In Arkansas, auto mechanic schools provide students with the essential training they need to diagnose problems, conduct basic vehicle maintenance, as well as repair cars, trucks and motorcycles. Most vocational programs last between six months and one year, while community college programs traditionally take two years to complete and result in an associate's degree or certificate. For individuals who possess experience working with automobiles, online education programs are a great option to improve career knowledge, learn new skills and earn a certificate or diploma. Online education programs range from automotive HVAC repair to transmissions, motorcycle repair to diesel mechanics. Today, students may choose to pursue additional certifications, such as the Automotive Service Excellence Master Technician certificate, to further increase employment options or salary potential. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, over 400,000 professionals hold certifications. Certification areas include medium/heavy truck, automobile, school bus, alternate fuels technicians and more.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service and repair shops, car dealerships, service stations and independent garages increasingly prefer to hire individuals with formal education from auto mechanic schools. In Arkansas, the BLS reports automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a mean annual wage of over $33,660 in May 2014. Individuals specializing in auto body repair earned almost $36,060. Auto service technicians in the following industries tend to earn the highest annual salaries: product and parts manufacturing, delivery services, natural gas distribution and scientific research and development services.