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7 Critical Things UTI Grads Want You to Know

Oct 26, 2018 ·

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For 55 years, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) has graduated more than 220,000 students who have a passion for cars, motorcycles, marine machines, motorsports, trucks and more.1 Here, seven UTI graduates share their insights for current students and new graduates, on how to find success in their industries.

1) It's Never Too Late to Pursue Your Dreams

Vincent Lozada, a UTI Diesel Technology graduate decided to attend UTI years after he had already been in the working world, as a warehouse employee and truck driver. Despite the challenges of making a career change well into adulthood, he says it's totally worth it to find happiness, and he's proud of the example he has shown his family.

“Yes, it's going to be a little bit of a struggle, but you're going to get out [of school] what you put into it,” Lozada says. “Anyone who has the opportunity and has been thinking about (pursuing a technician career), stop thinking about it and go do it.”6

2) Soak Up Every Learning Opportunity

“You do have to be motivated to do it,” says Nick Genemaras, UTI Diesel graduate. “You do have to want to learn. You have to want to get advice from people and use it to your best extent. It's only going to get better, I think, from here on out. The trucks are getting more complicated...and they're going to need highly trained guys who are able to work on them.”

3) Make the Most of Class

For current students, engaging in the classroom provides some big benefits, says UTI Diesel graduate Marcy Negron.

“Honestly, attendance is the best thing you can do, because even if you study at home afterwards, when you're there, you get...not only what's in the book, but also what the instructor has to tell you about his experience,” Negron says. “To me, that's the most valuable part of being in the school, because when you get everything from a person's point-of-view besides having the book, you get more knowledge that way, and you can translate that into your workplace when you start working.”

4) Be Professional

Jerome Jackson, a UTI graduate who is now a diesel technician at Crown Lift Trucks, says his employer is looking for people who are always presentable to the customer.

“It's never the manager or the service person that's there, it's always the tech that manages the warehouse day to day, every day,” Jackson says. “They love for you to be presentable to that customer every day.”

5) Embrace Growth

Discovering new skills is a constant in the industry, says Marissa Andrews, Marine Mechanics Institute graduate. Andrews says participating in school prepares you for the hard work in the industry.5

“It's fast-paced,” Andrews says. “You're go, go, go all the time, and you will come across new stuff all the time. It's not repetitive at all. Everything you do in this field, you probably for the most part have not seen it before. You don't know everything. You're always learning something new, and that's what I love about it. It will take awhile to really learn a lot of it, but if you're really passionate about fixing these things, you'll do good.”

6) Never Be Intimidated

Madison Conrad knew she wanted to work with race cars, so she moved from New Mexico to North Carolina to immerse herself in the industry. She says she has always felt  welcomed, from school to work.

“Throughout my time at NASCAR Tech and through my time here at Roush Yates Engines, I feel like I've gotten a lot of support from people, absolutely,” Conrad says. “They're really supportive of a female being in this industry. It's new, it's exciting, they help me in any way they can, and they're supportive. I don't feel like they look at me as a female. They look at me as a coworker and a respected asset to the team.”24

7) Education Matters

Education is essential in order to advance in the industry, says UTI Automotive graduate Austin Adair.

“These cars aren't just nuts and bolts,” Adair says. “You have to have the knowledge to walk in here and pretty much go through the entire electrical system of a car. Once you have that under your belt, you're pretty valuable.”

Watch more UTI grad stories here, and head to for info on all our schools.

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

5) UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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.

24) NASCAR Technical Institute prepares graduates to work as entry-level automotive service technicians. Some graduates who take NASCAR-specific electives also may have job opportunities in racing-related industries. NASCAR Tech is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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


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