Automotive / Vocational Programs
Auto mechanics and electricians are involved in detailed technical work that requires specialized education. A host of technical colleges and trade schools offer vocational courses for individuals who wish to enter these fields. Employers generally seek electricians who are graduates of four-year apprenticeship programs. These may involve 144 hours of classroom instruction and nearly 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The coursework trains apprentices in electrical code requirements, math, electrical theory and blueprint reading. Apprentices learn how to set anchors, install conduits and connect switches and wiring. Eventually, they are able to plan out the installation of entire electrical systems. Auto mechanics, like electricians, must also have formal career training. High school graduates may enroll in an automotive service technology program at a vocational school. According to the BLS, a number of accelerated trade school programs offer certificates after six months of training, and some community colleges offer two-year associate's degree programs. Mechanics students take courses on automotive repair and electronics - courses which are continuously amended in response to changes to automotive technology.