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Curious about what it's like to attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI)? If you're thinking about a career as an automotive, motorcycle, marine, or diesel technician, let our graduates tell you what they thought of their experiences attending UTI.
Graduates from various UTI programs said the choice in picking a school was easy, as UTI teaches the skills required to grow into a successful technician.
“I love UTI's curriculum because it was down and to the point of what I needed to know and what I wanted to learn for my career path,” says Estevan Dibene, UTI Avondale graduate who works for BMW North Scottsdale.
UTI also helps instill confidence in graduates so they can thrive once they're out of school, says Oscar Acosta, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Phoenix
(MMI) graduate who works Chester's Harley-Davidson.
“Being a technician is fun,” Oscar says. “Once you have the ability to fix motorcycles, you can fix anything. I didn't know a lot about motorcycles. The Harley-Davidson thing was fairly new to me when I went into school. They pretty much took me under their wing and showed me everything I know. I was very confident when I got out of the school.”
With a variety of technician roles being in high demand, the career stability you can get with a UTI education is substantial, too.
“If I hadn't have gone to UTI, I'd be doing the same thing I was doing in high school, which is doing nothing, wasting away,” says Abraham Aguilar, UTI Porsche mechanic training graduate who works at Porsche of Stevens Creek.
Adds Anthony Rodiguez, UTI graduate who works at JX Peterbilt, “The demand is very high for technicians, as I see it. If a new technician would want to go into the heavy-duty industry, they should
go to UTI instead of starting off at the bottom.”
The tools you work with at UTI are state-of-the industry, so you know exactly what you're working with when you enter the workforce.
“UTI's [facilities are] really nice,” says UTI graduate Joshua Hillanbrand, who works at Porsche of the Main Line. “They have all the newest equipment. Some of the tools I used at UTI I even had out here in the field when I started working
a year later.”
Victor Perez, MMI graduate who works at Boat Tune, agrees.
“[What's at MMI] is actually what's in the field, so when [graduates] come into the dealership, it's not like the first thing, like, 'Wait a minute, this is not what I'm used to,'” Victor says. “It's actually a nice transition right
into the real world.”
Without an education from UTI, it can be harder to find a technician job, says UTI Avondale graduate Bogi Lateiner.
“If you're a high school grad, and you want to go into the automotive industry, but you don't have a trade school degree and you don't have any experience, it's really hard to get that first bit of experience and get your foot in the door,” Bogi says. “The more you have that opens more doors for you, the better. Having a UTI degree, having a manufacturer's
graduate program certificate, having all of those things are more things to open doors for you.”
Speaking of Manufacturer Specific Advanced Training programs, Zachary Wood, UTI graduate, says his participation in the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) at UTI led to his role at Porsche of the Main Line.
“The easiest way to get to where I am, working at a Porsche dealership, is definitely going to UTI and going to the PTAP program,” Zachary says.
Through the UTI journey, instructors are dedicated to helping students, says Juan Mata, UTI graduate who works at Autonation Nissan Katy.
“All the teachers are great, a great attitude, always helping challenge you, but challenge is always good,” Juan says.
Austin Adair went to vocational school at the age of 14 because he always loved cars as a hobby
and thought they were cool. In the morning, he’d go to a garage in town to work, then go to high school. After graduating high school, he knew UTI was a great way to further his education, which prepared him for a full-time technician career.
“Going to UTI, I was up-to-date right away coming out,” Austin says. “I knew how things were working and how things were evolving, so I kind of had a jump on everything. There's a certain sense of satisfaction when you're looking at
something and you can't figure out what's wrong, and then you think your way through it. It might take days, but that instant when it sparks and you're able to fix it when no one else can, it's a pretty good day.”
Blake Keeffe, MMI graduate, almost didn't make it to MMI, or any school at all. He was “killed” in a motorcycle wreck, had to be resuscitated and spent three months in the hospital and a month in the traumatic brain injury unit.
When Blake was released, he worked through cognitive therapy and went back on the road because his passion for motorcycles never died. He decided to head to school at around the age of 26. His was burned out from his previous career working in the automotive
industry, so with a new outlook on life, he decided to combine his mechanic skills with his passion for motorcycles.
