Seek Out Higher Education
Plenty of community colleges now offer classes in auto repair. Repairmen of the past usually stuck with learning through someone they knew, such as a relative. People have begun to recognize the importance of learning the intricacies of auto repair through higher educational circuits. While it is important to have some hands-on experience, that can always be achieved in a person’s free time. Meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt to build your knowledge by the book and add an invaluable addition to your resume in the process.
Some people excel when it comes to hands-on work. Being a tinkerer is sort of an inherently expected trait for anyone who deals with taking things apart and putting them back together. As a student, you will have the benefit of having everything you learn provided in a more structured environment. By learning what you need to know in an organized manner, you will be given nothing but up-to-date knowledge on the most complicated areas found in vehicle design. This method may be more costly than all the others but it is highly suggested if you plan on working as a specialist. A general mechanic might find everything they need through learning at a shop, rather than at a desk.
Become an Apprentice
As with a lot of alternative lifestyle careers, where traditional education is not a necessary route to take in order to learn and succeed, mechanic work can be learned by having the knowledge passed down from one person to another. For a lot of apprentices, this hands-on education comes from someone you know, such as a family friend or a relative. Plenty of people learn mechanic work from their parents, grandparents, or other relatives who have been putting together cars for many years. These people generally have their own shops, often on their personal property, and have plenty of time to teach a pupil of sorts in the ways of car repair.
Through this method, you might learn from your mentor of choice for many years. You may continue to work with them, by opening up a shop together or by consulting with them from time to time, for years after leaving the apprenticeship. If you want to know how to become an auto mechanic using only the most up-close and personal experiences, then apprenticing is exactly what you’re looking for. Of course, not everyone knows a grease monkey uncle or have a grandparent who shares the same automobile repair passions as they do. At least, enough that they would be willing to dedicate the time teaching someone. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not everyone is a teacher type.
If you would like to become an auto mechanic and can’t see yourself seeking higher education, either because you don’t want to deal with book work or you simply don’t have the money to dedicate to that kind of thing, then you can always seek out an expert mechanic for a shop assistant position. Not all shops will be willing to do this, especially if they are through a large commercialized business, but you might get lucky after putting up an ad seeking such a position. There are a few mom & pop shops still scattered around, doing business for a recurring clientele, that might be looking for help around the shop. Of course, this will require you to be great at networking, working with people with different personalities than your own, and a self-starter attitude. As long as you’re able to put the work towards this route, there is no reason why you couldn’t succeed.
Learn From Trial and Error
This route is often taken by people from a very young age. Those who go through this lifelong route range from those who started working on cars when they could barely touch the foot pedal to people who discovered a love of cars sometime in their teens. Even if you haven’t had that much time to start with this method (if you are no longer a teen yourself), don’t worry. There’s always time to learn something new but you do have to make sure you have that time to dedicate on your own. If the other two methods, such as higher education and apprentice work do not appeal to you, then you can always learn on your own. You will need to have a day job to rely on while you learn in your free time and possibly plenty of money to spend on parts to practice with. As long as you are able to buy books to learn at your own pace, get your hands on car parts to practice with, and love learning how things work, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the trade.