Our Technical Advisor Robert Isbell recently was asked to evaluate a local automotive repair program for certification, and as a service to our users, we would like to present a glimpse into the technician training process to help understand what it takes to be a highly trained automotive technician.
Technicians Education Certification
Recently I was asked to help evaluate a local college on behalf of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) for certification. This certification is important for the college because it shows that they have the necessary tools, equipment, instructors and proper program standards to effectively train future technicians. This certification is taken very seriously by both the NATEF field manager and the college.
All technicians have to start some place. Some start off observing the guys in the gas station or shop and learn on the job. The majority of the technicians that I know went to a 2 year program either at a college or private company to learn about the various systems on an automobile. There is no best way to start off as the result is the same. The technicians in my shop have to go through an apprenticeship program. The guys that have completed college will generally have their mandatory school waived. The guys that are learning on the job will have to spend approximately 30 hours per subject per month in the classroom after putting in a full days work.
Learning the fundamentals in automotive technology is important because once a technician understands how the particular system works he can form diagnostic strategies to find the problem on a vehicle. Since automobile manufacturers are constantly making improvements and introducing new systems on vehicles the learning process is ongoing and once the college work is done the manufacturer takes over with specific training.
I am happy to report that the college that I helped evaluate had an excellent program, with up to date tools and equipment, knowledgeable instructors, and excellent criteria for training tomorrow’s technicians. A student going through this program will have all the fundamental knowledge needed to become a good technician, and if they applied themselves they could become a top technician in the shop.