All About Our Mechanic Apprentice Program and Continuing Education
When you become a member of the team at Virginia Tire & Auto, it’s not just a job. It’s a career with many opportunities for growth and learning.
Virginia Tire & Auto prioritizes making an investment in our people. Our Mechanic Apprentice Program allows current employees to advance in the company by completing on-the-job training and ultimately become certified Automotive Technicians.
Since the program’s formalization three years ago, we have had 24 graduates.
Read on to find out how the program works and why continuing education is vital to our company’s success.
How Does the Mechanic Apprentice Program Work?
Virginia Tire & Auto’s Mechanic Apprentice Program is a paid opportunity to shadow and work with a senior-level or master technician for twelve months. Apprentices work the same schedule as their technician mentors, spending each day acquiring on-the-job knowledge and performing hands-on automotive repair and diagnosis.
In addition to working as full-time mechanics, apprentices also spend time studying for their Automotive Service Excellence exams (ASEs). They attend monthly courses where they receive study materials and online learning modules that prepare them for the ASE exam. Virginia Tire & Auto provides each trainee with the necessary study materials and funds for the cost of the exam.
The training coursework covers brakes, electrical/electronic systems, steering and suspension, heating and air conditioning, engine performance, engine repair, manual drivetrain and axles, and automatic transmission.
The application process for the Mechanic Apprentice Program is fairly simple. Every quarter, we open it up to anyone at the company who wants to pursue a career as a technician.
When the commitment is submitted, each applicant takes a 60-question test on general service knowledge. Upon completion of the test, the candidate’s manager provides feedback and the candidate is matched with a master technician to begin on-the-job training.
Apprentices in our program profit from a wide range of benefits, both during and after training. Trainees first build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills during their year of study under a master technician. During the program, apprentices can also apply for a loan for up to $2,500 to purchase tools. Upon completion, each apprentice is paid a competitive technician’s rate that increases with each passed ASE exam.
Getting paid to learn is the best of both worlds. When apprentices graduate from the program, they are promoted to Automotive Technicians.
An Investment in Our Employees
Investing in our people is critical to our culture and success. Virginia Tire & Auto champions each and every employee to learn and grow at the company.
Sarah Price, Training Manager in the Learning and Development group at Virginia Tire & Auto, oversees the Mechanic Apprentice Program, ensuring that program participants are on track to meet their goals.
“The Mechanic Apprentice Program is very important to us here at Virginia Tire & Auto. Being able to grow and develop people who have already committed to us and know our culture is an extremely high priority,” explained Price.
When apprentices complete the program and graduate, there is a significant sense of accomplishment for the apprentices, technicians, and everyone at Virginia Tire & Auto.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I get so proud when apprentices graduate and move on to the next step of their career,” said Price.
Ready to take your career to the next level?
If you’re interested in the Mechanic Apprentice Program and want to grow your knowledge in the automotive industry, check out our program brochure or stop in one of our Virginia locations to learn more.