5 Things You Need to Become A Professional Car Technician

5 Things You Need to Become A Professional Car Technician

The automotive industry in the UK is as dynamic and ever-evolving as ever. From passenger cars running on fossil fuels, we’re now moving towards energy-efficient EVs and self-driven vehicles. 

The role of a professional automotive technician in such an environment has become even more vital. From ensuring your vehicles run smoothly to diagnosing automotive issues and conducting timely repairs and maintenance, we can all agree that car technicians are the backbone of the automotive industry.

The lucrativeness of this thriving sector calls for new talent to come on board. If you have a keen interest in how cars work and a knack for solving problems, as cliche as it might sound, you are in the right place!

Being a professional car technician is a celebrated career in itself but also works out as one of the best side hustles from home

Sounds exciting, right?

So, how do you become a professional car technician?

Read this post to learn how to launch an exciting career in automotive technology as an expert car technician.

1. Basic Education and Other Requirements

Complete your schooling before beginning your career as a professional car technician. After schooling, basic training is needed to hone your skills and be job-ready. Opting for secondary schooling subjects like science, maths, and computing helps you smoothly transition into programmes in automotive technician.

The next step is to apply for programmes offering apprenticeships or automotive technician training programs. The prerequisites for each of these programs are as follows.

Age Requirements

Each applicant must be 16 years old. Some employers may need you to be at least 18 years old.

Education Qualifications

A secondary school GCSE certificate is the bare minimum requirement to make you eligible for automotive technician training courses and certification. For apprenticeships, you may need at least four or five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above with Maths, English and Science subjects. 

They may also accept equivalent vocational qualifications, like a Level 2 Diploma in Vehicle Repair and Maintenance.


Most apprenticeship programs warrant a valid UK driving licence for their applicants. You need to work towards getting a driving license if you don’t have one yet.

Essential Skills

A good car technician needs to have the relevant skill set. A keen interest in automotive vehicles and mechanics along with good problem-solving and communication skills is desirable.

Understand what requirements you possess and the gaps you need to fill to kick-start your career as a professional car technician.

2. Automotive Technician Training

It is implied that a professional car technician needs to know all about the cars driven in the UK. Without the right in-depth know-how, it will be difficult for you to fix the issue. Each car model can have multiple variants, with differences in the internal parts. 

Get trained and job-ready by enrolling into an auto mechanic school and completing your automotive technician training course. A thorough study of the common cars in the country with the relevant information is just a small part of your training. It will also guide you in the selection of quality parts for different vehicle types and variants, amongst other things.

Let’s say a Vauxhall Astra Mk7 hatchback has come into your car workshop to get its brakes fixed. You gather the right Vauxhall Astra car parts for this model before you get started. Your focus will be on the car’s brake system as it may need parts like brake hoses, drums and callipers replaced, depending on the issue. 

This is just a small example. Once you complete your training as an automotive technician, you can opt for a degree or diploma to further enhance your prospects. Specialisations with certifications in engine repair, brake systems, and automatic transmissions are bound to give your profile and your expertise a boost.

3. Apprenticeships 

Getting quality auto parts for fixing the issue is half the job done. The other half is knowing how to repair, reinstall or attach a new component with the right tools to get the vehicle up and running. This is where a hands-on learning experience comes into play. 

Combined with academic study and practical training, an apprenticeship trains technicians to learn while on the job. Hands-on training in automotive repair and maintenance ensures you have practical knowledge in a real-world setting. You will need to identify the part, get a replacement, and then fix the problem at hand. Most apprenticeship programmes allow you to work alongside experienced technicians, who share their knowledge with you as a budding car mechanic. 

The duration of these programmes is between two to four years, depending on your qualifications. The apprenticeship programmes end with assessments to test your competency levels. 

4. Up-to-Date Knowledge of MOT Testing and Regulations

The MOT regulations and certifications are important not only for car owners but also for service partners like workshops, garages and MOT testing stations. As a car technician, it is important that you are aware of all MOT testing regulations.

What is MOT Testing?

MOT stands for the Ministry of Transport, the government department that introduced the test decades ago. The MOT test is a mark of the car’s safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions. It is a legal requirement for any car in the UK to get the test done every year. An invalid MOT certificate could attract fines or penalties not to mention, insurance problems. For cars, it is the DVSA Class 4 test.

Why is MOT Testing Knowledge Important for Car Technicians?

The MOT test is a mandate for all vehicles except those on the MOT-exempt list. There are thousands of MOT testing stations across the country, with many in Northampton alone. So if you are working at a garage that is also a Northampton MOT testing station, knowledge of conducting the MOT test will be beneficial.

A fully accredited MOT testing garage offers a comprehensive range of facilities for vehicle testing. As an automotive technician, it is your responsibility to carry out extensive inspections of the vehicle as per MOT regulations and look for any issues with them. If any issues crop up, you need to suggest appropriate fixes on-site. After testing is complete, your MOT testing station will issue a certificate with a printed 12-digit MOT number. 

As a professional auto mechanic, you need to be well informed of the latest MOT testing standards as they keep changing in line with new laws and regulations.

5. Knowledge of Garage Management Systems

It is increasingly becoming common for garage or car workshop owners to invest in a garage management system to look after everyday administrative tasks. Be it for customer bookings or managing employee attendance, a good garage management software can do it all and more.

As a professional car technician, knowing how to use and operate garage/car workshop management software will look great on your resume. Not only will you be adept in performing technical and mechanical fixes but also be well-versed in managing the operations digitally. 

It is essential to keep track of all the repair and maintenance work that comes in. With the software, you will have a meticulous record of everything. Whether it is an air-con servicing or an EDT test, the system will be able to log all the details, from the materials used to the man-hours it took to fix a problem. 

The software also keeps a comprehensive track record of the work carried out by all the auto mechanics in the workshop. These systems can also have helpful features for technicians such as MOT expiry lookup, part sales, stock control, job scheduling, workshop performance monitoring, workshop estimates and more.

Knowing your way around the tool will give you an edge over your peers. 

Summing It Up

Becoming a professional automotive technician in the UK needs a blend of sound education and training, hands-on experience, thorough technical know-how and soft skills. 

Given the dynamic nature of the automotive industry, the requirements are bound to change over time. Being in the know with the latest industry developments and continually updating yourself in all things automotive is an added plus to a successful career as a professional car technician.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.