The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that in the automotive service and repair industry, employers tend to prefer employees who possess both experience and an education from auto mechanic schools. In Pennsylvania, training programs traditionally last for six months to one year and prepare students to work the latest technology in the motorcycle, diesel and automotive technology fields. Certificate and degree programs are also available through online education formats at a number of Pennsylvania auto mechanic schools. Online education can be a great option for working professionals looking to complete advanced training while maintaining a full-time work schedule.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides a series of certifications in a variety of areas, such as service, truck equipment and more. Widely considered the professional benchmark for knowledge and performance in the automotive repair and service industry, ASE certification combined with post-high school training can lead to new career opportunities. In Pennsylvania, automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a mean annual salary of approximately $35,800 in 2009, according to the BLS. Diesel engine specialists earned nearly $39,000, while auto body repairers earned just over $39,000.