As with any career, there are several levels a person works their way through. For the auto technician, levels run from a class “C” technician all the way to a master technician. Training can be obtained through a combination of NH community college and hands-on experience. A franchised (new) dealership will also send the technician through factory specific training. Some independent repair shops will also send their technicians through various vendor sessions (i.e. Bosch). Many technicians also receive ASE certifications after taking various training. Here are more detailed expectations for each level of a technician:

C Technician –

• dispenses fuel, checks and refills fluid levels, lubricates and changes oil and filters;• checks equipment for defects and performs state safety inspections;• tests, removes and replaces batteries;

• cleans vehicles, garage area and maintains shop equipment;• performs brake service and reconditioning;

• performs minor repairs and parts replacement; • performs tire rotations, mounting and balancing.

B Technician –

• removes, replaces and performs service on engines, transmissions, differentials;

• uses gages, special tools, and specialized equipment to diagnose mechanical failure or problems;

• services HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) systems;

• performs wheel alignments and balances wheels;

• services braking systems;

• services steering and suspension systems;

• road test vehicles to diagnose problems and validate repairs;

• performs maintenance and completes external repairs on gasoline and diesel engines;

• replaces exhaust systems and other components;

• performs duties of previous tech levels.

A or Master Technician –

• disassembles and performs partial or complete overhaul of engines, transmissions, differentials and other assemblies and sub-assemblies;

• uses scan tools, gages, special tools, and specialized equipment to diagnose systems and electronic failures or problems;

• performs diagnosis and service on anti-lock systems;

• performs diagnosis and repairs of safety and accessory systems;

• operates vehicles to diagnose problems and validate repairs;

• constructs, maintains or services shop equipment as necessary;

• performs programming and reprogramming on vehicle computers;

• serves as shop foreman or team leader when assigned;

• repairs equipment and machinery as necessary;

• performs duties of previous tech levels.

NH COMMUNITY COLLEGES

NH dealers and repair shops agree: NH’s community colleges provide the best training for auto technicians and collision repair technicians. The training can be factory specific (i.e. Honda), in diesel technology (trucks and equipment) or in general automotive.

Besides the top-tier training, the NH community college auto tech programs are very affordable, especially in comparison to for-profit, out-of-state schools. In addition, most programs require students to have job co-ops at local dealerships or repair shops. The student receives both a paycheck and on-the-job experience. With the federal grants, local scholarships (NHADA) and the job co-op, students graduate with minimal debt.

Four NH community colleges offer a two-year associate’s degree in general automotive training, factory specialized training, collision repair training (Nashua only), and heavy duty diesel training (White Mountain only). Several colleges also offer shorter term certificate programs.

NH HIGH SCHOOLS

Twenty NH High Schools offer national certified (NATEF) training for high school students, including several regional career and technical education centers to which students are bussed. The students will become proficient in maintenance and light repair (MLR). Many students intern at local dealerships or repair shops to receive mentored supervised on-the-job training. These businesses often will hire the students for after-school and summer jobs.