An auto repair technician working in an auto shop garage holds a wrench in her gloved hand

Women Mechanics in the Automotive Industry

Women mechanics make up more of the automotive repair industry than ever before. As increasing numbers of women enter the auto repair profession, many discover that the path is personally or professionally rewarding. Some women who have a passion for cars and hands-on work can find ways to contribute to this exciting industry as automotive technicians. Let’s dive deeper into how women can an impact in the auto repair field.

Following a Non-Traditional Path

While auto repair may be a non-traditional path for women historically, the trade is a good choice for women who are determined, hands-on and detail-oriented. The auto repair trade also gives female automotive technicians the opportunity to help others, as car ownership soars to new heights in the United States and people want mechanics they can trust. Customers need reliable, safety-minded and skilled auto mechanics to work on tires, breaks, suspension systems, axels and more. Just like men, women have the potential to turn their love of cars into a career they’re passionate about.

Related: How to Become an Auto Repair Technician

Automotive Training for Women

A female auto mechanic looks under the hood of a red carFemale mechanic students are starting to take up more seats in automotive training classes, where students learn about everything from automotive engines, chassis work, powertrains, electrical circuits of automobiles, fuel system components, diagnostic techniques and much more. Technician training teaches women on-the-job skills they can use in an entry-level auto repair position, whether you’re a recent high school graduate or a woman wanting to change careers and fine tune your future as a certified mechanic.

From Woman Mechanic to Auto Repair Shop Owner

With the right mix of experience and skills, individuals in the auto trade can make an impact under the car or behind the counter. Some automotive technicians have opened their own auto repair businesses. One example is Patricia Banks, who operates Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

An auto repair technician working in an auto shop garage holds a wrench in her gloved handThe number of cars on the road is expected to keep rising in the coming decades. Qualified auto technicians will be needed to repair and maintain vehicles, while some may even be inspired to gain the skills to open their own auto shop.

Want to Be a Woman in the Automotive Industry?

At Apex Technical School, we encourage all students to follow their passions and work hard to reach their educational and career goals. Women interested in pursuing an entry-level position in the auto repair field can get 900 hours of hands-on training in as little as seven months. Want to explore our Automotive Service & Repair program? Learn more now.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A wrench and automotive transmission parts rest on a gray cement floor

What Is the ASE Certification for Auto Mechanics?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tests and certifies automotive professionals to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service. The ASE certification signifies that an individual knows how to repair a vehicle without causing further damage.

When drivers take their vehicles to an auto repair shop, they want reassurance that the auto technician has the skills to complete the task at hand. With ASE-certified mechanics, repair shops communicate to customers that they are prepared to meet quality standards.

How do I become ASE certified?

Individuals must meet certain criteria to apply for ASE certification. They must:

  • Show two years of experience in the automotive repair industry
  • Be able to complete and pass the specialty examination, which is only offered twice per year
  • Choose the specialty type of ASE certification they would like to receive — they can become certified in breaks, heating and cooling, and suspension.

Study guides and an online practice test can help individuals prepare to take the ASE certification test. The practice test is an opportunity to experience what the test questions and format will be like prior to taking the exam.
An engine in the shop at Apex Technical School where students learn hands-on skills

How long does it take to earn my ASE certification?

The ASE certification test takes 2–2 ½ hours to complete. To qualify to take the test, technicians must first complete two years of qualified work experience in the automotive repair industry. For many technicians in training, this experience starts with hands-on learning at a trade school like Apex.

Apex’s instruction, course of study, facilities, and equipment have been evaluated by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
A silver sprinter van is raised up on an automotive lift in the shop at Apex Technical School

Why is the ASE certification important?

The ASE certification gives vehicle owners peace of mind when they take their car to the shop for repairs. More than 250,000 individuals in the U.S. have earned the ASE certification. Auto technicians also benefit from earning the certification, which shows they have the mechanical, electrical and systems knowledge to work on vehicles safely and accurately.

Start Auto Repair Training Today

Consider our Auto Repair Program as one of the ways to kick off your future in automotive repair training. Apex offers hands-on training, split between the classroom and the shop, so students learn automotive theory and technical skills. Classes are starting soon; contact us to speak to our admissions staff and tour the Apex campus.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Auto mechanic reviews an auto shop safety checklist

Work Safely with These Auto Repair Guidelines

A career in automotive repair can be fun and challenging for individuals who enjoy working with their hands. Automotive work requires technicians to know how to safely use certain machinery and tools, as well as workplace safety habits. Technicians should always take precautions to minimize their risk of injury or accidents. Let’s brush up on some common auto repair shop policies and procedures for a job in automotive service repair.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

An automotive technician in training wears safety gloves to work on a car
Automotive technicians often wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants to protect from burns, cuts and scrapes. Clothing should fit the body well, because loose garments can get caught in equipment. In addition to clothing, individuals who work in the automotive repair trade should wear protective gear such as safety glasses or goggles and gloves that are chemical resistant to protect their skin.

Maintain a Safety Routine

Individuals who work in an automotive shop can stay safe by incorporating proper procedures into their daily routine. When safety is the standard, you’re less likely to make careless or dangerous mistakes. This starts with knowing your surroundings. Notice something out of place, like liquid on the floor? Clean up water or oil spills right away to reduce the risk of falls.

Label chemicals used in the shop and keep safety data sheets that explain how to handle and store chemicals. In case of a chemical-related emergency, auto mechanics should have easy access to an eye-wash station and know how to turn off the electricity in the shop. Be aware of electrical cords and outlets to prevent scenarios in which an electrical fire could start. Technicians should also know where to find fire extinguishers and understand how to use them in an emergency.

Related: How to Become an Auto Repair Technician

Ask Others for Support

While some mechanics typically have a hands-on trade school or vocational education, they may encounter new tasks or challenges on the job throughout their career. There is always an opportunity to learn more, especially as vehicles evolve with new makes and models. When you’re unsure how to complete a task or you’re doing something for the first time, speak up and ask for help.

