There are many types of technicians who work in a variety of different automotive repair shops around the country. Many technicians are generalists who work on malfunctions that occur in any of the eight core automotive systems. Other technicians elect to specialize once they have gained a fundamental understanding of the core systems. An auto electrician is a technician who specializes in malfunctions of the electrical system.
The best time to start getting exposure to the automotive repair industry is while you are still a High School student. Many schools in the United States offer auto mechanic and auto body courses that are designed to give students some experience with automotive repair. These classes can provide an excellent foundation for a long career as an auto electrician. In addition to the classes offered by High Schools, there is an organization called the Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) that has been established to help High School transition into the industry.
If you have already graduated from High School then you will probably want to start exploring the many automotive service certificate and degree programs available at area vocational schools and community colleges. Most of these programs last from 12 to 24 months and have been designed to give students a foundational understanding of the eight core automotive systems including brakes, suspension and steering, automatic transmissions, manual drive trains, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, electrical systems, and engine performance.
The eight core systems listed above are generally the areas that the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifies. While the ASE does offer specialty certifications, the primary purpose of the ASE is to offer a well-rounded series of certification exams in the main areas of automotive repair. Technicians who complete certification in all eight of the core automotive systems receive the designation of Master Technician.
There are a few reasons why all technicians should voluntarily complete the certification process. First, certified technicians typically have more job opportunities. Auto employers know that certified technicians have a comprehensive understanding of the industry and will require less training and support. In addition, certification can be used as a marketing advantage over local auto shop competition. Many customers prefer to have their vehicles serviced by technicians who have demonstrated that they have met national standards for competence.