At school, he says his instructors were instrumental in keeping him on track.
“I was paying out of my own pocket, so I really took advantage by going to class early and staying late,” Blake says. “Every break, I was bugging the instructors to get as much information as I could. I got very fortunate. A few points
in my MMI career, right about the time I would sort of start to lose my way, I happened to have an instructor at that period of time who really helped remind me that this is a passion.”
UTI Avondale Diesel Technology program graduate Brandon Davis' father has been a truck driver for 30 years. When Brandon was a kid, he told his dad he'd want to fix his trucks
someday, but as he got older, he lost sight of that goal. One day, he was going through a hard time and saw a UTI commercial. He called the school, enrolled, and moved out to Arizona from Ohio to pursue his goal.
“Without my education, I wouldn't be working here at Freightliner,” Brandon says. “It means everything. I would be working at a warehouse if it wasn't for UTI, so it's a
Chris Jones, Marine Mechanics Institute graduate, grew up in south Florida,
where Disney World is a part of many residents' lives. He grew up in the water, since he says camping and water went hand-in-hand. Chris also worked construction with his father, so they'd do a lot of mechanical projects together on anything that
had a motor. When his father retired, Chris decided to look more into something that dealt with what his passions were. He searched for programs that interested him, and he found an Orlando mechanic school that offered a Marine program.
“I went in not aware of anybody's opinion about [MMI],” says Chris, who works for Mercury Marine. “I did my own research, I visited the school, and I talked to
some of the instructors. My opinion was exactly what it should be: this school's phenomenal. All the stuff you can get out of this school and move forward with is the best you can get in the industry. That also helped sway the decision to sign up
and become a marine technician professionally.”
Allen Klueckman is a UTI graduate and military veteran who had always
been into cars from a very young age. He says his dad showed him the tricks of the trade pretty much since he was right out of diapers.
At the end of Allen's enlistment in the military, his grandfather took him to race tracks often, and they were always were driving BMWs. That's where he picked up his interest in the brand. While researching automotive schools, he learned UTI, which enables veterans to pay for their
education using the GI Bill®, had the manufacturer-paid BMW Service Technician Education Program (STEP), he immediately jumped on the opportunity.
“If you're considering going to UTI out of the military, you can't go wrong,” Allen says. “I have been very pleased thus far with everything I've been doing here [at Sewell BMW].
I plan on continuing on for many years to come.”
Alyssa Culver, UTI collision repair program graduate, knows first-hand how caring UTI staff are – her father is one of them. Her dad has done mechanic work since before she was born and a little body repair on the side, which is what she would migrate
to when she helped him. Today, she works at Service King as a collision repair technician.
“My dad kind of watched over me the entire time [at UTI] and would walk me to and from class, but he knew that I could do it,” Alyssa says. “My experience in the program overall was amazing. All the instructors were very willing to help,
and they would always put down anything they were doing to help you with what you needed at the time.”
In her current role, Alyssa says the most rewarding thing is seeing the finished job after she goes through the entire process, puts the car together, the car looks great, and the customer is happy.
“That makes me really happy because I finished that and did that,” Alyssa says.
As you can see, there are so many diverse reasons why UTI graduates value the education they received. UTI grads continue to use what they learned in their everyday work, and a UTI education can help grads get jobs with the brands they've always loved.
If you're interested in learning more about UTI, request information here.
We asked UTI Automotive Instructor Sean Callahan what advice he would give to his younger self. Yes, he talks about hard work and dedication but the story is deeper.
What kind of advice would a NASCAR Technical Institute instructor give to himself back when he was in high school? Find out here.
Sean Gagnon has made some mistakes along the way. We all have. Now that he's an instructor at UTI Lisle, he has some advice for his younger self. And for the next generation of techs.
It only takes a few minutes to learn about technician training opportunities.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, 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.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
10) Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
12) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017. The projected number of annual
job openings, by job classification is: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 75,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 28,300; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 17,200. Job openings include openings due to growth
and net replacements.
14) Incentive programs and employee eligibility are at the discretion of the employer and available at select locations. Special conditions may apply. Talk to potential employers to learn more about the programs available in your area.
15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI’s Custom Training Group on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation.
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