get answers to your questions without any obligations.
Or Call Now 800.834.7308

1 ) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2 ) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
6 ) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
10 ) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
15 ) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation. Programs available at select locations.
18 ) UTI now offers all of its automotive, diesel, motorcycle and marine technician training in a blended-learning format consisting of online lecture courses along with in-person, hands-on lab training.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


Take 60 seconds and find out how you can get trained.

Step 1 of 1

By submitting this form, I agree that MIAT College of Technology, Universal Technical Institute, Inc., Custom Training Group, Inc. and their representatives may email, call, and / or text me with marketing messages about educational programs and services, as well as for school-related communications, at any phone number I provide, including a wireless number, using prerecorded calls or automated technology. I understand that my consent is not required to apply, enroll or make any purchase. I further understand and agree that I may instead call MIAT at 1-800-477-1310 for Canton, MI and 1-888-547-7047 for Houston, TX or UTI at 1-800-913-7524 to request admission information. I understand that if I do submit this form, I may unsubscribe within marketing emails or opt-out of text messages at any time by replying “STOP.” Standard text message and data rates may apply.By submitting this form, I further understand and agree that all information provided is subject to UTI’s Privacy Policy available at www.uti.edu/privacy-policy and UTI's SMS Terms and Conditions available at www.uti.edu/sms-terms-conditions.