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I am interested in completing a full automotive program to be an ASE certified mechanic. I am female and am interested in female-friendly automotive programs in the United States or Canada. Do you have any recommendations for female-friendly automotive programs? I hear often that women are not wanted or welcomed into these programs. I was hoping that there is a school that actually encourages women to enter into the automotive industry, particularly as mechanics.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Dawn, Thank You for writing into AskPatty!! To address your question about female friendly automotive facilities, in 2000 I attended GM ASEP program in Goldsboro, NC at Wayne Community College! I was the only female attendee, we started with about 23 students and at the time of graduation two year later there were under 10. They encouraged me the whole way through, I was the first female to finish the complete program. I have heard that ITT tech is also a great choice. I recommend that you enter into a Co-Op program like I went through, it is time spent in the classroom for a period of time, and then time spent in an adjacent dealership. This will allow you to teer-step into the transition of working as a female in a male dominant workplace. I learned that being able to stagger my education with my workplace experience opened a lot more doors in acceptance, and integration in a field unexplored by many women. Hope This Helps!! Break through that Glass Ceiling!!

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Dawn, I think this is awesome! This is still perceived as a male dominated business, but thanks for interested people like you, this is changing! I'm not sure if there are any specific female-focused training as you are looking for. I recommend you enroll in local tech program and find a part time job to get on the job training. Good luck! Judy

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Dawn, I was a student in an automotive program in the mid 80's, and you're right, I was not very welcomed. I think things have changed today. Most community colleges offer a 2 year degree program and they welcome everyone. I like the college programs because you get a degree out of it. Some of the automotive training schools say they offer a degree, but make sure you can transfer credits to an accredited college. There is a big difference. Check out carcare.org, they offer scholarships to women going into automotive fields. There are a couple schools that offer them as well. Keep in mind that while the schools offer classes to prepare you for ASE's, these are taken at a state level and something you do on your own. You may find a school that will help you pay for them or add it into your tuition. Also ask if they have a discount tool buying program. This will help if you buy tools before you graduate. Good luck! Feel free to go to my site and contact me personally if you have any further questions. Lori Johnson www.ladiesstartyourengines.com

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