I’ve been doing some online looking, and found lots of sites that prepare you for the testing, and give the tests… They vary hugely in $, and one particular one is chasing me with offers of 2400 for a 2 year access to their on-line stuff. Saying with just 3 certs, I could be making more than $50. However, book learning/vs doing seems rather different. I could be certified all day long, but not having performed these tasks makes me wonder how valuable these tests are, or would donating time to a willing mechanic and actually learning with some hands on first would be a better way to spend time/ money.
Visit your local community college. Prepping to take an exam is great for someone who has the knowledge and needs to “bone up”, but it definitely is not a substitute for education and training.
Donating time is a good supplement to education, but does not replace it.
I feel you and all are in a bit of a pickel. The courses taught at my Community College (and I have taken most) are taught via a tape (with you wearing a headset) and a dedicated work station with either a pre-prepared car or components on a bench. It is close but falls short in realism. Specificaly, you don’t get challenged with the unexpected.
Finding a experienced mechanic to take you under his wing and teach you the highly technical aspect of the job will be tough. The shop environment is geared to everyone making money not towards a learning environment.
My feeling is that there is no “fast track” in becoming good at automechanics. it still takes long hours both in the shop,at the college,and training on your own,perhaps some type of “distance learning” on the computer. There are plenty of firms offering this service.
In short,the fast track does not exist. Figure 10yrs minimum,some may be faster.
Correspondence courses (either online or on television) are no way to learn a hands on trade. The private schools offering courses are only interested in your money, and they don’t care whether or not they help you find a job. Look at vocational programs at community colleges, even if you can’t find one in your area.
Bummer. It pains me to know that states’ lack of willingness to invest in labs (shops for automotive programs) has caused so many schools to opt for “virtual” labs. I just plain ain’t the same. At our community colleges in NH we have fully equipped shops with lifts, an alignment machine, tire machines, an engine rebuild shop, a tranny rebuild shop, and about everything you can imagine. Each student is required to have a full toolset (specified) with a roll-away chest prior to starting the program.
I’m glad the cardiologist that treated me when I had my heart attack didn’t learn everything he knew in a “virtual” setting…we wouldn’t be having this discussion!
I feel for you, my friend. It has to hurt.
We do have lifts (they teach people how to rack a car). The engine is a "test engine’ many people have disassemble and assembled the same engine,there is no bring in a engine you want to rebuild and do it,everything is controled and scheduled. Same thing with the automatic and manual trans. just a prop trans,don’t bring your own.
Much too much emphasis is made on whatching the video they have made for every system and following the bouncing ball.
No dedicated OBD2 training,it is just a sub-set of general engine performance.
Same thing with the IT Department (which I canged my major to). I took a class Microsoft Windows “current version” and it was a classs in XP Pro,the Network administration class was also in XP Pro. But new for the fall is Server 2008 so there is hope for the IT Department.
The best way to prepare for ase tests is to get hands on experience and also read some books along the way having to do with the subject matter of the test you want to take. Don’t pay somebody $2400 to help you prepare, that is ridiculous. That line about making $50 (per hour?) with “only” 3 certs is your first clue, total bull. Get some experience and fill in the gaps with some reading. I suggest you visit your local library.
Taking ASE certification courses won’t teach you how to be a mechanic. The skills included in ASE certification are valuable, but not nearly as valuable as having skills accompanied with hands-on experience.
Even though I went through a full-time 2-year auto mechanics school, I didn’t begin gaining confidence in my skills until I worked for a while as a mechanic.
Customers must be aware that at many times the mechanic working on their car is in a “confidence building” period in their training. Pretty scary for the customer don’t you think? I wonder if the shop passes on the cost of these “hands on” lessons.