Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician  Interviews

 
 

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dotWhat to Expect

Today's cars are full of high-tech gadgetry -- and it takes a skilled mechanic to find and fix what ails them. Be prepared to work hard as an auto mechanics student.

"Don't go in thinking it will be easy," advises Colton Hoge. He studied auto mechanics at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado. "Stay straight and you will do great."

The school day is intense. Students typically attend classes for a good part of the day. Instruction might often be followed up by part-time work at an auto service center, plus homework for one to three hours a day. And then there are always the financial worries.

"One of the biggest problems encountered is money," says former mechanics student Robert Tyerman. "Besides school costs, you have regular living expenses. It's best to look into funding that you could receive before attending the program. This will give you an idea of what you will have to live on while in school."

Hoge also has some advice on saving some much-needed money. "The cost of books is not too bad, [but] tools are a lot," he says. "Try to find someone getting out of the business selling their tools. You will have to spend a lot at one time, but it will save so much in the long run."

How to Prepare

"High school mechanics and machine shop would help give a good general background, plus regular math, science and English courses," says Tyerman.

"Come in wanting to learn," Hoge says. "It is a great program and you can get as much as you want out of it. All the effort you put in is well rewarded. Two years of hard work and studying will pay off."