Mechanic with wrenches in pocket

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. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.

 

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. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.

 

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

  2. 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.

     

  3. Swamp Mutha by Ann Harithas

  4. 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.

     

  5. Nokturnal Car Club’s Custom Creations

  6. 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.

     

  7. BMW 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder

  8. 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.

     

  9. Learn Automotive Repair Skills at Trade School

  10. 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. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.

 

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.

  2.  

    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.

  4.  

    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.

  6.  

    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.

  8.  

    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. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.

 

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

The Latest 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, thecarconnection.com 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 partsandpeople.com’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 fenderbender.com, 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.

 

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 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 History.com, 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

History.com 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 Eastwood.com, 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, History.com 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.

 

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