Incorrect procedures can cause dangerous situations or serious injuries. It’s also important to speak up if you notice something is malfunctioning or broken, such as a vehicle lift or poorly maintained equipment. Be mindful of coworkers who may not ask for help when they need it; for example, if they attempt to lift more than they can carry, help them safely transport the item.

A mechanic and his manager follow auto repair shop policies and procedures


Auto shop safety is the first rule of working in an automotive repair shop. With automotive technician training, mechanics can help keep their work environment safe and productive. Learn more about the Automotive Service Repair Program at Apex Technical School. Classes are starting soon!




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An auto mechanic works on a car engine in a garage

How to Become an Auto Repair Technician

Do you think you want to become an automotive technician? Do you know what it takes to be a mechanic? The automotive service industry is full of talented mechanics who enjoy working on cars and problem-solving. Let’s take a look at three common indicators of success that you can use to guide you on your path to automotive technician training.

Have a Passion for Cars

Two wrenches in an automotive service garageThere are many reasons why car enthusiasts and automotive technicians love cars. They are powerful and practical. Cars are painstakingly designed and tested for their aerodynamic and safety qualities. And cars give you the freedom to go where you want to go. Some automotive technicians developed a passion for cars at a young age, while others grew to love cars over time. No matter how your passion for cars started, you can harness that inspiration to pursue a future doing what you love as a car technician.

Enjoy Hands-On Work

Do you enjoy assembling parts and tinkering with machinery? You’re not alone! Many automotive technicians practiced disassembling toys as children or learned about vehicles by taking the initiative to look under the hood of a car. One thing automotive technicians have in common is their aptitude for hands-on work. Car technicians often work in bustling garages or service departments instead of sitting behind a desk. Enjoyment for hands-on work is helpful for individuals who aspire to become technicians.


Related: What Skills Do I Need to Become a Mechanic?

Seek Vocational or Technical Training

Two Apex students in the Automotive Service & Repair program learn to perform maintenance checks on a car

A passion for cars and hands-on work can take you far. But why is vocational school needed? It’s important to gain fundamental automotive skills that can set you up for success in the field. At Apex, the Automotive Service & Repair program offers students the opportunity to learn about auto theory in the classroom and put their knowledge to use by working on cars in the shop.


This preparation can make a difference when students enter the field to pursue an entry-level position in the industry. Apex students get a total of 900 hours of theory and hands-on practice that they can use on the job. If you’re interested in how automotive service training can help you achieve your goals, learn more about our program today.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An older vehicle with wood panels needs routine car maintenance

Learning Car Repair for Older Cars

The more you use something, the quicker it wears out and needs repairing. Over time, a driver may put thousands of miles on an engine, which rotates 180,000 times per hour. In addition to the engine, a car’s wheels and bearings also rotate millions of times during their lifespan. But usage isn’t the only factor to consider as a car ages—weather also plays a role. Oxygen, sunlight and moisture break down the plastic and metal that make up the pieces and parts on a car.

With so many aging cars on the roads, it’s important to know about common problems with an old car, as well as when to seek car maintenance. As a trade school student or someone who is interested in car maintenance, you can test your knowledge about car repair below.

Diagnosing Electrical Problems

A maze of wires, fuses and other electrical components lives under the hood of a vehicle. These electrical elements ensure the car runs smoothly and reliably, but they can also have trouble operating as the car, truck or SUV experiences wear and tear over time. Diagnosing electrical problems requires someone who is skilled and qualified in the automotive trade and has the knowledge to safely repair or replace components such as:A person diagnosing electrical problems, holding two spark plugs

  • Dead battery
  • Bad alternator
  • Bad starter
  • Corroded or loose battery cable
  • Blown electrical fuses
  • Failed spark plugs

A Dead Battery

The typical car battery lasts about three years or 50,000 miles. Car batteries die when their amps or electrical currents naturally decrease over time. When this happens, the battery can’t hold a charge. As a car ages, so does the battery. Car batteries should be replaced every 50,000 miles or three years as a preventive measure—even if they don’t show signs of damage. A bad alternator or temperature sensor could also shorten the life of a car battery. Always address these issues when they occur or take the car to a person experienced in the automotive trade.

Grinding or Squeaking Brakes

Like a battery, brakes are intended to wear out after a specified period of use. Old cars may go through multiple brakes over their lifespan. As they are critical for slowing and stopping, brakes should be replaced immediately when they begin to wear out. Squeaking, grinding or a soft brake pedal indicate an issue with a car’s brakes. They should be inspected by a qualified individual skilled in the auto trade.

Related: 5 Auto Repair Questions and Answers

Brittle, Cracked Gaskets

Gaskets in the engine can become brittle and crack with long-term, normal exposure to oxygen. Because gaskets seal fluids, once they crack, they allow fluids to leak out onto the road, driveway or garage floor. Gaskets can be found around the engine, transmission and differentials. A person skilled in automotive repair can evaluate and replace old, worn gaskets.

Rusted or Chipped Paint

A silver car with rust spots above the tire, a common problem with older carsSimilarly, weatherstripping designed to keep moisture out of the vehicle can begin to dry out and crack with age. This can cause rain water to enter into crevices, which leads to rust. Sunlight also fades and weakens paint on already old cars. Paint protects metal cars from the elements—but when it becomes weak, it chips off and exposes the metal beneath.

Vehicles with chipping paint tend to rust quickly because the protective barrier is gone. However, individuals skilled in auto body repair can take steps to apply new paint. They can even use a computerized system to match the original paint color.

