There are plenty of reasons to switch careers later in life, from seeking a higher salary to simply wanting to work a more rewarding job. Becoming an auto technician can be an excellent choice, no matter what stage of life you're in, but the path to launching your career may be less obvious. Fortunately, plenty of options are available, and not everyone needs to follow the same route.
If you're ready to begin your journey to a new career, this guide will help get you started. Remember that there are plenty of ways to land that first job, so it's important only to take these three tips as general advice to set you in the right direction.
Consider Your Existing Education
Before getting started, you'll want to consider your current educational attainment level. Many entry-level automotive technician positions don't have hefty educational requirements, but you'll usually need a high school diploma or equivalent degree to get started. While some employers may be willing to waive this requirement, you should expect to encounter it with most jobs.
The good news is that you're far from out of luck if you don't currently have your high school diploma. Most cities offer adult education programs where you can pursue this core requirement through either a credit diploma program or by taking a General Education Development (GED) test. Both options will ensure you have the necessary fundamentals for your career change.
Decide On Your Educational Goals
Unlike many other professions, there's no single set of educational requirements (aside from a high school diploma) for most automotive technician jobs. As a result, you'll have plenty of options for how you want to pursue your education. For example, community colleges often offer automotive repair or automotive technology associate degrees. Trade schools are another option.
However, it's important to remember that being an automotive tech means being hands-on with your daily work. Unless you intend to eventually pursue an education in another field (such as engineering), it's best to focus on programs that offer plenty of practical knowledge and experience. These options will give you the knowledge you need to succeed in your first job.
Get Your Credentials
While most automotive technicians don't need a specific degree, certifications are an important part of the industry. You'll most likely continue to earn certifications as you advance through your career, but obtaining some essential ones (such as entry-level ASE certifications) will help you land your first job after school.
You can pursue these certifications on your own if you want, but it's best to consider training programs that include certification as part of the course. By utilizing these programs, you'll be able to use your time more efficiently to get the education you need to succeed and the credentials you need to get hired.
For more information about how to become an automotive technician, reach out to local services.