Auto mechanics have a lucrative occupation and plenty of chances to advance in their careers or run their own companies.
This article is for those who want to become auto mechanics in the State of Iowa.
We’ll tell you what training and diploma you need, as well as the expected salary.
Article Table of Contents
Auto Mechanic Training in Iowa
There might have been a time when an apprenticeship was the main way of becoming a mechanic.
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Technology especially that used in making cars, has evolved greatly in the last 50 years or so.
This means that auto mechanics need a lot of knowledge and skills to be successful in this field.
Formal education became the norm when it comes to learning the ropes of this occupation.
The programs aimed at future auto mechanics last for about 2 years.
Graduates can earn either a certificate, a diploma, or an associate’s degree.
Those interested can consider one of these schools:
- Marshalltown Community College
- Iowa Lakes Community College
- Southwestern Community College
- Eastern Iowa Community College
- Northeast Iowa Community College
The courses are called either Automotive Repair Technology or Automotive Mechanics Program.
All of them equip students with all the knowledge and skills needed for an entry-level position.
This is because they are approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
The Foundation is the body responsible for the criteria expected of such a training program.
Earning an ASE Certification
Earning an ASE certification is how individuals can set themselves apart when applying for a job.
These certifications are not mandatory upon hiring, but many employers will prefer certified candidates.
Here are some of the certifications you can earn:
- Repair technician
- Parts specialist
- Collision damage estimator
- Service consultant
Keep in mind that for this credential, you’ll usually have to accumulate 2 years of work experience and then pass an exam.
You can only take the exam in person at approved testing centers.
If you manage to get certified, you’ll have to re-take the exam every 5 years, to keep the certification.
You can also try to obtain more than 1 ASE certificate.
Individuals can also pass a series of ASE exams to become master auto mechanics.
The series of exams are pre-decided.
Here are some of the master certifications you can get:
- Engine repair
- Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
- Manual drive train and axles
- Suspension and steering
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Heating and air conditioning
- Engine performance
You can also specialize in trucks, transit buses, medium-heavy trucks, and not only.
Earning a 609-Refrigerant Certification
Those who work with the heating and air conditioning system of a car, or MVAC, need to earn the 609-refrigerant certification.
To get this credential, you’re expected to attend a training course because you’ll be working with regulated and hazardous substances.
Fortunately, both the course and the exam you’ll have to pass, are available online.
There are two providers for this course:
- ASE, with approval from EPA
This certification doesn’t expire.
Employment and Salary Information for Auto Mechanics in Iowa
Here are some of the types of businesses hiring auto mechanics:
- Independent establishments
- Body repair shops
- Tire shops
- Gas stations
Not all positions will have the same title or duties.
Here are some job titles you’ll see in ads:
- Automotive service technicians, or auto mechanics
- Diesel mechanics
- Auto body and collision repair workers
- Glass installers and repairers
Generally, the duties will depend from position to position.
Sometimes, clients will have specific requests while at other times you’ll have to discover what needs to be done to the vehicle.
When you just start working you’ll earn less compared to a seasoned mechanic, though in some cities salaries tend to be overall higher.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|West Des Moines||$38,742|
Additional Information about Auto Mechanics in Iowa
As an auto mechanic, you can also earn a manufacturer-specific certification.
This way, you’ll know the ins and outs of specific car brands, such as:
With such a diploma you can easier find work in dealerships or within the company issuing the certification.
It is preferred to first gain general knowledge related to the above-mentioned aspects, and then to specialize in a specific brand.
This certification is also not mandatory unless you want to work with a specific car brand.