Is becoming an automotive engineering technician right for me?

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What do automotive engineering technicians do?

Still unsure if becoming an automotive engineering technician is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an automotive engineering technician or another similar career!

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How to become an Automotive Engineering Technician

Becoming an automotive engineering technician involves a combination of education, practical experience, and developing technical skills. Here's a general guide:

  • Educational Background: Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Courses in mathematics, physics, and automotive technology can provide a strong foundation. Pursue an Associate Degree or Certificate in Automotive Technology, Automotive Engineering Technology, or a related field. These programs are offered by community colleges, technical schools, and vocational institutions.
  • Gain Hands-On Experience: Seek internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions in automotive repair shops, dealerships, or automotive engineering labs. Practical experience is crucial for developing hands-on skills. Develop proficiency in using tools and equipment commonly used in automotive engineering, such as diagnostic tools, testing equipment, and computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Specialize if Desired: Consider specializing in a specific area within automotive engineering, such as powertrain systems, electrical systems, or vehicle dynamics, based on personal interests and career goals.
  • Certifications (Optional): Obtain relevant certifications, such as those offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or other industry-recognized organizations. Certifications can enhance credibility and employability (see below).
  • Apply for Positions: Search for entry-level positions or apprenticeships in automotive engineering technician roles. Look for opportunities with automotive manufacturers, research and development firms, or testing facilities.
  • Excel in the Workplace: Demonstrate your technical skills, attention to detail, and ability to work collaboratively in a team. Seek additional responsibilities and contribute to the overall success of projects.

Certifications for automotive engineering technicians can enhance their skills, demonstrate expertise, and improve employability. While not mandatory, these certifications are recognized by the industry. Here are some relevant certifications:

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certifications: ASE offers a series of certifications covering various aspects of automotive technology, including Engine Repair, Suspension and Steering, Brakes, and Electrical Systems. Automotive engineering technicians can pursue certifications aligned with their specialization.
  • NATEF/ASE Master Automobile Technician: The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and ASE collaborate on the Master Automobile Technician certification, which demonstrates advanced proficiency in several automotive areas.
  • EPA 609 Certification: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 609 certification is required for technicians who work on motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems. It covers the proper handling of refrigerants.
  • FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Performance Institute Certification: FCA offers certification programs for technicians working on Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. These certifications validate expertise in servicing specific vehicle brands.
  • GM ASEP (Automotive Service Educational Program) Certification: General Motors offers certifications through the ASEP program, focusing on technicians' proficiency in servicing GM vehicles. It includes classroom education and hands-on training.
  • Ford Maintenance & Light Repair (MLR) Certification: Ford's MLR certification is designed for maintenance and light repair technicians working on Ford vehicles. It covers essential skills and knowledge required for servicing Ford products.
  • Toyota Professional Automotive Technician (TPAT) Certification: Toyota's TPAT certification program is tailored for technicians working on Toyota and Lexus vehicles. It includes specialized training on the company's automotive technologies.
  • Snap-on Certification: Snap-on offers certification programs covering various automotive diagnostic and repair tools. Technicians can demonstrate proficiency in using Snap-on equipment.
  • ICAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) Certifications: ICAR certifications are relevant for automotive engineering technicians involved in collision repair. Certifications cover topics such as structural repair, painting, and refinishing.
  • ETI (Equipment and Tool Institute) Certification: ETI offers certifications related to automotive tools and equipment. Technicians can validate their expertise in using advanced diagnostic and repair equipment.