Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Automotive technology is rapidly increasing in sophistication. High schools offer introduction to automotive technology and service. Intensive career preparation through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on practice will be received at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Knowledge of electronics is increasingly required for automotive technicians because electronics is being used in a growing variety of automotive components. Engine controls and dashboard instruments were among the first components to use electronics, but now electronics are being used in brakes, transmissions, steering systems, and a variety of other components. In the past, problems involving electrical systems or electronics were usually handled by a specialist, but electronics are becoming so commonplace that most automotive technicians must be familiar with at least the basis principles of electronics in order to recognize when an electronic malfunction may be responsible for a problem. In addition, automotive technicians frequently must be able to test and replace electronic components.

For apprentices, employers look for people with good reading and basic mathematics and computer skills who can study technical manuals to keep abreast of new technology. People who have a desire to learn new service and repair procedures and specifications are excellent candidates for apprenticeship positions. Completion of high school is required by a growing number of employers. Apprentices usually start as helpers, or lubrication workers, and gradually acquire and practice their skills by working with experienced technicians.

Employers send experienced automotive technicians to manufacturer training centres to learn to repair new models or to receive special training in the repair of components such as electronic fuel injection or air-conditioners. Factory representatives come to many dealerships to conduct training sessions. Experienced technicians with leadership ability often advance to shop supervisor or service manager.