I was a GM mechanic for 8 years and did a lot of side work on AG equipment, like excavators, farm equipment and tractors. In my experience a trade school or technical college is a great way to learn the basics of the job. Id search schools that offer the the courses you'd like to start your career, see if they offer placement services once you graduate. Getting certified as an ASE mechanic will open more doors for you than not. School will teach you just the basics of the trade and most employers are looking for experience.
Steve recommends the following next steps:
- To help sell yourself to future employers and to fast track your skills i'd recommended doing what it did. start small while going to school, look for small companies or one man shops in your area. ask if they need or are looking for help. Learn by doing and by those already making a living off of it. I learned everything i know about mechanic from what i learned by doing in that small one man shop. I went to school afterwards to get certified and to continue my education. Anyways, I hope this helps. we need more people like you turning wrenches. (p.s. big brand name tools aren't always the best tools, they just cost more)