The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

Common problems with old cars should be addressed right away. When they are, it’s possible to extend the lifespan and safety of the vehicle. If you have a passion for cars and vehicle repair, consider pursuing a path in automotive or auto body repair. Apex Technical School offers hands-on training for an entry-level position in the field. Learn more about our program by exploring the courses we offer today.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A welder repairs a damaged car with automotive MIG welding

How Auto Body Repair Students Use Welding on Cars

Welding is performed in a variety of industries and trades. Some tradesmen and women in the auto body and automotive industries rely on welding to fuse together car parts. Clean, strong welds are an important part of auto body work because they improve a vehicle’s appearance and reliability. Interested in the field of auto body repair? Keep reading to learn more about welding on cars.

What is automotive welding?

Auto body technicians use a variety of automotive welding techniques to complete structural repairs on various vehicles and equipment. They may also design a metal component to improve an existing structure. The most common welding methods for automotive jobs include resistance metal inert gas (MIG) welding, plasma arc welding (PAW) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding.

Learn more about MIG Welding and Other Common Welding Types.

How does a technician use auto repair welding?

An auto body technician may use different techniques and welding tools to complete individual jobs. Some auto body technicians may use welding to fix cracked vehicle panels, damaged fenders, welding exhaust on cars or rusted metal. Some job duties could include:

  • Perform structural repair on vehicles (e.g. repair cracks)
  • Fabricate metal components
  • Improve structural design and integrity
  • Interpret factory diagrams
  • Understand blueprints and sketches
  • Comply with safety regulations

A clipboard with tasks for auto repair welding

What types of welding tools are used for auto body repair welding?

In general, welding is a tool-intensive trade. Auto body welders need the right welding tools and safety equipment to perform the task at hand. Hands-on classes at Apex give students the opportunity to work with tools and put theory into practice. Some auto body welding essentials include:

  • Welder
  • Welding helmet or goggles
  • Gloves
  • Hearing protection
  • Welding curtains
  • Welding clamps

A car's exhaust system under the vehicle

What are some examples of automotive welding?

There are many ways to use welding on cars to repair collision damage or damage due to age. Here are some welding applications for vehicles:

Vehicle Frame or Fender Welding – Vehicle frames and fenders become bent or damages in collisions. A technician may need to cut out the warped piece of metal and replace it with a new piece. He or she can use automotive welding to adhere the new piece of metal and repair the car’s frame or fender safely.

Welding Exhaust on a Car – Exhaust systems can rust and develop holes due to age, moisture and constant use. Some auto body technicians can cut the exhaust pipe, clamp the pieces, apply spot welding and complete the weld.

Wheel Welding – This type of welding on cars is helpful to repair wheels damaged by potholes, which often crack metal wheel frames. Some auto body welders can repair the wheel frame using a TIG welder.

Learn More About Automotive Welding at Apex

Welding is a useful skill for an auto body technician who wants to pursue working in auto body repair or automotive mechanics. Are you interested in learning more about the Auto Body Repair program at Apex? Explore our program to find out more about our auto body classes.



Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Front-end structural damage to a car

A Car Accident Guide: Types of Vehicle Collision Damage

After a collision or accident, a car’s doors may be crushed, the paint may be chipped, or the fender may be dented. Individuals in the auto body trades are taught that collision damage can be classified by structural and cosmetic damage. Some cars sustain a combination of both damage types. Find out how an accident affects the operation and safety of a vehicle and how to identify types of collision damage.

Anatomy of an Accident

Auto safety and car accident repairs have evolved in recent decades. Modern cars are designed with a crumple zone, or crush zone. Auto engineers construct special parts inside the car that are designed to be damaged, crushed and broken during an accident. A strong frame encloses the occupants, while crumple zones exist in the front and rear of the car.

When an accident happens, the crumple zones absorb crash energy and redistribute it. Crumple zones help keep vehicle occupants safe and unharmed. The first car to use crumple zones to protect passengers was the 1959 Mercedes-Benz W111 Fintail.

Hidden Damage vs Cosmetic Damage on Cars

Collisions result in different types of vehicle damage. Like a scrape or bruise, some damage is visible to the eye. Other damage, like a broken bone below the skin, is hidden inside the structure of the car and requires an automotive or auto body mechanic to evaluate it. Hidden, or internal damage, can affect a vehicle’s suspension, mechanical or electrical systems.

Cosmetic damage on cars does not affect the function or structure of the vehicle. In fact, many people still safely drive cars with cosmetic damage such as scratches, dents and dings. However, it is important to repair cosmetic damage before it progresses—for example, paint scratches can turn into rust spots that disintegrate metal over time.

Structural Damage to a Car

Collisions can harm a vehicle’s structure, or frame. Examples of structural damage include frontal damage and rear damage. In frontal damage, car hoods buckle to absorb impact, prevent windshield damage and protect the driver and front-seat passenger. Rear damage also relies on a crumple zone at the vehicle’s bumper to keep the oncoming vehicle from harming the fuel tank, trunk and backseat passengers.

An individual in the auto body trade can examine damaged vehicles for cosmetic and structural damage, while an automotive repair technician can evaluate hidden mechanical damage and determine how to make improvements. Some collision damage might be irreparable—in these cases, the owner may need to purchase a new vehicle instead of relying on car accident repairs.



Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

 Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


Gasoline pumps for three octane fuel types at a gas station

5 Auto Repair Questions and Answers

At Apex Technical School, students interested in automotive repair typically come to campus with many questions. They are passionate about the trade and want to learn more, such as “How often do I have to change my oil?” and “Do I really need to read the owner’s manual?” Here are some common questions our students ask and are taught in auto repair classes.

Why do I need to read the manufacturer’s manual?

The manufacturer’s manual should always be in a car—typically, drivers store their manual in the glove compartment where they can easily reach it. This book holds instructions needed to operate the vehicle safely. Some of the most important topics covered in the owner’s manual include:

  • How and where to check fluids to obtain accurate readings
  • How to troubleshoot problems, such as changing a flat tire
  • How to set up technology, such as keyless entry or a sound system
  • How to reach ideal tire pressure with step-by-step instructions
  • How to understand warning lights on the dash

Combined with hands-on skills, knowledge of the owner’s manual helps individuals in the auto repair trade extend the life of a vehicle.

