Which Automotive School is the Best?

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From the Indy 500 to the nearest used car dealership, the automotive industry is all about first place. Which vehicle is fastest? Or safest? What model is the most expensive? Which one is the best deal for the mileage?

The same holds true for automotive school. One of the primary questions on the minds of anyone looking to pursue a career in automotive repair is, “What automotive school is the best?”

Every year, the nation’s top education magazines release their rankings of traditional colleges and universities based on the top programs, cost and other factors.

But in the realm of hands-on, career-based learning, you will hard-pressed to find a “top” list that ranks the schools. Why? Because quality hands-on training isn’t so much about the institution itself as it is about designing a program that meets a few critical standards.

Many of the best automotive schools realized this years ago and have created programs that deliver qualities that are important to their students’ success.

Four qualities shared by the best automotive schools
If you’ve given some thought to enrolling in automotive school, then you no doubt want to be a student in a school that offers the very best education available. But how do you know what to look for? The following four qualities are shared by the best automotive schools in the nation:

  • Certified learning – As automobiles continue to become more advanced and complex, the process of certification is becoming more important. The same is true for schools. The best automotive schools are certified by trusted organizations such as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). To earn certification, schools must prepare students with knowledge of vehicle systems and parts, automotive technology, the ability to communicate and solid mechanical abilities.
  • Hands-on experience – No one ever learned how to be a mechanic by reading a book. Likewise, all the best automotive schools offer students the ability to learn through real-world, hands-on situations. In other words, they let you get your hands dirty inside real engines, diagnose problems and learn from the mistakes you make on real repair jobs. Any school that doesn’t offer you direct experience on actual vehicles should be the first you cross off of your list of potential places to enroll.
  • Full vehicle training – These days, more than ever, it’s important for an automotive technician to have a full grasp on an entire vehicle. With bumper-to-bumper training, you will have the ability to diagnose or fix most problems. A top automotive school will let you slip under the hood or behind the dashboard of vehicles regularly. An easy way to determine if you’ll receive this type of training is by reviewing the program curriculum. If the courses are limited, the same will apply to your education.
  • Making contacts – When you complete your automotive program, your goal will be attaining work with a business that will utilize your new skills. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door with an employer is by making contacts in the automotive industry. An excellent automotive school will have instructors or administrators who have already developed contacts with local businesses looking for someone with your skills. The best schools can share stories with you about successful students and alumni.

Best of the best
Top automotive schools have earned a reputation for providing qualified students with the skills they need to succeed. Before taking the step to enroll in a school, call around and talk with a few local repair shops or dealerships. Ask them what schools are the best at training students – and which ones are not. When you enroll, you’ll know you are choosing a school with an excellent track record of connecting students with exactly the type of job you want for yourself!

If you want to explore career college training, keep moving down the road…

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