You’re different. From early on, you followed a different path. You enjoyed seeing how things work, tinkering, doing things with your hands, and solving problems.Sure, you’ve hit the books and kept up your grades, but your love is cars — their engines, their complexity, their freedom through mobility. But could you turn your passion into a profession? Make a living at what you like?What’s the good news?You can follow your dream. You can become an auto technician, have a solid, secure, stimulating career… and make good money.The demand for automobile technicians has never been greater. For the foreseeable future, the U.S. will need an estimated 60,000 new technicians each year. Talk about job security!What do I need to get started?Although a good set of tools is vital, they’re just the beginning. Stick with your books. You’ll need a solid education.Believe it or not, the basic knowledge and skills you are learning in your other classes will be essential to your success.You will apply what you learned in math to help you analyze and solve problems like calculating gear ratios. Science, especially physics, is necessary to understand force, friction, hydraulics, and electrical circuits.That’s not all. You will need strong communications skills to access technical information from shop manuals or computers. You’ll have to be able to deal effectively with customers and coworkers, and write work orders and reports.What might my future hold?If you have the drive, there’s almost no limit to your options and advancement. Although beginning salaries are comparable to other technical careers, experienced auto technicians can earn $40,000 to $60,000. Some top-notch technicians earn even more! While many students get jobs right out of high school, others may decide to seek a two-year associate’s degree from the local community college. Still others will expand their education into a four-year bachelor’s degree. Many techs love the day-today challenge of repairing cars and have good careers doing just that. But others branch out. They may become service consultants, parts specialists, warranty administrators, field service engineers — even auto technology teachers. Those with a flair for business may own their own shop or manage a shop or car dealership. Whatever your path, the automotive service and repair industry is broad enough to make your dreams come true for years to come.A Word About the ASE Education FoundationThe ASE Education Foundation evaluates Automobile, Collision Repair & Refinishing, and Truck training programs against tough standards set by the automotive industry. Based on the Foundation’s evaluation, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredits the program.ASE-accredited training programs have proven that they meet the very strict industry standards for tools and equipment, instructor’s qualifications (they must be ASE-certified in the areas they teach), minimum hours of instruction, student services, finances and more!Since training program accreditation is voluntary, make sure you see the “ASE Accredited Training Program” sign when you visit the school you’re considering. It’s your sign that their program provides what the industry demands for job-ready technicians.