In Illinois, there are hands-on trade schools that can shift your automotive career into high gear.

Illinois Automotive Vocational Schools Jump-Start Careers

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The federal government reports that opportunities in the automotive technician and repair professions will be very good over the next decade, especially for people who have completed technical training programs. In Illinois, trade schools that specialize in automotive and diesel technical training can put you under the hood and into steady earnings more quickly than other routes.

In the Chicago land area, vocational automotive schools offer extensive hands-on training in a working garage setting. One local school offers training in a facility with more than a dozen repair bays and nine drive-in classrooms.

You can earn a diploma or Associate of Applied Science degree with a specialization in automotive technology. Graduates are prepared for entry-level work on cars and medium/heavy trucks, with expertise in drive trains, engines, brake systems, electrical systems, transmissions, computer-control systems, passenger restraint devices, fuel injection, and hydraulics. You'll receive expert training in engine diagnostic procedures on both foreign and domestic makes and learn how to compile damage estimates, perform collision repair, and refinish paint.

Career Stability and Vocational Expertise
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates of automotive technical training programs "are often able to earn promotion to the journey level after only a few months on the job." Others advance to higher earning levels after two to five years of experience. The best-qualified job applicants, the BLS reports, have "diagnostic and problem-solving skills, knowledge of electronics and mathematics, and mechanical aptitude."

How much can you expect to earn? Salary.com reports that Chicago-area entry-level automotive mechanics earn between $25,913 and $44,514 a year. The wide range takes into account an applicant's vocational school expertise and the size and profitability of the shop. For those who have been on the job for four years, the annual wage rises, to between $41,109 and $65,829.

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Vocational & Technical Schools by State

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