What are the different car oil types and how are they used?

Students in auto repair training are taught the different types of motor oils and how often they should be changed in a vehicle. There are four general motor oil types:

  1. Full synthetic motor oil – Ideal for vehicles that demand peak-level performance and high levels of lubrication
  2. Synthetic blend motor oil – A mixture of synthetic and conventional base oils, plus some additives for resistance to oxidation and low-temperature properties
  3. Conventional motor oil – Ideal for light-duty, late-model cars with low to average mileage and a simple engine design
  4. High-mileage motor oil – Designed for older cars with more than 75,000 miles to help reduce oil consumption, minimize oil seepage and reduce emissions

How often should I change my oil?

According to Consumer Reports, follow the owner’s manual to adhere to the oil change schedule recommended for specific cars. Modern advances in engines and oil have made the old rule of “every 3,000 miles or every three months” obsolete.

Now, many automakers have oil change intervals at 7,500 or even 10,000 miles and six or 12 months for time. Change motor oil at least once or twice a year—even if you or the driver don’t drive often. Oil must be kept fresh or it may result in shorter engine life.

What are the different types of driving?

Road conditions differ depending on where you are driving. Rural, city and highway driving have distinct features and can uniquely affect the wear and tear on a vehicle.

Highway driving:

  • Higher speeds
  • More constant speeds
  • Fewer gear changes
  • Less acceleration
  • Less braking

City driving:

  • Lower speeds
  • More variable speed (traffic)
  • More gear changes
  • More acceleration
  • More braking (at intersections, traffic lights and stop signs)

Rural driving:

  • Variable speeds
  • Inconsistent traffic flow
  • Roadway obstructions (wildlife crossings, farming equipment)
  • Poor road surfaces (potholes, standing water)
  • Hidden driveways

What do octane rates in gasoline mean?

According the Exxon Mobile, octane ratings measure the fuel’s ability to resist engine knocking. Higher octane rates indicate the fuel has more resistance to pinging, or rattling, during combustion. Located at most gas station pumps on a bright yellow sticker, octane fuel comes in three grades: 87 (regular unleaded), 89 (mid-grade) and 93 (premium).

Most vehicles use 87 octane fuel but others, such as some BMW or Mercedes models, are designed to use higher octane fuel. To determine what type of octane to put in a vehicle, check the owner’s manual.

You can learn more about how to change motor oil, check brakes and more at our school in Long Island City, Queens. Explore our automotive repair program online now.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A person holding a clipboard and checking under the hood of a car

What Skills Do I Need to Be a Mechanic?

The average car is made up of 30,000 parts. That number may come as a surprise for some, but for students with a passion for cars, it’s what they enjoy seeing when they open the hood of a vehicle or slide under a car in auto repair class.

Automotive repair classes give students a chance to learn about automotive theory, expand their automotive skills, and roll up their sleeves for hands-on work. Keep reading to find out more about the mechanical skills and techniques Apex students are taught in auto repair classes.


Perform Basic Car Care and Maintenance 

Some students may already know a little about the history of cars, but automotive repair classes at Apex offer students the chance to learn entry-level  knowledge and build upon it in our hands-on shop classes. Instructors teach basic theories to help students understand the engine, drive-train and other support systems.

Additionally, students are taught basic car care and maintenance techniques, such as how to read an owner’s manual, check oil and oil filters, check tires, inspect fluids, examine belts and hoses, inspect and install wiper blades, and test a vehicle’s battery.


Fix the Inner Parts of a Vehicle

Students disassemble inner parts of a vehicle to understand how pieces work together and contribute to the inner workings of an internal combustion engine and an electronic automatic transmission. Students are taught how to use hand tools to assemble and disassemble parts.

Students and instructors often discuss common engine failures and why they might occur. In addition, students learn about a car’s computer software, battery, rear axles, differentials, drive shafts, torque converters, and how fluid flows through a transmission.


Understand and Test Major Components

Learning about automotive electrical theory helps prepare students to understand and test major components inside a vehicle. While working on engines and diagnosing issues, students use knowledge about electrical energy and how it works in the electrical circuits of the car. Instructors show students how to use a digital multimeter to read voltage, resistance and amps.

Cars must have brakes that operate safely. Students are taught about how braking systems work as well as how to use tools to remove brake pads and repair brake lines.

Ready to put your passion into motion? Gain automotive skills to jumpstart an entry-level position in this exciting field. Use our online scheduler to set up a tour at Apex where you can ask questions about our auto repair training program and visit our classrooms and auto shop.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

 Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


Hands-on auto repair students stand under a car and learn to replace parts

A Day in the Life of a Student at Auto Repair School

What do students do at auto repair school? What can you expect to be taught from instructors? If you’re asking these questions, you may want to take a closer look at an average day in automotive repair class. Students who study the automotive repair trade often have a passion for cars. They bring that passion with them each day they enter the school.

Students pursuing mechanic training at Apex split their time between the classroom and auto shop where they get hands-on experience to use in an entry-level position. Check out three ways auto repair students make the most of an average day at Apex.


Acquire Knowledge of Auto Repair Tools

Learning starts with gaining knowledge of important tools. Mechanic students are taught about automotive tools and how tradespeople use them on the job. Apex students practice with tools throughout training. Tools include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Combination wrenches
  • Ratchet wrench and set of sockets
  • Digital multimeter
  • Allen wrenches
  • Punches
  • Window sticker scrapers
  • Torx set
  • Regular and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Pliers


Roll Up Your Sleeves in the Automotive Shop

Instructors teach students how to use tools by giving them the chance to use them hands-on in the shop. As a student in the program, you practice hands-on auto repair techniques such as changing oil, testing major components when a vehicle breaks down, and working on engines, transmissions and brakes. When students put their passion to work in the shop, they learn to work with peers and help vehicles operate safely.


