Auto mechanic trade schools

All fields are becoming more specialized, and the automotive services industry is no exception. This is because new technologies and innovations are changing how we live, how we work, and how we drive. Most automotive training schools offer fairly standard curriculums—you will learn the knowledge and skills you need to maintain and repair cars. But often you will have the choice of electives and some schools have specialized learning tracks. Here are the top specializations you will find in automotive training programs.

Automotive Service Technology

This is not really a specialization; rather, it is the category that encompasses most of the basic maintenance and repair work done on cars. In these courses, you will learn how to test and inspect auto parts and systems, perform basic maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, and repair damaged or broken parts.

Diesel Service Technology

Diesel technology is used in buses, semi-trucks, and other large equipment; it is even starting to be used for some passenger cars. Diesel engines work differently from regular gas engines, and large vehicles often have hydraulic or air brake systems that need servicing.

Collision and Auto Body Repair

Students in collision repair programs learn how to fix the bodies of cars that have been damaged in everything from storms to accidents. These programs provide hands-on training in dent repair, welding, and sometimes even painting and finishing. Collision repair is a skill that is in high demand, both at specialized repair shops and at car dealership service departments.

Motorcycle Service Technology

Motorcycles are a special type of vehicle that fall somewhere between cars and small engine-powered equipment. Although many of the same principles and techniques apply to motorcycles as to cars, there are also some differences in the parts and systems and how they work together. Students with specialized knowledge of motorcycle technology can work not only in automotive repair facilities, but also in bike shops.

Depending on the size of the shop you want to work for, there may be other specializations available. For example, in a small shop, the automotive service technicians and mechanics may take care of everything from the brakes to the transmission (though auto body and collision repair is usually always separate). However, in a large shop, for example at a dealership, the technicians may specialize in air conditioning repair, brake repair, front-end systems, transmissions, or tune-ups. Although you should have knowledge of all of these systems, specializing in one or two of them will help ensure you are able to solve even the most difficult problems.

Automotive technology is becoming more specialized, which means that service technicians need to acquire more specialized knowledge to accurately identify and solve problems. The best way to do this is to define an area where you want to work and become an expert in it.


Lincoln Group of Schools. Automotive programs.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automotive service technicians and mechanics.

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