From working on four-wheelers in his backyard to getting cars up and running, Ethan Emel is one step closer to owning his own shop.
He says it’s all because of what he’s learning at Charlotte Technical College’s Automotive Program.
Students learn everything from oil changes to engine repair. As they go through book lessons, they get their hands dirty in people’s cars.
“I learn better hands-on so having hands-on experience is what’s helping me out there when I go to work,” Emel said.
While students get hands-on experience, it also allows you to get what you need fixed at a much cheaper price than a regular shop.
Automotive instructor David Andrews make sure they’re doing everything correctly.
“I bring in outside work for customers who have called in so it may not be something I can bring in tomorrow but it may be something that can come in next week and stay for two weeks while we’re teaching it. And then you get the job done for pretty much just the cost of parts and a small shop fee and no labor,” Andrews said.
Students also have to shadow in a professional shop before they can graduate.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to work on miscellaneous jobs that people have and it gives us a chance to be pretty intricate with jobs,” said Jonathan Harmon, also a student.
It also helps you get back on the road with your wallets intact.
“When they get that vehicle that comes in and it runs bad and it leaves running good? That smile on their face makes me smile,” Andrews said.
The Automotive Program is currently not taking any appointments because students are preparing for exams for the end of the school year.
Check with your local school district. Most offer similar programs.