Learn Automotive Safety

Working on vehicles can be fun, exciting and fulfilling. However, mechanic students training in automotive repair classes also devote time to safety precautions. Proper techniques, rules and gear are designed to keep everyone safe. Students learn to:

  • Keep work areas clean and organized
  • Put tools away in work cabinets or toolboxes
  • Ensure walkways stay clear
  • Wear well-fitting clothing
  • Wear goggles and gloves when making certain repairs
  • Keep fire extinguishers nearby for emergencies

As soon as they start training in the shop, students learn to prioritize their well-being and the safety of others. At Apex, our students and instructors enjoy establishing guidelines, rules and safety measures that promote learning.

Does automotive repair school sound like a good fit? Go online to schedule a tour to visit the school, get more information and see our auto repair shops.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department. 

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An auto body trade school student learns to paint a vehicle with custom car paint colors

How Automotive Paint Shops Mix Custom Car Paint Colors

Auto body shops specialize in repairing damaged cars. In addition to making vehicles safe to drive again, a body shop’s goal centers on revitalizing and fixing cosmetic flaws. Accidents, rust and age often require skilled trade workers to apply a fresh coat of paint. With the help of computerized systems, individuals in the auto body trade create custom car paint colors to match any original shade. Learn more about how computers help auto body shop workers with the car paint matching process.

Car Paint Matching Codes

Paint codes are specific digits that represent a vehicle’s paint color. Without the paint code, individuals in the auto body repair industry could apply the wrong shade during large restoration projects or small touch ups. To avoid choosing the wrong shade, auto body technicians can locate the paint code, which is typically provided in the driver’s side door jam.

The paint code, along with the car’s model and year it was produced, gives individuals in the auto body repair trade the information they need to enter into the car paint matching computer.

Identifying the Variant Color

Locating the paint code is just the first step. Next, workers determine the variant of the color. What is a variant color? There are often multiple variations, or shades, of a color. These can differ from batch to batch, or across different paint suppliers.

Blending the Match

After the computer determines the variant color, workers mix the paint and spray a sample on a test card. The test card is compared to the vehicle’s color. If the colors match, auto body technicians get to work painting the car with a fresh coat of paint. They carefully blend the new paint into the old paint. Color is blended into surrounding areas. When the automotive paint dries, the new color will be indistinguishable from the old color.

Auto Body Repair Classes

Students at Apex Technical School learn to improve a vehicle’s appearance. They use paint and welding techniques to restore cars damaged by rust and age. Students also learn to fix structural, safety and cosmetic issues such as dented doors and bumpers. If you have a passion for cars and want to pursue your goals in trade school, visit Apex to learn more. Schedule a tour to see our auto body shop, meet our friendly staff and observe students in class.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


An auto body repair student prepares a car for painting

4 Signs Auto Body Repair School Fits Your Goals

If I start trade school, which trade should I pursue? Is repairing damaged vehicles the right path for me? Do my interests and strengths align with restoring, painting and welding cars?


Millions of cars, trucks and other automobiles travel America’s roads every day. With so many vehicles on the road, accidents are inevitable. Fortunately, individuals in the auto body repair trade play a key role. They help ensure damaged cars are fit and safe for travel again. If you’re interested in cars and maintaining their appearance, you might consider auto body training classes. To learn more, explore these four indicators.


    1. I am a good listener.


You are an active listener—you invite people to share their opinions and concerns with you. – You ask questions to help you understand someone else’s perspective. By focusing on helping others when they come to you for support, you are able to build trust and respect.


Students learning auto body repair techniques work closely with peers and instructors in the classroom and body shop. They not only practice communication with coworkers but also how to speak to potential clients or customers dealing with the stress of vehicle damage or disrepair. As an individual who is open and receptive to conversations, you can use your communication strengths to set others at ease in paint and body school.


    1. I look for creative solutions to mechanical problems.

As an open-minded person, you question the status quo. You look for new ways to solve old problems. You are not afraid to try something unique or think outside the box. New tools and technology motivate your strong work ethic.


These qualities are valued in auto body training. While some repair techniques are tried and true, others evolve over time as software, technology and equipment change. As a person who embraces new ideas, your attitude can help auto body jobs run smoothly for all parties involved—from painting and welding to rust removal and more.


    1. I like learning about tools and technology.


You enjoy hands-on work that requires tools. You might have an interest in machinery, technology or other equipment. When something goes wrong, your first instinct is to plot a plan to fix it—including what you’ll need to get the job done. You’re confident that with the right supplies, you can tackle any challenge.

In auto body repair school, students use specific tools for specific jobs. As a student, your passion for tools can take you to the next level as you learn to use plasma cutters, hydraulic jacks and plastic or glass repair tools. A variety of tools help auto body tradespeople repair structural and cosmetic issues, such as dented doors, bumpers and rust spots.

    1. I tackle projects with precision.


You pride yourself on your attention to detail. You might make mental checklists or remember faces years after meeting people. If given enough information, you can see patterns easily and understand the big picture—a trait that has helped you in school, at work or in your personal life.


Individuals in the auto body repair trade focus on intricate details. When a car is damaged in a collision or distressed due to age, auto body workers inspect the vehicle closely to draw precise conclusions about the car’s condition. To ensure a car is safe to operate, workers in the auto body repair industry draw on their skills for precision and detail—from cost estimates to sanding, finishing, aligning and painting.


If you are interested in learning entry-level auto body repair skills or starting trade school classes, explore our Auto Body Repair program and schedule a tour online today.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

What Are the 7 Trade School Programs at Apex?

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to school. Some students attend a traditional college to earn a two- or four-year degree. Many others discover a combination of knowledge, skills and technical training is the right path for them. A vocation education at trade school provides students with a variety of positive benefits. If you’re interested in attending trade classes, keep reading to learn about our programs.


