If you know an automotive technician they’ve probably told you about how they learned most of what they know, from working in the shop alongside other technicians. There’s nothing wrong with learning on the job, and honestly, the best knowledge comes from individual experience.
Because of the impact learning on the job can have on a technician’s knowledge, providing hands-on training as part of automotive education is essential. First and foremost, it allows automotive professionals to gain practical experience in a safe and controlled environment. This is important because working on cars and trucks can be complex and potentially dangerous, and hands-on training provides an opportunity to learn and practice the necessary skills without risking damage to vehicles or injury to oneself or others.
Hands-on training also allows techs to develop a deep understanding of the theories and concepts that underlie their work. While it is important to learn about these things in a classroom or online setting, actually applying these concepts in a hands-on setting helps to solidify the knowledge and make it more meaningful. This can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving skills on the job, as well as a greater ability to troubleshoot and diagnose issues with vehicles. For example, it’s easy to see and understand a scope pattern from a digital signal when explained from an instructor. BUT it’s not always as easy to capture a clean signal on a vehicle. The opportunity to do this during learning, developed the skills to use the test equipment as well as determine what is going wrong and right during a signal capture.
And of course, hands-on training helps techs stay up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, and techniques in their field. The automotive industry is constantly evolving, and hands-on training provides an opportunity to learn about and experiment with new equipment and methods. This can be especially important for automotive professionals who want to remain competitive in a rapidly-changing job market.
The opportunity to develop important professional skills, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. In a hands-on training setting, automotive professionals have the opportunity to work with other people, share ideas, and solve problems together. This can help them develop their ability to work effectively as part of a team, and to communicate clearly and professionally with colleagues, supervisors, and customers.
All of these things are essential for success in the automotive industry, and hands-on training is a crucial component of any comprehensive automotive education and professional training program.