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The answers given already are great to initiate your career in mechanics. Have you thought of studying mechanical engineering? If you are interested in working with companies in building and designing cars and car parts, there are lots of mechanical engineering internships you can apply for to pursue this career! You can apply for internships at BMW or any car brand, Denso, Bridgestone, and so many more!
Working at an auto parts store would definitely get you experience in familiarizing yourself with parts, names, terminology, etc. for a vast majority of manufacturers. Most systems used by auto parts stores allow you to access databases for repair manuals and other technical data. The next step is to look into automotive shops as an apprentice lube tech. These are the guys doing the basics, such as oil changes. It will help you get in the door and move up from there as you gain experience.
Diesel mechanics is where the money is at. Look at Penske, Ryder, and anywhere hiring lube techs to start. Parts stores are also a good stepping stone into the industry while attending school. Auto parts such as Napa and oreilies. Also all the hd diesel dealers like Peter built, kenworth, freighter, and international