Automotive Service Repair

At Apex, the automotive service repair program helps students learn to repair vehicles, help vehicles operate safely and get specialized training for an entry-level position. It provides a foundation of technical skills students use to evaluate mechanical systems and make repairs, as well as:


  • Fix and maintain the inner parts of the vehicle
  • Test major components when a vehicle breaks down
  • Work on engines, transmissions and brakes
  • Perform basic car care and maintenance, including oil changes


Students spend time in the classroom and shop where instructors incorporate diagnostic procedures, proper tool usage and much more. Auto mechanic classes are often a good fit for individuals who enjoy hands-on learning and have a passion for cars. Discover four signs auto mechanic school is right for you.


Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Appliance/Controls

This vocational program focuses on teaching skills related to repairing and troubleshooting air conditioners, refrigeration systems, electrical control panels, major home appliances and gas-fired heating systems. Students in the HVAC program at Apex learn how to:


  • Use the basics of electricity for installation, service and maintenance
  • Repair and maintain domestic and commercial units
  • Learn about cooling towers, piping and ductwork
  • Follow codes and safety practices


HVAC training classes include both basic and advanced segments where students split their learning time between the classroom and shop. Interested in the HVAC field? Learn more about


Auto Body Repair

From preparing a car for body repairs to learning how to weld and retexture plastic, students in this vocational program train to enter the auto body repair industry. Students not only learn to improve a vehicle’s appearance but also:


  • Work on collision repairs, windshields and window glass
  • Fix structural, safety and cosmetic issues, such as dented doors and bumpers
  • Use paint and welding techniques
  • Restore older cars damaged by rust and age


In auto body repair classes, experienced instructors teach students techniques for fixing everything from minor to major auto collision damage. Explore the differences between the


Combination Welding Technology

Apex’s trade classes give students hands-on experience and teach a range of welding knowledge. Students learn techniques for welding repair and maintenance as well as how to use some forms of advanced welding equipment. Apex instructors focus on helping students:


  • Read blueprints and interpret welding symbols
  • Perform the four major welding processes, including SMAW, GMAW, GTAW and FCAW
  • Weld plates and pipes in multiple positions


Welding has been used for centuries to join two pieces of material together and continues to be a viable modern career option. Interested in learning if combination welding classes might be a good fit for you? Here are three signs you should consider welding training.


Electrical and Advanced Electrical

This trade school program prepares students to perform a variety of electrical tasks—from reading circuit diagrams and installing wiring for lighting to learning about green energy systems and more. Apex students learn with instructors and peers, study theories in the classroom and get hands-on experiences in the shop. Students training in the electrical program learn to:


  • Use basic tools and equipment to repair electrical conductors and components
  • Perform splices, bonding and grounding
  • Install circuit breakers, fuses and wiring
  • Install security systems, fire alarms, intercoms and other electronic systems


Electrical and advanced electrical classes span six segments and help students earn 900 hours of trade school training. Interested in exploring a bright future in the electrical field? Discover four reasons the electrical trade could be the path for you.


Construction and Building Skills

Individuals in the construction and building trade program touch upon a variety of skills—ranging from carpentry and electrical familiarity to plumbing, kitchen and bath knowledge. These tradesmen and women use their hands-on skills to:


  • Troubleshoot and repair electrical boxes and fittings
  • Frame windows and doors
  • Install light fixtures, wiring and countertops
  • Use power tools and plumbing blueprints


At Apex, students prepare to enter the construction field by taking six segments of carpentry and building skills classes, as well as learning to build a model house in the shop. Think you might be a good fit? Explore five signs a construction career path is right for you.


Plumbing and Pipefitting

Students in this vocational program learn how to install water heaters, water supply and waste disposal systems found in private kitchens and bathrooms. They also learn the basics and practice real techniques, including:


  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings
  • Locate leaks and repair pipes, fixtures and drainage systems
  • Follow blueprints, codes and safety specifications
  • Use a variety of hand and power tools, levels and other materials


Plumbing classes give students the opportunity to learn how to find the source of a problem, as well as what it takes to solve the problem. Wondering if you’re ready to pursue the plumbing trade? Here are four signs a plumbing career could be a good fit.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Automotive Service Repair vs. Automotive Body Repair

Automotive Service Repair vs. Auto Body Repair

Since the debut of the Model-T Ford, cars and trucks have transformed America, helping people travel from point A to point B. Today, with more than 253 million vehicles on the road, auto mechanics and auto body technicians have never been more important. These skilled individuals help maintain vehicles, whether they perform routine care under the hood or fix damaged cars after an accident.

At Apex Technical School, we offer two auto training programs focused on helping students build technical knowledge and skills. Interested in learning which program is a good fit for you? Discover the difference between two auto programs at Apex Technical School in the infographic below.

Is Apex Right For You? Infographic

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


Two trade school students work on the rear end of car in the Apex auto body shop

4 Cars Turned into Automotive Art

Cars come in all shapes and sizes and can be as different as the people who drive them. Some people view cars as a blank canvas, and increasingly, mechanics, artists and engineers have transformed their vehicle into a stunning work of art.


Car body art got its start in the 1960s when hippies began customizing vehicles with peace signs and psychedelic patterns. Today, car enthusiasts can find customized cars in every city and around the world. If you enjoy automotive body repair and car artwork, check out these four creative car transformations.


    1. Utility Kinetic Insect

The Utility Kinetic Insect, called UKI, is a unique machine with pulsing wings, a surround sound system, LED lights, and all-terrain tires. Make Mob, a group of engineers and creative thinkers constructed UKI at their workshop in Melbourne, Australia. The team was inspired by Mad Max, nature, circus equipment, and bugs found in the Australian outback.


