Although auto mechanics are not required to have any sort of formal training or certification, the most successful ones typically do. There are a variety of training programs available, most of which prepare students to become certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). As a high school student, you have many options available to you when considering how to prepare for a career as an auto mechanic. Consider your personal goals and preferences as you decide how to proceed.
In -school Training
Investigate to find what sort of opportunities your high school provides for aspiring mechanics.
Enroll in all the opportunities that your school offers. For example, if it is affiliated with the The Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES), you may be able to receive intensive training from a certified mechanic. Complete math and science classes geared toward auto repair.
Study hard to receive good grades as this will ensure your ability to pursue training as a mechanic after you graduate. Focus your attention on math and science. Take technology-related classes for your electives.
Search for other alternatives if school does not provide auto repair training. An apprenticeship can lead to certification or prepare you for later training.
Interview the owners of garages in your town about the possibility of an apprenticeship. Be prepared to explain why you are passionate about cars and what you hope to gain from an apprenticeship. Give them your contact information and a rough outline of when you would be in the garage. If you are under 18, have a parent accompany you. Don't expect to get paid or to do anything very exciting. You will probably start out by observing or handing tools to the mechanics.
Ask questions throughout your internship to learn as much possible. Behave professionally, take initiative and be disciplined in your work.
Post Secondary Training
Research post-secondary auto mechanic programs several years before you graduate high school. Many community colleges and automobile manufacturers offer training that lasts approximately two years, culminating in an associate degree and certification.
Study hard and keep your grades high to maximize your chances of being accepted into an auto-mechanic training program after high school. Take math, science and technology related classes whenever possible.
Research connections area post-secondary school career centers may have with auto manufacturers, dealerships and repair companies.