Here are 5 paths on how to become a mechanic with no experience or schooling.
It can actually be difficult to get hired in the automotive field for complete beginners. I know because I’ve been there.
Most shops will say you either need experience or technical training before you can get a job.
But how do you get experience if no one’s willing to give you a shot?
And what if you’re having difficult getting enrolled in college?
Learn here on how to become a mechanic with no experience or schooling in the automotive field.
Here are five ways you can get started:
Start by changing engine oil and brakes.
This is probably the easiest method to start learning how to become a mechanic. And that is to just start doing basic vehicle maintenance. This is least expensive way to start.
For example, you only to buy a starter tool set to change engine oil and brakes. And if you do a proper job, it should take you no longer than 5 hours total to complete the repairs:
2 hours to do an oil change
3 hours to replace front brake pads and rotors.
As you can see, the upfront investment is minimal and the difficulty to get started becoming a mechanic is relatively low.
Here are two video examples on how to do an engine oil change and brake repair:
2011 KIA Sorento engine oil change
2011 KIA Sorento brake pad and rotor replacement
Quick way to get into the field
Doing engine oil changes and brake jobs will give you the experience that’s required to get hired in the automotive industry. Employers are always looking for candidates who have experience working on vehicles.
Just note, using this approach may not land you into dealerships immediately, but your chances of getting into lube shops is almost assured knowing these things. This route will save you money on tuition costs, and build your skills while working entry level jobs.
Then you can move up slowly to enter dealerships or independent shops while building your resume. This is how you can start your journey to becoming a mechanic the easiest way possible.
When going to college might actually work in your favor
While I do show you here that you can get into the automotive field without going to college, there are certain instances where I recommend college. Continue reading below:
Enrolling in community college for entry level certification.
If you want to know how to become a mechanic if you have 0 skill right now, schooling in another option. You can attend a community college (in Canada, we just call it college) to walk out with an official certificate.
The plan would be to enroll in community college and pay for a 4 month tuition course. I wouldn’t recommend taking any course that goes longer than 4 months. Usually it’s a rip off for beginners.
Usually the tuition for community college is around $3,000 or less.
You can also apply for scholarships or grants that will help pay for your tuitions. Which is a pretty decent deal if you’re able to score one of them.
Upon successful graduation, you would receive credentials to show employers that you’ve been certified in some way to work on vehicles.
This route will allow you to bypass working at lube shops in most cases. Which means you can approach dealerships and independent shop with a higher chance of success.
Employer promotes you to become an apprentice.
If you want to know how to become a mechanic as an apprentice, this will be a path you can take later on.
Now that you’re working for your new employer, chances are you’re going to work at the shop you’re in for long haul. Usually a year or two into your employment is when your employer will likely decide to promote you.
That means your employer will likely sign you up for apprenticeship. Which means you now have to go back to school in order to start and complete your apprenticeship program.
In some cases employers are willing to pay for all, if not some of your tuition training once you’re their apprentice.
Stack this up with scholarships you can apply for and you’re almost paying nothing for college again; maybe you’ll even be making a surplus of money if your employer is covering for you.
This is the only scenario I would recommend any one go to college.
Becoming a mechanic the worst way possible.
The worst way to become a mechanic as a beginner is to attend long term college programs. Let me explain.
The courses I’m talking about which you should avoid are those courses that go for 1 year to 4 years. Turns out, those class are not really good for your health… and your financial health in general.
Even apprentices usually go to college only 2-4 months a year at a time. Do you see them spending 1-4 years in college training?
I recommend you stay completely AWAY from these 1-4 years courses. Why? Because those courses will cost you $30,000 and up just to enroll in them. You’ll rack up so much debt in interest, you’ll spend half your life trying to pay it all back!
Scholarships and grants wont really help you In this situation
Say goodbye to any scholarship really helping you out to cover your 4 year college tuition. Maybe you might score a $15,000 scholarship.
But then you’re competing with straight A students in your college with people who have many qualifications. Good luck getting those scholarships. There are maybe only 1 or 2 of them anyways.
The best you might get are those $1,000 or $2,000 scholarships that are a bit easier to receive. You may score a few of them.
If so, you’d likely end up shaving $4,000 off from a $30,000 tuition. But, do those numbers make sense to you?
And say hello every month to a big fat interest-loan that will haunt you for years to come. This is the worst way to become a mechanic.
While you’re stuck in school for 4 years going this route, there are people getting out of community college within 4 months!
They’re out there running around making money with a 3 year and 8 month head start on you while you’re stuck in school, earning no income for 4 years. Avoid this college trap like the plague.
Become your own boss | open up your own shop.
Now that we’re done talking about college, here’s an option you thought maybe not possible for a beginner.
Now this path isn’t for the faint of heart, but this is how you can become a mechanic on the fast track. You can become your own boss. All you would have to do is learn how the business operates and hire out the right people.
Sure it’s much tougher to get to this position but if you know how to leverage other people’s money/time, this is a viable opportunity you can create.
Family and Friends May Want In
It’s possible you know someone who has capital to put up front. You, or someone you know may also know a mechanic or two. Put these two things together and you can get your shop set up and running.
Pitch these ideas to your family and friends and it becomes easier to put together a down deposit for a bank loan.
At least you know it’s possible now to open up your own shop sooner than you think. No need to gruel it out 4 years as a technician.
Pros Willing to Help You Run Your Business
Solera, the parent company of Identifix also offers financing if you need some cash starting up your business. But that’s not all.
With a solution like Direct-Hit Pro Academy, you get access to over 350 training videos and professional mechanics support. Their support team will help you to diagnose and fix any vehicle out there.
Plus you get instant access to over 3 million repair manuals in the software they provide you with.
Something to consider if you want to level up quickly as a mechanic and shop owner.
5 Paths On How to Become a Mechanic
So there you go, 5 Paths on how to become a mechanic without school or experience.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn along the way, you’ll have opportunities open up for you. It’s just the way it works.
The best way to become a mechanic is to just get started. Don’t let schools and employers discourage you if you get rejected by them.
It happened a lot to me in the beginning. But, I refused to accept their denial of me. I learned to make my own way into the field.
Now you know you create your own path, so get out there and create it!
Last Update: October 10, 2023