Auto Mechanic – GradPlan

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Auto Mechanic

Love cars and trucks? This career field might be a great fit for you

Get Under the Hood

Have you always enjoyed fixing things? Choosing a career as an auto mechanic could be a great fit for you!

There are lots of great programs to get you started. Most require a high school diploma and a willingness to learn and master the skills of automotive repair. Some programs will help you find an entry-level job in the field (usually as a Lube Tech), so you can make some money while you are learning and try out your new skills in a hands-on environment.

Most programs take less than two years and will set you up to pass the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification exams required for full-time employment in a service shop.

What You’ll Need:

Driver’s License and Clean Driving Record
You will be working on other people’s cars and driving them from the lot to the repair shop.


ASE Certification
After completing 1-year of training you will be eligible to take the ASE Certification exam. If you pass, you will be certified to fix cars by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).


Vehicles are more high-tech than ever before. It takes time and practice to learn how to find, diagnose and repair problems.

Other important things to know

  • The United States has a critical shortage of auto mechanics, which means that there are job opportunities waiting for you!
  • You can get your first ASE certification in as little as 6 months.
  • You can also keep going in your studies to earn an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology or a Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Design or Automotive Engineering Technology.
  • Many programs start with an apprenticeship-style learning process that puts you in an actual repair shop to learn-on-the-job, meaning you can get PAID while you go to school!

How do I find an Automotive Mechanics training program near me?

There are a lot of Automotive Mechanics or Automotive Technology apprenticeship programs available throughout the country. You can find opportunities through large national manufacturers like General Motors (GM), Toyota, or Ford Motor Company.

Explore Illinois-regional auto mechanic programs

The Nissan/Infiniti program at Moraine Valley CC is 18-24 months and students can work in a Nissan/Infiniti shop while they go to school. Students who work for the dealer for at least 2 years after earning their Associate’s Degree will receive $6,000 towards any student loans.

The Honda/Acura PACT Program at Triton College is 18-24 months. Students get practical hands-on experience. Chicago students are offered “in-district” tuition. The program offers support finding work at a Honda/Acura dealership after the 1st semester of classes is completed.

Automotive Technology at Harry S Truman City College of Chicago is 18-24 months. Students apply using the City Colleges of Chicago application process. Truman works with its students to help them find jobs in repair shops once their 1st semester of classes is completed.

Recommended Resources


Job Training Programs

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist