Over the years the ever-evolving nature of the most popular mode of transportation has surpassed our wildest imaginations and in the years ahead the sky is the limit as to where our cars will take us in the future.
Keeping pace with those who create these moving marvels are those called upon to keep them running smoothly.
Gone are the days when an oil change and tire rotation kept a car in good condition.
Vehicles are smarter so it only stands to reason that the technicians who work on them become more advanced as well.
“It’s kind of harder to be a technician than a doctor,” Andy Lindman, instructor at Chattahoochee Tech, said with a laugh. “We have many makes and models. They just have two.”
Just as a doctor has to diagnose and treat his patients, automobile technicians have had to adjust to the demands of the more sophisticated vehicle.
Lindman, who has worked in the industry since 1993, said he has seen it change since he performed his first oil change at age 15.
Lindman and Eric Underwood are the two instructors in the automotive technology department at Chattahoochee Tech’s North Metro campus.
The program’s training classrooms have recently undergone an overhaul in an effort to keep up with the changes in the industry and better equip its students for careers in the field.
“We’ve been upgrading equipment like crazy,” said Lindman. “We’re bringing it up to moden standards. We’re introducing new technologies. It’s just grown by leaps and bounds.”
And more and more students are taking an interest in choosing automotive technology as a career. In the spring alone, the program saw 325 students studying in one of the many areas of study offered at the school.
From electrical systems to engine and brake systems, classes provide students with a wide range of areas to specialize in.
Underwood said with a metropolitan area swamped with vehicles, there is no shortage of job opportunities in the area.
“We know that there are plenty of cars in the metro area and people depend on their cars to get them where they need to go,” said Underwood, who graduated from the same program this year. “The advantage of coming here and getting a degree is you get to learn some of the special tools that are needed to work on cars that are more complex. We’re really giving them a head start.”