Do You Need an Automotive Education?

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  • #532151
    EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

      After posting last weeks video, “Should You Get Into Auto Repair”, a lot of people brought up the topic of education. For this weeks video I decided to explore the subject in more detail. What are your thoughts?

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    • #532654
      Herman Tyler Jr.Herman Tyler Jr.

        Food for thought!

        1) (ASE) = Automotive Service Excellence, I applaud everyone that takes the time to become educated, and particularly those of you that continue with your education. For most of you here engaging in this great debate, you have seen technology advance over time. Early on, it was approximately every 10 years or so, then every 4 years, every 2 years, and now every 6 months. If you plan to continue in the field of automotive technology, then consider this, you can’t repair something you don’t understand. And if you think these cars are somewhat challenging, just wait another 6 months or less.
        2) (SAE) = Society of Automotive Engineers, now here is where the rubber really hits the road. This is what I aspire to achieve, this is where the real money resides, but you have to bring your “A” game to this field “I’m just saying”. And from my heart I wish everyone great success at your endeavors! B)

        Ashton KernsAshton Kerns

          There are more school than just major colleges or specialty schools i go to a community college and it has one of the best automotive programs in my state. $94 dollars credit hour and i get a 55 percent discount on all my tools. That is cheap compared to most colleges and i recieve enough financial aid and pell that i get a full ride. The point is go to school they will help you find a job when your done and apply for financial aid you might be surprised on how much you get


            My experience as a 21 year old women;

            I need to work harder and smarter than anyone, and also portray a laid back, agreeable persona, in order to get and sustain and progress in a job.

            Education is a big part of that.

            Selling my soul, giving up basic employee rights, and basic manipulation, has also worked a treat for getting my foot in the door though.


            EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

              [quote=”Haley” post=64839]My experience as a 21 year old women;

              I need to work harder and smarter than anyone, and also portray a laid back, agreeable persona, in order to get and sustain and progress in a job.

              Education is a big part of that.

              Selling my soul, giving up basic employee rights, and basic manipulation, has also worked a treat for getting my foot in the door though.


              You, are an inspiration. Thank you for being a part of this discussion.


                I think too, that maybe the term “automotive education” is too broad. If you don’t go to school, and just start at the bottom at a shop, you will still be educated every day you are there. And at many shops, they will pay to send you to training classes (education). SnapOn or MAC may send someone to your shop and educate you on how to use their latest scan tool. There is plenty of education to be had while working within a auto shop.

                So the question: Do you need an automotive education? The answer is YES. But you do not necessarily need to go get a degree. Although that may make it easier to get a job.

                With or without an education, you will start at the bottom anywhere you go. It is up to the young tech ,to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and willingness to learn and grow, while they are at that shop. And maybe after some time and that shop you can move to another and you wont be at the bottom there.

                You will learn so much working at a shop, it is unreal. As an un-experienced tech, you will probably learn 5-10 new things every single day. And even with more experience, you will probably still learn something new everyday. With so many new cars, and new problems to fix, there is always something to learn. Not to mention with resources like IATN and Direct Hit, you can learn tons of stuff from other techs all over the US.


                  I sent this to Eric on Twitter, but thought I’d post here as well.

                  What are the thoughts of taking an online course from a place like Penn Foster ( while I’m apprenticing in a shop?

                  I want to learn and get my ASE certs but can’t make regular school hours work for me at this time.

                  Good option or just a waste of time/money?


                    This is just my opinion, not GOLD, or anything.

                    Taking an online course may handicap you even more. You really need hands on experience. I am surprised there are no night classes at a community college in your area? Most colleges offer this in degree programs like automotive.

                    You can learn a lot on the internet for free, some in my opinion, paying for an automotive education online may not be an economical choice. Maybe if you could take the core subjects online (if necessary), and the automotive subjects at a college… would that be possible in your situation? Maybe worth looking in to at least.


                      Here’s the situation I’m in:

                      I’m a full time youth pastor & church internship director—I work Tues-Friday (Wednesday nights) and all day Sunday. I have Saturday & Monday off. I already have a BA degree.

                      I love my job and am looking to get into auto repair as a second income/way to start a new outreach ministry at our church.

                      I can’t take daytime, night or weekend classes.

                      I’d be gaining hands-on experience at the shop I’m apprenticing at one day a week (Mondays) and taking the classes online to gain book knowledge to pass ASE exams, etc.


                        I think this is a good summary of the argument thus far, and is a statement that I agree with:

                        The answer is YES. But you do not necessarily need to go get a degree. Although that may make it easier to get a job

                        Given two applicants of equal wrench turning ability, the winner will be the one with the best resume’.


                          That’s a tough situation. A very cool idea to employ at your church though..

                          In that case, in your situation, it might be beneficial. If you haven’t already, check for reviews on the school, specifically for the auto classes.

