One of the most important decisions in life is the choice of a career. Deciding what you want to do for a living is rarely a simple thing, and the choices you make to prepare for your chosen vocation while young can make a big difference in the choices you will have on the job. This usually means the more education and training you acquire while young, the more opportunities you’ll find later in life. So it’s important when making your career decisions to consider a lot more than just earning potential, although that’s important. You also want to think about room for growth and advancement, and the potential for taking those skills you’re learning now and applying them to a broader choice of jobs down the road. And one of the careers with the most potential is automotive technician.
If you’re looking for flexibility and choices in a career, working in the automotive industry can provide both. In fact, many individuals, including myself, started our careers as automotive technicians. The knowledge and technical training gathered along the way opened doors to opportunities I had never considered. In addition, a career as a technician offers mobility few jobs can claim, so relocating for a better job, or because of a career change for a spouse, is not really a problem. The demand for qualified automotive professionals is nationwide, and even international in some cases. If you decide later that you want to switch careers, the technical knowledge you possess can provide a springboard for additional training that will allow you to move into management, teaching, technical writing, engineering, sales, or a host of other automotive career possibilities.
Many individuals find a lifelong love as an automotive technician. They enjoy the process of fixing and maintaining what has become a very sophisticated piece of machinery. Some of the best are among the highest earners in the automotive industry, working with high-tech test equipment to troubleshoot equally high-tech computerized control systems common on today’s vehicles. These professionals work in dealerships, independent repair facilities, fleet operations, specialty shops, collision repair shops and mass marketers, just to name a few. Some decide to go into business for themselves, either as general repair shops, or specialists in anything from high-end import marquees to performance upgrades for the growing tuner market. In short, the possibilities are endless.
As students in an automotive technology program, you are at the very beginning of this great adventure. If your experience is anything like mine, you’re going to find a job you love. But, like anything else in life, how well you do and how far you go depends on the effort you put into each learning experience along the way. The more you put in, the more you get back. Take advantage of the knowledge being offered-it’s your future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep looking for those opportunities. Always remember that, as an automotive professional, your skills are valuable. And, as soon as you have the work experience, sign up to get ASE Certified. They’re the professional credentials you’ll need along the way.