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Automotive Mechanic Training Frequently Asked Questions

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Ever thought about becoming an automotive technician? If you have a passion for cars, possess an eye for detail and are a hands-on learner, this could be the career path for you. The automotive industry is continuing to evolve at a rapid rate due to changes in technology, creating exciting opportunities for today’s technicians.

If you’re considering a career as an automotive technician, you probably have some questions. Here are answers to five commonly asked questions about the industry:

What is an automotive technician?

Automotive technicians (commonly referred to as automotive mechanics), diagnose, maintain and repair, and inspect cars, trucks and other vehicles. They understand the inner workings of the complicated electronics systems used to diagnose problems in vehicles of all makes and sizes.

In today’s vehicles, just about everything is controlled by a computer. Automotive technicians are able to utilize modern technology to diagnose problems, recommend solutions and execute repairs. They have strong communication skills and keep their customers informed throughout the repair process.

Some technicians choose to specialize in areas such as brakes, transmissions and diagnostics. They may also work on vehicles from specific brands by completing manufacturer-specific training. Regardless of their specialty, you can count on automotive technicians to get your car back on the road when it’s in need of repair.

How long does it take to become an automotive technician?

The length of time it takes to become an automotive technician depends on the type of training you seek. At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), you can train to become an automotive technician in 51 weeks—less than a year.7 UTI’s foundational courses can build your base knowledge from the ground up, teaching you how to diagnose, maintain, and repair domestic and foreign vehicles.

After completing your core program at UTI, you can move on to one or more of Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training programs created in conjunction with leading brands.11 If you’ve always wanted to work for a brand like BMW,15 Ford, Mercedes-Benz15 or Volvo,15 this is a great way to gain specialized training on their vehicles.

What can I do with an automotive repair education?

Trained automotive technicians have a variety of career options they can pursue. Some of the many include:

  • Entry-Level Technician: Entry-level techs perform general service, maintenance and diagnostic work. They commonly work in dealerships, independent shops and chain shops.
  • Parts Technician: Many auto techs decide to use their education to work in parts. Parts professionals manage inventory and deal with warranty issues that may be caused by damaged or defective parts.
  • Service Writer/Advisor: Service writers act as liaisons between customers and technicians. They write job orders based on customer requests and diagnostic experience from similar issues, and may even dispatch work to technicians.
  • Service Manager: Some automotive technicians to work their way up to leadership roles within shops and dealerships. Service managers oversee technicians, parts employees and detailers. They may also be responsible for working with customers regarding escalated issues, completing department forecasting and budgeting, and communicating with vendors and suppliers.
  • Instructor: Some technicians return to school as instructors to share their knowledge with the next generation. Automotive instructors teach repair and diagnostic skills to aspiring technicians and are able to draw from their personal experiences as they prepare their students to make a living after graduation.
  • Fleet Technician: Cities, towns and municipalities have fleets of vehicles that need work, which is where fleet technicians come in. These techs may work for police departments or local taxi companies, and are responsible for ensuring the vehicles they work on are running smoothly.
  • Business Owner: Some technicians choose to work for themselves by starting their own business. Those with automotive backgrounds open various types of businesses, including mobile repair services, independent shops and tire shops.

How many ASE certifications are there for automotive technicians?

According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), there are more than 40 ASE certification tests, which cover almost every aspect of the automotive repair and service industry. These certifications exist to protect automotive service consumers, shop owners and technicians. ASE certifies automotive technicians so they can offer tangible proof of their technical knowledge.

At Universal Technical Institute, we understand the importance of certification for technicians. Our Automotive Technology program is Master Certified by the ASE Education Foundation, a division of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Graduates of UTI’s Automotive Technician Training program are well prepared to complete ASE examinations and can substitute their training for one of the two years of work experience required to become ASE Certified.

How much does UTI cost for automotive technical training?

The cost of completing your automotive training at UTI depends on a variety of factors. Some students are able to use grants and scholarships10 to pay for school while others take out loans. Later, some graduates are hired by employers that offer tuition reimbursement and other incentives to help pay for their schooling.14

Every student's financial situation is unique. The UTI Financial Aid office can help you explore the options available to you, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and more.

Ready to Get Started?

Want to learn more about training for a career as an automotive technician at Universal Technical Institute? Check out our Automotive Technology program page and request more information today.

Want to Learn More About the Automotive Technology Program?

If you're interested in learning how you can register for the Automotive Technology program Just click the link below or call (800) 834-7308 to speak with one of our friendly Admissions Representatives.