I graduated from BFIT's Automotive Technology associate degree program 40 years ago, so I have quite a few years of experience, industry and teaching, under my belt.
The most important thing I have seen is that if students want it, it’s theirs to take. BFIT graduates who have a strong work ethic, and who are willing to do what it takes to get the job done, simply have it made. Employers in the automotive industry and in any arena will want to hire them.
The most obvious career path is in automotive repair, and that’s what many of our students want to do right out of school. They can do this at new car dealerships or with a used car dealer. I’m blown away by how many dealerships are looking for good technicians right now.
New graduates can also work in large-scale or independent repair shops, and at major service centers like Pep Boys, Goodyear Tires, Meineke or Midas. Some of these bigger repair shops offer the opportunity to specialize in an area like exhaust, struts, tires or breaks. There’s always the option to keep the focus general, too.
"The most obvious career path is in automotive repair, and that's what many of our students want to do right out of school. I'm blown away by how many dealers are looking for good technicians right now."
Using the mechanical skills they learn, grads can move into related areas, like equipment repair. I transferred basic skills into a job doing heavy truck repair on tractor trailers, for example. The basic knowledge of how power systems operate is also easily applied to power equipment like lawnmowers or weed whackers and to other areas of transportation, like boats, buses, motorcycles, railroad services and transportation systems.
Sometimes, students opt for a career as a service advisor or service manager, and technicians often cross over to be a parts specialist or sales associate. Entrepreneurial students can own their own automotive-related business or even start a franchise.
Whatever they choose, the secret to success is the same: the eye of the tiger. If they are motivated and know what they want, they can be wildly successful in any career path they choose.