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Steps To Becoming A Ford Auto Mechanic: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Become A Ford Mechanic Apply As A Ford Technician

If you're intrigued by becoming a Ford mechanic and want to delve into the world of automotive repair, it's important to explore the steps required for this career path. This guide outlines the educational journey, key responsibilities, job prospects, and potential earnings of becoming a skilled Ford auto mechanic in today's dynamic automotive landscape.

Step 1: Understand the Role of a Ford Mechanic

Ford mechanics are highly skilled professionals specializing in maintaining and repairing vehicles from the Ford Motor Company. Their responsibilities encompass routine automotive maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid level checks. In addition, they are well-versed in diagnosing and fixing complex automotive systems like brakes and transmissions using high-end diagnostic tools and specialty equipment.

Modern Ford technicians have computerized diagnostic tools and technical manuals to address intricate repair challenges. This profession requires a blend of mechanical aptitude, problem-solving prowess, attention to detail, and a passion for working with automobiles.

Step 2: Choose an Accredited Ford Mechanic Training Program

Ford offers specialized education and training programs to prepare individuals for a rewarding career as Ford mechanics. Among these programs are:

Automotive Student Service Educational Training Program (ASSET): A comprehensive two-year curriculum featuring a cooperative education component. ASSET students collaborate with participating Ford dealerships, gaining hands-on experience while pursuing their education.

Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT): A collaboration with the Universal Technical Institute (UTI), FACT involves a year of training at UTI. A 15-week specialized program focusing on service technician specialties may follow the Ford UTI program.

Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR): This one-year certificate program, along with the Youth and Adult Automotive Training Center (YAATC), offers concentrated training achievable at select community and technical colleges.

Step 3: Enroll and Gain Practical Experience

After choosing a program, the next step to becoming an authorized Ford technician involves enrolling. Depending on the program, prerequisites may include a high school diploma or GED and some basic field experience. High school vocational courses in automotive technology can provide valuable foundational knowledge for aspiring Ford mechanics.

ASSET program participants enjoy the unique benefit of an apprenticeship at a Ford dealership, where they gain hands-on experience and earn money while honing their skills. The financial assistance provided by the dealership can offset tuition, book, and tool costs. While other Ford technical career entry programs offer hands-on experience, it might not always be within a dealership or through a paid position.

Step 4: Embark on Your Professional Journey

After becoming a certified Ford mechanic, you'll be ready to embark on your professional journey. Seek guidance from your program coordinator to explore potential career opportunities. Consider utilizing the Ford Technician Talent Network, an online platform that matches your expertise and education with suitable job openings in the industry.

Step 5: Pursue Certification

As you accumulate around two years of employment experience, consider pursuing certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certifications validate your automotive knowledge and skills in various areas. The Ford ASE certification process involves meeting experience prerequisites and passing a rigorous examination.

Step 6: Build Your Box

One of the most fun steps to becoming a Ford mechanic will continue through your career -- building your box. As a Ford auto mechanic, you'll require various tools to perform your tasks effectively, from routine maintenance to complex repairs. You'll also need a tool chest or roll box to keep your kit organized and easily accessible. While the specific tools required can vary based on the tasks you're handling, here's a general list of essential tools you'll likely need in your Husky or U.S. General:

Basic Hand Tools:

  • Screwdrivers (both flathead and Phillips)
  • Wrenches (combination, adjustable, socket, and torque wrenches)
  • Pliers (needle-nose, slip-joint, locking)
  • Hammers (ball-peen, rubber mallet)
  • Pry bars and chisels

Diagnostic Tools:

  • OBD-II Scanner: To read and interpret vehicle diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and monitor vehicle systems.
  • Multimeter: For testing electrical circuits, voltage, resistance, and continuity.

Mechanical Tools:

  • Jacks and Jack Stands: For raising the vehicle and providing a stable platform while working underneath.
  • Oil Filter Wrench: To remove and replace oil filters.
  • Funnel and Drain Pan: For efficient fluid changes.
  • Serpentine Belt Tool: To remove and install serpentine belts.
  • Brake Caliper Tool: For compressing brake calipers during brake pad replacements.
  • Engine Hoist or Cherry Picker (for more extensive engine work).

Specialized Ford Tools:

  • Ford-Specific Scan Tool: Some Ford-specific diagnostic procedures may require proprietary software and tools.
  • Spark Plug Socket: To remove and replace spark plugs in Ford engines.
  • Fan Clutch Wrench: Needed for fan clutch removal on some Ford models.

Power Tools:

  • Impact Wrench: For efficiently loosening and tightening nuts and bolts.
  • Air Compressor: Supplies compressed air for pneumatic tools.

Safety Equipment:

  • Safety Glasses: Protect your eyes from debris and chemicals.
  • Gloves: Provide hand protection and enhance grip.
  • Ear Protection: For reducing noise levels during noisy repairs.

Remember that the specific tools you need can depend on the type of repairs and maintenance you'll be performing. It's also important to invest in high-quality tools from reputable brands. You may only need some of these tools on your first day, but a trip to Harbor Freight or Home Depot will get you started.

After you compare the DeWalt to the Milwaukee and choose the best impact wrench for your box, you will gain experience and encounter different repair scenarios. As you do, you may find that your tool collection grows to include additional specialized tools tailored to your needs as a Ford auto mechanic.

Exploring Alternative Career Paths

While becoming a Ford mechanic offers exciting opportunities, it's worth noting that automotive enthusiasts have a range of related careers to consider. Those interested in automotive mechanics can explore roles not limited to a specific manufacturer. Specializations like diesel engine repair, heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service, small engine mechanics for motorcycles and boats, and automotive body and glass repair offer diverse avenues within the automotive industry.

How to Get a Ford Mechanic Job?

Becoming a skilled Ford mechanic involves a blend of education, hands-on experience, and certification. With the evolving landscape of the automotive industry, Ford mechanics play a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and performance of vehicles from the Ford Motor Company. If you're passionate about Ford trucks, intrigued by an electrified future led by the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, and possess a knack for problem-solving, this career could be an exciting and rewarding endeavor.

When you complete the Ford training program and become an ASE-certified Ford auto mechanic, we invite you to apply as a Ford technician at Veterans Ford.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a certified Ford technician?

A certified Ford technician is a professional who has received formal training and achieved a specific level of expertise in repairing and maintaining Ford vehicles. These technicians undergo specialized training programs provided by Ford Motor Company or authorized training centers. The certification process typically involves completing a series of courses and examinations that cover various aspects of Ford vehicle mechanics, electronics, diagnostics, and repair techniques.

How can I become a Ford mechanic?

To become a Ford mechanic, you'll need to look for accredited automotive training programs that focus on Ford vehicles, complete the training, gain experience, pursue Ford-specific certifications, continue your education, and build your box. Earning an ASE certification will give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs at authorized Ford dealerships and service centers. Steps can vary based on the Ford training programs available in your area.

How much does a Ford mechanic make?

A Ford mechanic's starting salary can vary based on several factors, including experience, location, and level of certification. Generally, mechanics working for dealerships or service centers specializing in Ford vehicles may earn different wages than those working in independent repair shops. Entry-level mechanics typically earn a lower starting wage, ranging from $10 to $20 per hour. Senior technicians can earn top-tier salaries, potentially exceeding $30 per hour.

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