October 30, 2006
Trade and Industrial Automotive Servicing Operation
Statement of Purpose: The purpose of this report is to synthesize key descriptive elements of a service area or division into a single coherent program description that as a minimum includes separate treatment of the profession’s thought in each of the following areas: trade and industry, agriculture, family and consumer science, technical, business, and marketing. Such programs may or may not be federally subsidized. Keep in mind, vocational education courses are not considered general education courses. Nevertheless, a good vocational program provides for a continuation of general education experiences.
Abstract: The career clusters links what students learn in school with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and in society. Career clusters identify pathways from secondary school to two and four-year college, graduate school, and the work place, so students can learn in school and what they can do in the future. This connection to future goals motivates students to work harder and enroll in more rigorous courses. There are varieties of career cluster frameworks, including one created by the United States Department of Education (States’ Career Clusters, 2006) which incorporates 16 clusters. Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of vocational and technical educations that require varying levels of education. The most common service areas covered in CTE including Trade and Industrial, Business, Health Occupations, Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing, and Technology. This paper focuses on synthesizing key descriptive elements of the automotive servicing operation which is a sub-set of vocational or occupational education in the Trade and Industrial service area of the CTE. As a sub-level within the Trade and Industrial service area, the automotive technology education is divided into many specialized educational sub-level such as smog check, mechanic, body collision and refinishing, sale, parts, management, and diesel technology et cetera.
Service area: Technology relates unambiguously to the human living conditions. “Technology has become so user friendly, and it is largely ‘invisible’. We drive high-tech cars but know little more than how to operate the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brake pedal ” (Pearson & Young, 2002). It also highlights an element of intellectual effort that is dominant in every society, but that traditionally is neglected in formal education. This clearly implies that the technology education is important especially, in technology literacy aspect. The economy is increasingly being driven by technology innovation and because an escalating percentage of jobs requirements in technological skills, a rise in technological literacy will have strong economy impacts. Technological literacy is an important assess to the CTE professionals of the fast changing pace of the automotive industry.
In the Trade and Industrial service area of the CTE, the automotive technology is commonly known as automotive mechanics. This field contributes major parts in transportation, distribution of goods, sport and pleasure, and according to Smogcheck Fact Sheets, 2006, air pollution is also one of the principal negative contribution of this industry to the environment. Many of CTE service areas depending heavily and experiencing the rapid innovations of this field in recent years. The growing economy and the fast increasing in population require more and better automotive products and higher quality services, nationwide and worldwide. The high cost of energy and preserving the environment push the demands and expectations of this industry even further. There are many modern mechanical improvements, sophisticated digital devices, and software applications integrated in this field (Duffy, 2000); which tends to attract investment and implementation from other service areas. These investments and depending on the transportations give the CTE professionals with automotive technology competencies a highly competitive edge in the labor market.
Content Taught/Competencies Developed: The evolution of automotive repair has seen a change in emphasis from mechanical to technological work. Presently, vehicles use high-tech computers and complex electronic systems to monitor the performance of the vehicle. A strong sense of understanding concerning the operation of a vehicle, including how each device interacts, as well as the ability to deal with electronic diagnostic equipments and digital reference manuals is the key to the success of a technician. Currently, the automotive technology education is divided into a variety of specialized service areas for training. From Hughes, James G. (2003), the automotive technology pedagogy involves in below major categories: Automobile Training, Undercar Technician, Parts Specialist, Collision Repair/Refinish, Medium/Heavy Duty Truck, Engine Machinist, and School Bus. Recently, the Service Consultant, Alternative Fuels, and Hybrid Technology are added to this vocational education field. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization, established the ASE certifications in all automotive specialization areas throughout the U. S., Canada, and oversea. This certification program is to ensure the professional quality of the certified technicians. These certified technicians must retake the exams every five years to make sure that they keep up with the constantly changing of technology (Lundquist, 2000).
For the purpose of this paper, only three clusters of the automotive technology education will be discussed.
