Almost two generations ago, students who did not go on to college were looked down upon, and training in the trades was what you did if you not “smart enough” to attend college. Those days have changed as automotive mechanic training is more popular than ever with high school graduates. Americans have always been obsessed with cars. People want to own the latest models and show them off. NASCAR has become a very popular sport with young people and many older persons as well; both men and women follow auto racing. Collectors have a passion for unusual and very expensive cars, and auctions are held all over the United States. Street racing has been presented as fast and furious in movies. So our interest in cars has continued and increased throughout the years.
All these cars need repair and maintenance. In fact, automotive mechanic training has become a science of its own. High school students with mechanical aptitude choose to work in that trade because it now has its own prestige (although different from the prestige a college education commands). Mechanic jobs pay very well when the students finish their training. The number of students attending these schools is rising each year. The demand for qualified automotive mechanics sometimes exceeds the number of students completing the education.
Cars have evolved over the years from simple mechanical machines to complicated, intricate machines with big engines, lots of computer-oriented features, and new mechanical features. The cars of today and the cars of yesterday are not the same cars at all. These new cars demand an elevated technical education to repair and maintain them. Instead of merely learning about auto repair in shop class in high school, students (after graduation) enroll in specific full-time schools geared to automotive training. These schools not only provide high tech cars to work on, but also theory about how the cars work and perform. The courses include information and learning about new emission standards and lower emission cars, hybrid cars, and different fuel alternatives. They also require tuition that is not inexpensive and a commitment to the education from the students.
Many of the graduates go on to work for automobile manufacturers, car dealerships, private auto repair shops, or even start their own automotive repair shops. Mechanics’ wages have increased to a high level over the years, and more and more high school graduates want to take advantage of this situation. Add that fact to America’s love affair with cars and you have the reasons why automotive mechanic training has become very popular.