                          And how expensive is the school? This might be a deal breaker. If your goal is to just start a program at the church, is an automotive degree really necessary? I don’t know, just asking.

                          If the cost is affordable, and the education is good, maybe take some classes. Maybe focus on the ones you know the least amount in. If you can pick and choose what classes you want, rather than going through the whole program.

                          And of course pray about it. God should tell you what he wants you to do, or what is right in your situation.

                          EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

                              After watching your RE video I think I get what you’re saying. I can see how a person that went to school is more “valuable” to a dealership because there are little things that someone who didn’t go to doesn’t know. It’s a liability issue with the dealership. With the degree they hope that the degree taught you what you need to know in order to do the job right, fast and efficient.

                              Also, don’t know where to post this so here it goes: I like watching your older videos, but I can see the difference between the older videos and newer videos in the sense that you seem kinda down in the older videos. You seem stressed and not very happy. The newer videos you seem like yourself. I can understand why, after all the mess you were going through. I’m glad ETCG is doing so good for you man, you seem like a real nice guy and in hindsight maybe it was a blessing in disguise.


                                I used to be impressed by peope with ASE certs. But no longer. They try and learn every car, and end up making the bad calls. I have been focusing on just a few kinds of cars and been learning tons over time. ASE people seem to be the ones that don’t pick up a torque wrench, and put the wrong fluids in the cars.

                                Last ASE encounter, I was asking if they thought my valve clearance seemed like they needed adjusting. They asked if I was adjusting them when the engine was hot. They thought that is when it sould be done. On my car, you have to have the engine “stone cold” to adjust them.

                                Seems like if you get the manufactures shop manual and read it. Your ahead of many cert people.

                                As far as employment:
                                From an employer’s perspective:
                                They want the most work, for the least amount of pay.
                                From an employee’s perspective:
                                They want the least work, for the most amount of pay.

                                There is a natural business conflict in employer vs employee.

                                Either hot or cold, and no one likes lukewarm.


                                  Agree education is a must, I hope my previous post wasn’t misleading, my thoughts; you have options, I myself achieved my ASE masters (home schooled) however I started at a young age working at a shop after school, (that was my night school) even though I did not attend an educational institution I demonstrated my knowledge by passing exams and mostly through the work I performed, did this give me a disadvantage maybe I just pushed through it, and this will be expected from the highest in the class as well, if you can’t perform in the real world that paper holds very little value, fair warning; just out of school with little experience most times starts out at the bottom little pay, hired in some cases for that reason, not saying this is always the case just talking from past experience working with others in the field seeing this first hand, with Hopes the education will advance you faster as you gain experience.

                                  On a side note, I work as an industrial mechanic by day, in this field electrical troubleshooting skills are a must, understanding and following logic, following schematics with very complex control circuits mostly all automated with precise movements, no room for error in most cases
                                  I achieved this position by demonstrating my previous skills as an automotive tech, and got my foot in the door with no prior industrial education, started low went up quick, after a short time I approached my boss about attending some classes, they sent me to school for, basic electric, industrial electric, controls and many others over the years I now have a total of 11certs in the industrial field as well. The message I am trying to get out is, if you show enough heart, passion and wiliness you will achieve whatever you put your heart to,

                                  My summery, educating along with experience is key. How you achieve it is another topic.

                                  Again Eric great points, wish you guys all the best

                                  Fellow tech, Will
                                  robinsonsauto channel banana: Had to throw banana guy in the mix we will all encounter this guy in the shop someday lol


                                    I recently posted this in another section and since i put a lot of thought into it i decided to post it here also.

                                    “Quoat” From another user…I keep hearing from people that ” Trade Work ” was something that people who were not academically inclined went into.

                                    “Reply” Fifty years ago trades were considered “Bull Work” and you didn’t need an education to do that. That i’m sure where the term “Grease Monkey” came from.

                                    When i started out i only had a high school education. When you applied for a job employers seldom asked about education. They just asked if you could read and wright english. If you didn’t look like a “NERD” and were not wearing rags for clothes and were enthusiastic about working they would give you a chance. Also, if you didn’t have an education you were less costly to employ.

                                    A great portion of people who were not educated came from parents who were not educated either but had good work ethics as they had kept their mouths shut and worked their butts off to servive and to raise a Family.

                                    Today…unfortunately, it’s hard to get hired for “Trade Work” without an education. Using a Damn shovel requires an education so you don’t damage technology by putting the shovel in the wrong place.

                                    Maybe if i was educated i wouldn’t have messed up the quote in this post LoL

                                    If i had a better education i’m sure my job would be more secure today. Recently my position at the shop i work in has been reduced from a flate rate tech to a light duty (NOTHING) job with a $12.00 an hour pay cut. When i go into work i feel useless and humiliated. With only a high school education they don’t even want me as a service writer. At 63 years old i could find another job, maybe in another profession, with a better education.

                                    I kick myself in the ass everyday now because of my stupidity when i was younger.

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