Ever wonder how some of the world’s best automotive technicians got to the top? It’s a good question, especially today when the automotive industry advances quicker than ever in terms of new technology. Indeed, there’s a large demand for skilled technicians; the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that around 46,000 new jobs in the field will need to be filled by 2026.
Porsche, for one, is a carmaker well-positioned to continue to feed the technician pipeline. The Porsche Technician Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, and since its inception has led to more than 700 technicians joining the Porsche workforce. Today the company boasts 1,100 technicians spread across 191 U.S. dealerships, with more than a 3rd of those technicians graduating from the PTAP.
Interested in such a career? Porsche says the program’s standards are high, with most applicants having already completed Universal Technical Institute’s Automotive Technology curriculum. Of dozens upon dozens of applicants, Porsche selects just 12 for each new PTAP class. Each one endures an interview process consisting of a psychological assessment, a mechanical knowledge test, and a personal interview.
Make it into the program, though, and courses are taught in Easton, Pennsylvania, Eastvale, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, by Porsche Master Level Technicians. The full school takes 23 weeks to complete and consists of 16 core and 38 online courses. Students also practice servicing engines, brakes, and electrical systems in a hands-on setting in order to get the feel of working in a real Porsche dealership. Additionally, they must have an automotive job outside of the program.
Upon graduating, students begin working at Porsche dealerships across the U.S., where they can then climb the ladder toward bronze, silver, and gold certifications. Some eventually become instructors, with others going into technical support and management.