Career

Careers in Automotive Tech

The trend to push high school students toward traditional four-year college degrees has had a negative impact on the skilled trades, creating a gap with too few workers qualified to replace retirees.  

Did you know that roughly half of all mechanics will be eligible for retirement in just 15 years? 

The trend to push high school students toward traditional four-year college degrees has had a negative impact on the skilled trades, creating a gap with too few workers qualified to replace retirees.   

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force is expected to add 39,100 new auto tech jobs by 2024. 

(Source:http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm) 

Skilled trades can often provide great job security and better salaries than some four-year degrees, but this doesn’t mean that a postsecondary education isn’t beneficial; teens need to have a plan to get the right training in order to have the best chance of success in their trade. With auto tech degree programs that incorporate classroom instruction, hands-on training, shop experience, and even cooperative education opportunities with dealerships, students can work and earn while training in skills that are relevant and marketable.  

“If there is such a thing as job security, it’s in the trades,” said Tony Molla, Vice President of Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.   

The Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence currently offers three such dealership-sponsored programs at Lawson State Community College: 

Ford ASSET 

Only the Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) program offers Service Technician Specialty Training (STST) credentials, a requirement at Ford and Lincoln dealerships. ASSET is a 24-month program which alternates web-based and classroom academics with hands-on work at sponsoring Ford and Lincoln dealerships.  Graduates earn an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology and receive the same training technicians would receive at Ford Training Centers.  

General Motors ASEP 

GM ASEP (Automotive Service Education Program) teaches exclusively on current GM products, incorporating advanced automotive technical training with a strong academic foundation of math, electronics, analytical and technical skills. Students alternate between the classroom and hands-on work experience at a sponsoring GM dealership to earn an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology or a similar degree, all while gaining work experience. Students in the ASEP program are often able to pay for their tuition with their internship wages.  

Toyota T-TEN 

Toyota and Lexus developed the T-TEN (Toyota Technician & Education Network) program to help quickly fill their open positions with highly-trained technicians. Like the Ford and GM programs, the Toyota T-TEN program combines classroom teaching with state-of-the-art training in a dealership setting. 

Toyota or Lexus techs who attain master status can earn $85,000 per year. Graduates of the T-TEN are eligible to work at Toyota or Lexus dealerships in an entry-level position. Career progression through the 4 levels of certification and 3 at Lexus is encouraged through further education and experience, enabling workers to advance to higher positions with an increasing pay scale.  

(Source: http://www.toyota.com/usa/tten/whytten.html) 

Skilled trades are a great career option for many students. 

For more information, visit www.lawsonstate.edu  

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