UKI sits on a modified four-wheel-drive chassis and runs on electric power. While the mutant vehicle only reaches speeds of approximately six miles per hour, UKI has an impressive sound mixing desk and has traveled to festivals such as Burning Man in 2017.


    1. Swamp Mutha by Ann Harithas

Artist Ann Harithas wanted to create a symbol of the swamps and bayous where she lived on the Gulf Coast. The 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo features gold-rimmed tires, a gold body, and a hand-painted scene showcasing swamp creatures such as alligators, rats, and ducks. Harithas also added deer antlers, skulls, and hand-crafted snakes to the Monte Carlo’s roof.


Part of the permanent collection at the Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas, Swamp Mutha is an example of visual appeal and self-expression. Mechanics, artists, engineers, kids and thousands of others travel to see it each year.


    1. Nokturnal Car Club’s Custom Creations

Hector Esquivel, president of the Los Angeles, California chapter of the Nokturnal Car Club, began building custom cars when he was just 15 years old. Over the last four years, he has spent about $90,000 on his personalized yellow truck. His organization continues to grow each year with more than 250 members and 28 chapters across the United States, Europe, and Asia.


In addition to transforming regular cars into show-stopping rides, Esquivel and a few others crafted a custom golf cart with 14-inch rims, airbags, air ride suspension, LED lights, TVs, and an Xbox 360 in the back for passengers. The golf cart was a way for him to challenge himself and create something new and exciting with his son in his spare time.


    1. BMW 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder

The first car in BMW’s series was entered in the 1975 “24 Hours of Le Mans,” a race in France. Before it raced, artist and sculptor Alexander Calder modified the now-famous car with intense colors on the hood, sides, and roof. Still impressive by today’s standards, the BMW 3.0 CSL features:


      • Six-cylinder inline engine
      • Four valves per cylinder
      • Twin overhead camshafts
      • Displacement: 3210 cm³
      • Power output: 480 bhp
      • Top speed: 291 km/h

Calder’s painted masterpiece raced for seven hours before a defect forced it to retire. It’s now on display in London for car enthusiasts and BMW fans to enjoy.


    1. Learn Automotive Repair Skills at Trade School

While some people transform their cars as a hobby, many workers in the auto repair industry use their skills to help repair cars after serious collisions or minor damages. If you’re interested in learning more about auto body paint and refinishing techniques, computerized paint-mixing systems or laser measurement technology, explore our auto body repair program.


If you’re interested in automotive mechanics—including car parts removal and inspection, energy, electrical circuits, manual and automotive transmissions, fuel systems and air conditioning repair—check out our automotive service and repair program.


Have questions? Contact us or schedule a tour online to visit our automotive classrooms and shop.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Student checks engine in automotive repair training class

4 Signs Auto Mechanic School is Right for You

Should I pursue my passion for cars? If so, is the auto repair industry right for me? And how do I know if this is the right career path to follow?


These are questions you might be asking if you are in the process of choosing a career. Maybe you find yourself drawn to automotive repair training, but you are unsure if the field is right for you. Identifying your natural abilities or passions will help you choose a fulfilling career path. If you have any of the following personality traits or interests, becoming an auto mechanic may be the right path for you.


  1. I like cars.


    From classic to luxury to electric and everything in between, you appreciate the diversity of automobiles. You know the popular models, both past and present, of auto makers. You enjoy attending auto shows, and you like updated cars and trucks as much as futuristic concepts.


    The automotive industry is fueled by individuals with a passion for cars. An appreciation for vehicles will help you learn new skills and give you guidance if you want to pursue an auto mechanic career.


  3. I am curious about how things work.


    If something isn’t working right, you are not afraid to look under the hood. You like to see how things interact and function together. You like to learn about mechanics by taking things apart. If you don’t immediately know how to assemble something, you try to figure it out. Maybe you even like to watch videos or TV shows about how things are made.


    The auto industry is constantly changing as technology becomes more important in cars and trucks. If you want to become an auto mechanic, it is good to be curious and to have a desire to learn.



  5. I like to solve puzzles.


    If it is broken, you can fix it. You love the challenge of identifying a problem and finding a solution. You are observant and pay attention to details. And you especially like being able to fix things because it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. You can work both independently and on a team to solve problems. You’re not afraid of a challenge, but you also like to solve simple problems every now and then.


    The ability to solve puzzles is a great skill if you are interested in an auto mechanic career. Entry-level jobs in the auto repair field focus on diagnosing, repairing and performing preventative maintenance on cars and trucks.


  7. I like to help people.


    Much like solving problems, helping others gives you a sense of pride. And you want to earn someone’s trust, in addition to solving their problem. You are good at explaining things, even if they are unfamiliar with the topic. Maybe you don’t have the most experience with something, but because people like you, they will ask you for help. You know when to offer advice or when to be supportive when someone tells you a problem.


    Individuals with the ability to connect with others find success in the automotive industry, regardless of career path. Understanding unique problems, offering solutions and providing the right assistance are huge assets for individuals seeking an entry-level automotive repair job.


Consider the opportunities available to you in the auto industry by checking out our Automotive Service and Repair program.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Repairs using technology and automotive industry trends

Auto Body Industry Trends

From auto body repair needs to optional cosmetics, the auto body industry draws all levels of interest, from those in the industry to those simply passionate about cars. Wherever you lie on the spectrum, here are a few newsworthy trends driving the field forward.

Laser Headlights

Laser headlights have been at the top of the trends, with BMW and Audi as the leaders, and in 2017, notes that they’re now legal in the U.S. – and a requirement for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award. Laser high and low lights are considered more efficient and effective than LEDs. They will start to become more prevalent throughout the industry as manufacturers strive to keep up with competitors in safety and efficiency.

While auto shops that specialize in the collision repair industry may have to work hard to keep up with the advanced technology and communication systems of today’s vehicles, the opportunities created by collision technology look positive.

