Have you ever wondered what qualifies a repair technician to fix your car? The truth is, every repair technician has an education, but much of what they do is learned on the job, and through certain certifications the repair shop can qualify for.
Basic Education Requirements
High school diploma – as with most jobs in the United States, completing high school is a requirement to become a collision repair technician.
Two- year degree – there are many technical schools and community colleges that offer two year degrees related to automotive repair. While not always required, having a degree can help an auto technician start working at a better job sooner, although on the job training is probably still required.
Not all repair technicians are created equally, but there is required training!
Like in most professions, a successful auto repair technician should have a balance of experience, in the job training, and formal education.
A formal education is intended to educate technicians about repairing the inside of a car. However, as vehicles become more and more complex, incorporating a number of computers and complex safety and convenience features, an in depth knowledge of computers and the inner workings of a car are becoming more valuable.
Once hired, technicians receive on the job training. They can also continue their training on their own! There are tons of certifications that both repair technicians and repair shops can earn. Each certification requires a financial and time commitment, and usually the training will need to be updated after a period of time.
ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
ASE is one of the most common training and certification programs that technicians go through, and it’s the closest thing that the industry has to a uniform standard. There are many different certifications and levels of certification that a tech can receive through ASE, each one qualifying them for a different area of expertise in auto repair.
Another way to get certified, especially as a technician at a dealership, is to go through the manufacturer certification program. This familiarizes a repair technician with a specific brand of vehicles.
Depending on where a repair technician works, he or she may be a part of other certifications as well. In order to maintain certain qualifications in the industry, techs at certain shops may be required to go through training from OEMs (original equipment manufacturers, or car companies), refinish companies, insurance companies, and more.
If you’re curious about the certifications that your repair tech has, don’t be afraid to ask! Different repair technicians have different areas of expertise.