As long as there are cars, there will always be a need for skilled automotive technicians. The need for skilled technicians is growing as more Americans than ever before are holding on to their cars longer. Getting a distance learning automotive training, certificate or degree is the first step toward a rewarding career in the automotive industry.
Getting Started with Automotive Training
The majority of students who pursue a distance learning automotive degree or certificate are full-time professionals who are seeking additional certification. The distance learning degree acts a refresher course, providing you with new information about various automotive topics. There are several institutions that provide these courses in-house. Most students, however, elect to take these courses online, scheduling their classes around their work schedule. For the automotive technician who runs a business, taking time away to drive to a campus can mean lost profits. By taking courses online, aspiring automotive technicians can learn while they earn.
Salary and Career Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for automotive technicians in 2010 was $35,790. The bureau estimates that there were 723,400 available jobs in 2010, a number that is expected to decrease as more certified automotive technicians enter the field. With new online programs opening up the field to a greater number of students, new automotive technicians will find fierce competition for available jobs. The average hourly salary is $17.21, slightly above the national average.
The Bureau estimates that automotive technicians who have completed post-secondary training and certification enjoy salaries that are higher than the national average, with the top technicians enjoying wages of $56,700 on average. Breaking into this field requires a high school diploma, automotive experience and certification.
Automotive distance learning students will take a number of courses to complete the program. Courses in tool selection, electrical systems, fuel injection systems and wheel alignment are standard in the program. Advanced automotive computer training courses round out the degree, giving students the tools they need to repair complex automotive systems. Basic courses in mathematics, written communication and business are standard. These courses help prepare students to work for larger employers or run their own businesses.
Careers in the Industry
Graduates of the distance learning automotive degree enjoy rewarding careers in a number of fields. Some work for cities, repairing city buses, police vehicles and fire trucks. Others work for private companies, repairing cars at used car dealerships and in chain repair shops. Still others work for themselves, repairing cars in their own shops and garages. Students wishing to break into this field will find that skilled technicians can choose from a variety of career paths. Getting additional Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications opens up even more doors, allowing the right technician to climb the ranks and enjoy high salaries.
Automotive technicians often carry out several tasks at once, diagnosing and fixing common mechanical problems. Their duties include, but are not limited to:
- Testing parts and systems
- Using diagnostic equipment to identify problems
- Performing basic automotive care and maintenance
- Repairing and replacing worn parts
Automotive technicians are often tasked with educating their customers on how to keep their car functioning at its peak. These trained professionals keep cars running at their best, saving their customers time and money.
Breaking in to the automotive field is great for someone who is a problem solver. If you love cars and want to make a living repairing them, the distance learning automotive degree is the first step. Enjoy a profitable career while helping others and get on the road to a great career.