“A mechanic has a big tool box that is full of tools. A Technician knows how to use them.”
There are a variety of ways to become trained as an automotive technician. Perhaps the most direct approach is to find an entry level position at a local repair shop. Much of your training will be on-the-job with opportunities to attend training seminars. Another option is to attend a technical institute such as Universal Technical Institute. Here you will receive hands-on instruction by professionals over the course of a typical 12 to 18-month program. There is also the 2-year associates degree option. You will take classes pertaining to all the major mechanical, electrical and electronic systems of a modern automobile. You will also take college-level core classes such as composition.
The benchmark for technician certification comes from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certification includes tests that cover Automotive Maintenance, Medium/Heavy Truck tests, Advanced Engine Performance, Service Consulting and more. Manufacturers also offer specialized certifications and training for servicing their vehicles.