The skills to diagnose problems, make repairs, and keep vehicles operating smoothly are highly valued. Auto Technicians are needed anywhere people depend on cars to get around. If you enjoy working with your hands, solving problems, and helping people, a career as an Automotive Technician may be a good fit for you. This guide provides all the information you need to know to begin a new entry-level position as an Automotive Technician in less than a year with training from Florida Career College.
Before we dive deeper into how to become an auto technician, if you're interested in becoming a auto mechanic or automotive technician, consider enrolling in Florida Career College's Automotive Technician Program. You can earn your automotive technician diploma in as little as 10 months, placing you on the fast track to beginning a new career in the automotive field.
What is an Automotive Technician?
Auto Technicians are professionals who help diagnose vehicle issues, make repairs, and perform routine maintenance on vehicles to keep them running smoothly. They can work on any type of vehicle, from a car, truck, or SUV to a hybrid or electric vehicle. Auto technicians are knowledgeable when it comes to all of the different systems that make a vehicle run and also know how to use technical equipment that can check for issues within a car’s mechanical or electrical systems. With this knowledge, they work within repair shops, car dealership service centers, or with mechanics to perform repairs or maintenance as needed. They may also be responsible for communicating the work that is done to customers and recommending any other work that is needed.
What Does an Automotive Technician Do?
Automotive Technicians help diagnose issues with a vehicle, track needed maintenance, and perform repairs and maintenance as needed. Their exact day-to-day duties may vary from one shop to another, but they are trained to handle just about any issue a vehicle may experience.
In some shops, an automotive technician may be working on all different types of vehicles, addressing any issues they see, while in larger shops, technicians may have the opportunity to specialize in a certain system and handle more complex issues with brakes, transmissions, air conditioning or suspension.
Technicians are responsible for performing the work and then testing their success with a test drive. They also need to have good communication skills so customers can understand the repairs being done, the timeline for the work, and the cost of the service.
What Are the Duties of Automotive Technicians?
The duties of an Automotive Technician may include:
- Ensuring the vehicle is in good running condition by test driving
- Using a computer and specialized equipment to understand electronic and mechanical error codes
- Keeping a car running well by performing routine oil changes, brake pad replacements, tune-ups, fluid checks, tire alignments, tire replacements, and tire rotations
- Suggesting and performing maintenance based on vehicle mileage
- Repairing or replacing car components that wear down over time, like brake pads and wheel bearings
- Presenting issues and repair plans with customers along with prices for the services
- Taking components apart and putting them back together again to ensure proper lubricant and function
What Careers Does the Automotive Technician Program Prepare You For?
Florida Career College’s Automotive Technician Program will prepare you for a career as an entry-level Automotive Technician, Automobile Technician, Automotive Service Technician, Preventative Maintenance Technician, Mechanic, or Installation Technician. Each of these positions works in an auto repair shop, mechanic shop, or car dealership service center. They may work as part of a team or work mostly independently.
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What Skills Do You Need to Become an Automotive Technician?
Automotive Technicians use specialized equipment to solve technical, hands-on problems that ultimately help customers. This mixture of duties requires a mix of skills as well.
The interpersonal skills required to be a good Automotive Technician include:
Automotive Technicians are often trusted to work independently, requiring employees to be driven to get the job done quickly. When you do the job right, and you do the job well, your customers are more likely to be loyal and return to your shop over and over again.
Good verbal and written communication.
Taking your car in for one repair and learning about others can be frustrating but informing clients about potential problems is part of the job for an auto technician. Technicians need to be able to take good notes as they work on a vehicle and communicate issues with clients in a way they can understand. The cost of repairs can catch some people unaware so being professional and compassionate in your delivery is also important. If you can communicate these things in a professional manner, customers are more likely to return.
Everyone has a horror story of a mechanic who told them their care needed work that it didn’t really need. It’s up to you to break through the stereotypes and provide customers with a positive experience and knowledge they can trust and respect.
Many car owners don’t know the proper maintenance schedule for their vehicle, and they need to be able to trust their auto technician to point out those details to them. A good auto technician can multi-task, fixing the issue at hand while also taking note of the routine maintenance that may have been neglected. This attention to detail can help prevent problems for the vehicle owner in the future.
Technical skills needed include knowledge about:
- Engine systems
- Vehicle maintenance schedules based on mileage
- Transmission systems
- Computerized diagnostic tools
- Fuel and exhaust systems
- Steering and suspension systems
- Air conditioning and heating systems
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Where Do Automotive Technician Graduates Work?
Automotive technician graduates work in any vehicle repair shop. Sometimes the shops are small and independently owned, with a tight-knit group of mechanics and technicians. Other times the shops are corporate-owned shops or car dealership service centers that offer extended hours in the evenings and weekends.
Most workplaces have a strong focus on safety. They are well lit and well stocked with equipment and tools that are needed to perform repairs on vehicles.
After several years of experience, some auto technicians may choose to find a different work environment. They may decide to start their own business or become a mobile mechanic, traveling to a client’s home and working from their garage. With additional certifications, an auto technician may choose to specialize in one component of a vehicle, working only on brakes, transmissions, buses, or more.
Do You Need a College Degree to Become an Automotive Technician?
No, you do NOT need to have a college degree to become an Automotive Technician. Most employers just like to see that you have developed a good understanding of how vehicles work by completing a vocational or trade college training course, such as the Auto Mechanic Program offered by FCC.
