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Graduating from an automotive technician training program such as Ford ASSET or Toyota T-TEN can be one of the greatest days of your educational life. You feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. Your schooling is complete and you never have to take another class again, right? Not so fast. Graduation day doesn’t mean the end of your automotive education.

Certifications Expire

When you get out in the field and start working on vehicles, you learn a lot on the job. However, don’t forget that ASE certifications and other credentials aren’t a lifetime distinction. They can expire if you don’t complete the necessary formal education. You invested a lot of money and time in your certifications. Be sure to keep track of expiration dates so you can meet the necessary requirements to keep everything current. This protects your investment and your career.

Technology Changes

A great deal of knowledge about updates in automotive technology comes from actually working on the vehicles that you service. Most learning opportunities happen when a new vehicle model is introduced or new parts are required for repair. However, there are some things that may not be learned from turning wrenches. Take advantage of learning opportunities and formal classes to keep up with emerging technology so you can remain competitive in the work place.

Where to Find Learning Opportunities

There are several places you can receive continuing education credits. A local junior or community college likely offers classes in automotive technology for established technicians. One of the best places to look is online. There are thousands of schools that offer online courses and testing to aid in keeping your credentials current. You can also obtain training from a local dealership or, in some cases, an automotive manufacturer. If you are unsure where to start, talk to the service manager at a dealership for tips and advice. Use the experience and knowledge of others in your career field to point you in the right direction.

Continuing education does come with a price. Each course will set you back a couple hundred dollars, and possibly more. However, the cost is well worth the benefits that you will receive in return. Not only can you further your knowledge to provide better work in less time, you can also make yourself more attractive to current or future employers. Hard work and dedication can pay off in the form of a better job and higher paycheck. Don’t get complacent; take charge of your education and career today with continuing education opportunities.