Do you have a strong interest in how cars run and want to learn from one of the top automotive schools?
If you want to become a mechanic, or are hoping to hone your skills further, you want to enroll in one of the best schools offering an automotive education.
We have your top five choices to consider when looking for an automotive education.
Auto Mechanics Overview
It’s possible to take automotive mechanics courses from a variety of schools, based on the type of degree you are looking for. In general, you want to learn about automotive systems, how to fix and maintain them, and understand the tools required to get the job done.
Before moving onto one of the top automotive schools, it’s vital that high school students pay close attention to their computer and math courses for the best chance of success.
What is the ASE and NATEF Certification?
ASE stands for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This independent, non-profit organization ensures that mechanics receive the training needed to help customers. By offering certifications in a variety of areas, it’s easier to tell what a mechanic has experience with.
If a mechanic passes a multitude of exams, that person can earn a “Master” certification.
There’s no law requiring that mechanics have ASE certification, but most shops will only hire ASE certified workers. With these credentials, you also have more opportunities for advancement.
On top of the ASE certifications, you want to look into NATEF or the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. This isn’t as popular as the ASE tests but might also offer what you are looking for. However, you don’t want to choose a school solely based on this accreditation.
5 Top Automotive Schools Ranked
We searched out the programs offered by the top automotive schools around the country to determine the best choices. Here are the five you should consider.
1. McPherson College Auto Restoration Program
Located in McPherson, Kansas, the McPherson Automotive Restoration program provides one of the most comprehensive four-year programs in the country. Inside the 33,000 square-foot facility, you will find a variety of labs, as well as spaces that focus on paint, chassis, electrical systems, sheet metal restoration, and woodworking.
Back in 1997, Jay Leno established the Fred J. Duesenberg Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to needy, yet talented enrollees.
2. Universal Technical Institute
You might remember the Universal Technical Institute from late-night TV commercials. The 51-week program is found at ten campuses nationwide and offers a solid education for aspiring mechanics. The school focuses heavily on automotive and diesel repair, along with collision repair, motorcycle, marine, and NASCAR tech courses.
The best part about visiting Universal Technical Institute is that classes are starting every six weeks. With this in mind, you won’t have to wait long to get your career started.
3. Lincoln College of Technology
Lincoln Tech provides 45 campuses across the country, making it simple for anyone to participate. Plus, the school has a standard selection of automotive courses, but it also goes deeper. We love the comprehensive BMW program that helps train BMW master technicians.
The school also provides courses in diesel technology, collision repair, and heavy equipment for further education.
4. Arizona Automotive Institute
While the Arizona Automotive Institute is only available in one location, there’s a lot to love about the courses. The expert program offers education across four skilled trade areas: service technician, heavy trucks, HVAC repair, and combination welding.
Of course, the other perk is that spending some time in Arizona is the perfect vacation spot, especially during the winter.
5. Automotive Training Center
While the Automotive Training Center is only located in Pennsylvania, the courses are unlike any other. Programs range from 15 to 20 months long. In that time, students are trained by ASE-certified instructors using industry-leading tools.
Of course, visiting Pennsylvania might not be nearly as exciting as some of the other locations; students will get the education they are hoping for.
Considerations When Picking the Top Automotive Schools
Before you pick one of the automotive training centers, there are a few considerations to think about.
- Class Size: Smaller class sizes ensure that you have more time to work hands-on and ask questions of the instructor.
- Curriculum: Choose a program that offers the technology, methods, and training that you plan to use in your career. If you plan to work on environmentally friendly cars, you will want programs that address specific topics.
- Equipment: While lecture courses are valuable to understanding the information, nothing teaches like hands-on practice. Make sure the school provides the latest equipment and technology for you to learn on.
- Connections: It’s often best for students to go to a school where they plan to work. By doing this, you have the chance to network with professionals in your area before you even leave the training program. Your instructor might even help you land your first job.
Did you have aspirations of becoming a busy mechanic? Tell us about your experience in the comments. Also, share this article with your auto enthusiast friends by clicking your favorite social media platform to the right. Thanks for reading!