By November 5, 2006 1 Comments Read More →

Best Auto Mechanic School?

Dear Sir,

My son wants to be an automotive technician and seems to have narrowed his school choices to Nashville Auto/Diesel College, Universal Technical Institute or Wyoming Technical School. I am not in the automotive field and have no contacts so I am turning to you to see if you have any knowledge of these schools and if there are any you would recommend.

Also, how do you feel in general about these types of schools versus going to a local junior college which appears to be a more economical option.

Thank You,

John those are good questions.

I personally know nothing about those schools you mentioned. When I hire new mechanics I look at their previous employer history and I call their previous employers to get a personal reference of skill level of the mechanic.

I also look at their tool box to see what kind of tools they have, how many tools they have, how NEW are the tools, does it look like they have been used etc. etc. etc. Depending on what I was hiring them for, I would also want to see their certificates like for AC repair training, ABS brake courses, electronics courses etc. etc.

Where they went to school is not as important as previous hands on experience. I usually know in two days or so if the person can do what they say they can do anyway. So, with that being said, if it were me, I would talk to the local high school auto mechanic teachers and see what local trade schools they recommend. Hands on training via a local college, or a repair shop that is looking to train and mentor an apprentice is going to be a great resume builder.

There are tons of cheap, and in most cases free courses he can attend to get certificates like the ones I mentioned above. Your local auto parts store probably has a list of certificate classes in your area, if they don t; tell them to ask their parts reps of up coming classes.

Just so he knows, a general line mechanic brakes, hoses, belts, tune ups etc. etc. will make about $500-650 a week at my shop. A mechanic that has 10+ years of experience in electronics, ABS and air bag systems, A/C and heating, fuel systems and the ability to diagnose computer related problems is worth $1,000- 1,500 a week to me at my shop.

To make the most money as a mechanic, I highly recommend he train under one of the manufacturers, like Toyota or GM. He goes to their training classes, and works for them when he gets out. The dealerships are harder to get signed on with, but will pay more, and offer more benefits in the long run. Talk to your local dealer service department and see if they are hiring, and what the process is and how much it costs. A GM master tech can make $100,000 + a year and get a job in a heat beat.

Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Pat Madden

    My son is in his 5th week at UTI in Glendale heights. I would strongly recommend that you ask about the qualifications of the instructors and the teacher/student ratio. My son has 28 students in his class. When they break up into groups of 3 to work on cars, there is only one instructor supervising 9-10 groups of newbies. The students work on their own cars and there is no guarantee that they will fix them. If the car is damaged, UTI policy is to pay only $10.00 toward the repair cost. I recently talked them into paying for a part that was broken becuase they did not have the right tool.

    Good luck in your search.