Automotive technicians are trained to use specific computerized diagnostic tools to find the underlying problem with a car’s electrical or mechanical system. They are also trained on how to solve the problem once they find the error codes.
An Automotive Technician may gain a lot of knowledge with more experience. With repetition, you begin to see similarities between different makes and models of cars and recognize common issues. Most mechanics have the skills to fix the problem, but a trained Automotive Technician can tell you exactly what the cause of the problem is.
As technology develops, the technology in cars is changing too. With each new advancement, there are new opportunities to learn and grow within the industry. You can begin your career in this field in a matter of months, but the learning is sure to continue for a lifetime. With each new lesson, you’ll open doors for career advancement and even greater job satisfaction.
What Are the Requirements to Enroll in FCC’s Auto Tech Program?
As long as you are ready to learn, you can enroll at Florida Career College. We offer ongoing enrollment, so you can enroll on the same day and begin your training at the next start date.
You must be at least 18 years old to enroll if you did not finish high school or 17 if you have a high school diploma or GED.
No high school diploma? We can work with you to help you earn your high school diploma while you begin training for a career as an automotive technician. Call today or fill out an online form to learn more.
How Long is FCC's Automotive Technician Program?
Florida Career College’s Automotive Technician program can be completed in as little as 10 months. Each of the eight modules focuses on a new system within a vehicle and takes approximately one month to complete. All of our courses are hybrid, allowing students to attend lectures and complete assignments online from any device and attend on-campus sessions twice a week for hands-on labs. Our automotive shops are stocked with industry-standard equipment to give you real-life experience working on each component and system.
What Do You Learn in the Automotive Technician Program?
n Florida Career College’s Automotive Technician Training Program, you learn all the basics necessary to begin a career as an automotive technician. From basic maintenance to how to build transmissions, our students work hands-on to learn new skills and develop a passion for vehicles. By the end of the program, you’ll be familiar with just about every system within the car and have the training necessary to diagnose and fix any problem that comes up.
Students will learn about:
- The design of vehicles from the inside out
- Best safety practices
- How to use diagnostic equipment
- Electrical components of a vehicle
- The parts of the engine
- Seat belts and passenger safety
- How to use hand tools and power tools
- Fuel and exhaust systems
- Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles
- Tires, wheels, and suspension systems
- Steering systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Brakes and brake pads
- How to disassemble and reassemble transmission systems
- Professional communication skills and time management
- AT110 Engine Theory and Systems
- AT120 Electrical Theory and Diagnosis
- AT130 Engine Performance and Ignition Systems
- AT140 Fuel Systems and Emission Controls
- AT150 Steering, Suspension, and Passenger Comfort
- AT160 Brake Systems
- AT170 Manual Transmissions
- AT180 Automatic Transmissions
- AT190 Preventative Maintenance and Hybrid Technology
Students will learn through online lectures, quizzes, assignments, in-person lessons, and hands-on practice. Our experienced instructors will walk students through each concept and also act as mentors, connecting them to the auto industry. Students have the opportunity to take advantage of open lab time and tutoring when needed to ensure a full understanding of the course material.
What Should You Look for in an Auto Technician Program?
It’s necessary to complete a quality auto technician training program before you can begin looking for a job in the Automotive industry. A good automotive technician program will give you the tools and confidence to get started in the field. If you are on the hunt for the best program for you, there are several things you should consider.
So much of what an automotive technician does every day depends on their ability to work with their hands. That’s why the main focus of any good training program should be on hands-on, in-person experiences. Reading and absorbing new information play a part, but the hands-on experiences are what will really teach you if this is something you want to do every day. When you are looking into training programs, don’t be afraid to ask to see the classroom, the tools, and the equipment you will be using.
Small class sizes
In order to provide the best learning experience, you should look for a program that offers small class sizes. Smaller class sizes allow you to build a rapport with your instructor and more time for exploring during hands-on lessons. With smaller class sizes, you can gain a deeper appreciation of what it might be like working in a real repair shop.
Experienced instructors make all the difference. If you have a passion for cars and a desire to learn, you want to have an instructor who shares that excitement. Knowledgeable instructors may also have connections in the industry, and as you develop a relationship with them, they may be able to connect you with valuable contacts.
The automotive industry can be competitive. Having the best training possible is important to put you ahead of the competition during your job search for an entry-level position.
Consider Enrolling in Florida Career College’s Automotive Technician Program!
If you feel ready to begin a new career as an Automotive Technician, consider enrolling at Florida Career College. Our Admissions Representatives are standing by to take your call and welcome you on a tour of our campus.
We offer ongoing enrollment so you can enroll the same day and attend class on the next start date. New courses begin each month all year round.
Don’t let a high school diploma stop you from beginning a new career! We can help you obtain your high school diploma as you train to be an Automotive Technician.
During a tour, we will also introduce you to our Financial Service team, who can walk you through the process of applying for financial aid, grants, and scholarships to help pay for your education.
Experienced instructors who are dedicated to your success are what really sets Florida Career College apart. Our instructors have worked in the field and are happy to offer tutoring, extra hands-on time, and mentoring to students who request it.
As you near graduation, our Career Services Department will help prepare you to find a position. We’ll help identify opportunities in your area, prepare your resume, and even practice interview skills.
If you’re ready to start turning your hobby into a career or learning entirely new skills as an Automotive Technician, we are here to help!