The automotive mechanic area: This cluster of study involves courses in
Basic Automotive Mechanic
Engine Performance I, II
Electrical/Electronic I, II
Computerized Control Systems I, II, III
Automotive Heating and Air Conditioning
The collision repair/refinishing area: This clusters of study involves courses in
Core Training Program
Non-Structural Repair I, II, III
Structural Repair I, II, III
Automotive Gas Metal Arc (GMA) steel and aluminum welding
Refinishing I, II, III
Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) specific repair
Estimating, Management, and Appraisal I, II, III
The instructional lessons and performance tasks of the above two clusters are closely following the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) standards. The purpose of NATEF certification program is to improve the quality of training offered at the secondary and post-secondary levels. NATEF will evaluate the technician training programs against standards developed by the automotive industry and recommend qualifying programs for certification (accreditation) by the ASE. The Board of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is the body responsible for the Collision Repair/Refinish and Automotive Mechanic programs. The ASE will grant certification to programs and certify technicians that comply with the evaluation procedures and meet the established standards. The NATEF also evaluates the providers of in-service technicians training programs under a program called Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE).
The smog check area: This cluster of study involves courses in
Laws and regulations of State Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)
Basic Clean Air Car course
Advance Clean Air Car course
Citation Training course
BAR (ASE Alternative) Training courses
BAR 2005 Transition Training (up date every two years)
Smog Check Technician Licensing Examination course
This sub-level under the automotive technology education area started in 1982. According to California Bureau of Automotive Repair: Smog Check Technician Licensing Examination Handbook, (2006), California became the 20th state in the nation to adopt a vehicle inspection and maintenance (Smog Check) program. The BAR is mandated by law to administer the Smog Check program. There have been a number of program changes over the years, but the goal of Smog Check program remains the same: to reduce air pollution produced by the motor vehicles from the automotive industry.
Where are the programs offered?: The Automotive Mechanic and Collision Repair/Refinish programs are widely offered throughout many public junior high schools, post-secondary schools, community and junior colleges (McCade & Boynton, 1997). Specially, at the high school level, under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Amendments of 1990, there are many organizations involve or take a part in such as: Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), Regional Occupation Center and Programs (ROCP), or School-to-Career programs.
While the Smog Check program is available only to experience technicians, and usually offered at post-secondary school levels, community and junior colleges, or private vocational institutes.
National Issues: According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, 2004-2005 Career Guide to Industries, the automotive industry is one of the largest industries in the Unites States. It creates 6.6 million direct and related jobs. It produced $243 billion in payroll and compensation with 5.6 % in private sector compensation. For every worker directly employed by an automaker, nearly seven spin-off jobs are created. Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to increase about as fast as the average (10-20%) through the year 2012. This amounts to 82,000 to 164,000 new jobs between 2002 through 2012.
The above information indicates that the automotive industry needs to adjust to this potential growth. The adjustment issues involve in (Gray, 2000):
Image and Promotion-Combating negative public perception of the industry due to stereotypes and misinformation, increasing awareness about viable occupations that pay well and have growth potential, recruiting young people and transitioning workers.
Diversity of the Workforce-Tapping in new pools of labor to diversify the make-up of the workforce. Supporting individuals with limited English proficiency.
Capacity and Instruction-Providing resources and curriculum to stay current with today’s technology, recruiting more teachers and trainers, offering continuing education for instructors and certified technicians to keep them current in their field of knowledge to retain them in the industry, exploring other curriculum delivery methods such as distance learning and on-line modular courses.
Training and Education-Focusing on employability or job readiness skills such as communication, reading, writing, math, problem solving, team-building, and customer service skills. Addressing concern about the skill gaps of new employees and the retraining (or up-grade skill) of incumbent workers. Ensuring that all training and educational programs in automotive technology education are certified and standardized by the industry leaders.
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California Automotive Teachers (CAT)
Steve Ford, Southern California AYES Director
John Chocholak, High School/ROP
Rick Escalambre, BAR Education Advisory Committee
California Vocational Secondary, Postsecondary, & Adult Leadership Division
Patrick Ainsworth, Director
Barbara Brown, Palm Desert ROP Coordinator