What would be the best way to become a mechanics apprentice?
I really want to be a mechanic but im more of a trial and error type of person and not all about books #engineering #mechanical-engineering #mechanical
Douglas Lemmo, P.E.
Becoming a mechanic's apprentice now is not as easy as it was a number of years ago, especially if, per your self description: "but I'm more of a trial and error type of person and not all about books". Years ago, when cars were a lot simpler you might have been able to get a job at a gas station, helping out and worked your way up over a number of years to become a mechanic. Those days are over.
My suggestion is that your visit a number of auto dealers or larger repair shops (or visit their web sites) to learn what their requirements are for hiring their new mechanics. You may also be able to find a company that will hire you as a "yard man" but I do not think those jobs would be considered apprenticeships leading to a mechanic's position but it would be a good opportunity to see the types of jobs mechanics perform. A course in Auto Mechanics at your local Vocational High School would be a much better way to gain knowledge and experience which would allow you to enter the automotive mechanic profession. But also, keep this in mind, once you enter the mechanics profession, your education is just beginning. A good mechanic will be going to schools (at the companies expense) to learn about new things about the new cars, which will absolutely involve "Book Learning and hands on experience" not trial and error learning.
If you like to learn by trial and error, adopt auto mechanics as a hobby (build a hot rod, etc.). That is how I learned about auto mechanics. But I also went to a 4 year college and got my Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and became a Mechanical Engineer.
My best advise to you would be to decide where you want to be in your life several years from now ( how much money do you want to be making) and then figure out how to get there. If it is too late to go to a Vocational High School, there are post secondary schools and Community Colleges that offer courses in auto mechanics. You could also consider joining a Military Service. All of the Services have need for mechanics and their educational schools are excellent plus you will be paid while you learn. A visit to your local military recruiter would be able to explain their training programs. Or you might consider other mechanical trades, like electrician, plumbing, pipe fitting, carpentry, etc. Each of those trades have labor unions and official apprentice programs. To get into one of those programs, you would have to join the specific union. A search of the Internet will help you gain more information about these unions and their apprenticeship programs.
1) Figure out what type of mechanic/technician you think you want to be. (auto, diesel, airplane, appliance, small engine, equipment(elevator, hydraulics, heavy equipment), maintenance, just a few).
2) See where there are companies near you that do that line of work.
3) Go to the locations, and take a look, see if it looks like a place you would like to work.
4) If looks good, go in and introduce yourself as a student that is interested in learning about their business, and wonder if you could talk to them for a minute.
5) Have perhaps 5, really good questions prepared that when answered, will be the things that are important to you. Such as environment, hours, risks, training and skills needed?
6) Ask about an apprenticeship program, or what someone like you would need to do to be prepared to work there?
7) Short and sweet, gather all this information, then take and discuss with family and people you trust.
8) Then take all this information and plan your path for the future. I would choose multiple options if possible. Go back and if you have made a good impression, you already have your foot in the door with the person you talked to.
Just a few ideas, hope they help you find the career and job that will bless your life.