As an auto mechanic apprentice, you will have the opportunity to learn most of the skills and techniques necessary to become a successful auto mechanic as you work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced, independent mechanic. You should expect your auto mechanic apprenticeship to last anywhere from a year to four years, and during this time, you may be required to earn specific licenses or certifications that will make you a more competitive job candidate once your auto mechanic apprenticeship is complete.
You can start this auto mechanic apprenticeship as early as high school; some schools will set up school to work programs for qualified students, which will allow you to learn mechanic skills while you are still in school. After graduation, you will be in better position to secure an auto mechanic apprenticeship with a manufacturer, car company, or repair company. Taking part in high school coursework can shorten the apprenticeship period, since you will have already learned many of the skills you will need to be successful in the field.
The types of work you will do during your auto mechanic apprenticeship can vary depending on several factors. Early on in your apprenticeship, you are likely to only perform the most basic tasks; as the apprenticeship progresses, you will be entrusted to perform more complex tasks under the guidance and supervision of another mechanic. By the end of the apprenticeship, you should be able to perform most job duties on your own without supervision. The type of work you do will also depend on your employer, as well as the types of vehicles you will be working on. You may, for example, work on gasoline powered cars exclusively, or you might work on diesel engines only. In other instances, you may work on both, in which case your training will be more extensive.
While not always required, you can earn various certifications during your auto mechanic apprenticeship that will make you a more valuable job candidate once your apprenticeship is complete. Some car manufacturers will require that you earn these special certifications, though most repair shops will not require them. They are a good idea, however, as they will improve your chances of getting gainful employment after your apprenticeship is over, and you may end up earning more money as a result. This is, of course, not a guarantee, but it improves your chances.