According to’s analysis of Thatcham research firm’s predictions, autonomous vehicles and collision avoidance technology will decrease the severity of damage caused by collisions. However, while these technologies decrease severity, they will not eliminate collisions. Instead, they will cause a decrease of “totaled” cars (which are never repaired) and thus an increase in cars involved in collisions needing repairs. This should be good news for both car owners who want to increase the longevity of their vehicles and auto body businesses who want to capitalize on fewer totaled cars and more repairs.

Tesla Increases Opportunities for Body Shops

As an automotive brand known for its cutting edge innovations, Tesla is making it possible for more auto body shops to join its network, diversifying the Tesla repair market. According to, Tesla requires its partner shops to complete on-site training, but it will be adding an online training option and plans to prioritize adding 300 body shops to its network shortly.

This initiative creates more opportunity for local auto body shops to serve Tesla drivers, and it provides Tesla drivers with a greater variety of accessible choices when in need of a repair.

Car Body Paint Colors Retreat From Technology

Car body paint trends can be indicative of the consumers’ overall interests and needs, and we see this more than ever in today’s color trends.

In its 2018-19 automotive color palettes, PPG reports the consumers’ desire to connect with nature through the colors of their cars, even as they buy into more advanced automotive technology. Two of four palettes reflect this theme, with IM Perfect focused on organic shades influenced by nature and Lucid Dreams reflecting calmness and a refuge from technology overload.

Today’s drivers are hooked on the latest technology, and as a result, they crave the natural.

Greater Need for Auto Body Upkeep and Repair

When you compare the condition of cars on the road today to those 20 years ago, you’ll notice a major difference: the standard in the appearance of cars has risen. People care about the image of their cars more than ever. Fewer people are willing to drive cars with body paint missing, rust patches, and mismatched parts.

While there will always be the occasional sore thumb, this is more good news for the automotive collision repair industry. An increased focus on appearance can lead to a greater need for auto body upkeep and repair, particularly by those trained to provide quality work.

Where do you think the automotive field will go next? Stay tuned for more trends and news.

Want to take your interest in cars to the next level? Explore the Auto Body Repair program at Apex.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Auto body repair professional paints car parts with modern auto body tools, evolved from the early technique of using a brush

History of Auto Mechanics & Body

Early Invention: 1800s

The history of auto mechanics began in 1800s Europe with the creation of the first cars. According to, Europeans perfected the first modern automobile by 1901. These late-1800s makers of cars can be considered the first auto mechanics. They engineered, designed, and built the first successful automobiles, launching a trade for likeminded individuals in centuries to come.

Because the early European automobiles were advanced – compared to American automobiles – but not standardized, car owners faced the difficult task of finding people who could repair this just-invented machine. Mostly upper-classmen, lucky automobile owners could find a driver who also had specialized knowledge in maintaining cars.

These drivers/mechanics not only saved their employers from car-repair headaches; they also played an important role in merging the gap between the upper and lower class. According to the International Association of Mechanists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), upper-class car-owners recognized the specialized knowledge of their drivers, opening up a new level of pay and privilege for carriage drivers and footmen willing to learn the trade.

Standardization: Early 1900s credits American Henry Ford with perfecting efficient automobile-making. While Ford vehicles weren’t as advanced as European cars, the standardized parts allowed them to be faster to make and cheaper to buy, introducing the automobile to a new market.

As more and more automobiles were produced and put into use, dealerships and private businesses began offering mechanic services. And with standardized parts, the auto mechanic trade became easier to learn.

IAM explains that competition grew quickly between mechanic businesses – and even individual mechanics – as most were paid by the hour. The most experienced mechanics worked faster, resulting in lower costs to the owner and more business for the mechanic or dealer.

Market Stagnation: 1930s to Mid-Century

As the Great Depression hit, auto sales declined, and the market – including auto maintenance and production – was pressed to continue making a profit despite its inability to evolve until demand increased.

During this time of still-early car maintenance, one of the most popular and noticed auto body tools, paint, was often handled by the owner. According to, paint on early- to mid-1900s automobiles was far less durable than the paints available today. Therefore, cars needed frequent touch-ups for protection from the elements. Car owners would paint their automobiles by hand with brushes. Runs and finish imperfections were common even on cars directly out of the assembly line, so owners had little reason to hire an individual auto body mechanic to conduct paint repairs.

The Split of Auto Mechanics and Auto Body: Mid-Century

To resist market stagnation and the do-it-yourself mindset around auto body repair, notes that Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., is responsible for the focus on automobile style. With a plan to drive new-car demand, Sloan essentially created the cosmetic side of the auto body industry by creating the market’s desire to have the latest, most fashionable model of an automobile. Those who couldn’t afford the latest model, however, considered alternatives to achieving a higher level of automobile style, making way for the auto body repair industry. From this point forward, -individuals in the auto industry could begin to focus on auto body or auto mechanics (or both), creating a lasting split in the industry.

Constant Advancement to the Present Day

With automobiles continuing to advance, and the industry continuing to grow in America, the changes in the auto mechanics and body repair industry are largely driven by technology. As the vehicles become more advanced, efficient, powerful, and long-living, auto mechanics working in the field are constantly learning.


The automotive repair industry has grown to include the following focus areas:

  • Engine expertise
  • Chassis work and repair tools
  • Transmissions, axels, drive shafts, and torque converters
  • Electrical circuits
  • Fuel types and systems
  • Diagnostics

Similarly, auto body repair continues to advance as styles and tools evolve. Auto body focuses on:

  • Preparing a vehicle for repair
  • Welding and glass
  • Part alignment and laser equipment
  • Plastic retexturing
  • Primer, cleaning guns
  • Paint mixing, application, and buffing

With auto-travel continuing to dominate American society, auto mechanics and body repair continue to advance as trade and career choices for those passionate about vehicles, from operation to style.

Want to take your interest in cars to the next level? Explore the Automotive Service and Repair program at Apex.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.