You may want to begin earning an auto mechanic salary, or find training that can lead to an automotive technician job, but where to begin? While many people hope to learn the skills or enhance existing knowledge, your path has to begin with the choice of vehicle. For instance, if you want to get MINI dealership certified, you need to first explore the options for training in your area.
Although the MINI brand is part of the BMW Group, it is such a unique entity that the company created a separate training program. The MINI STEP or Service Technician Education Program is open only to those who are already studying in an automotive school or college. Indicating that the program is very selective, it accepts only the "finest talent".
MINI STEP Programs
The MINI STEP program is available at the BMW STEP program training locations (currently there are nine throughout the U.S. and Canada). It is an 11-week program that requires the student to be flexible about geography both for training and the required employment that follows. Students are obliged to be available for dealer employment offers up until their final week of training.
Focused specifically on MINI vehicles, those who graduate from the MINI STEP program are certified at the MINI Level 1 status, and seen as one of the most highly skilled entry level technicians available for hire in a MINI dealership.
MINI STEP at a Technical Institute
BMW Group has partnered with a long list of post-secondary schools and colleges, from which they recruit for the MINI STEP program. A full list of these programs is found at the BMW STEP website. They have also teamed with UTI Universal Technical Institute to offer students the ability to get MINI Level 1 certified in an 11-week program identical to that offered directly through BMW.
In this program, the same rigorous selection process is in place, and students will have to meet the same qualifications and demands. Tuition is supplied by the sponsoring MINI dealership as well as MINI, via the BMW Group. Because it is partnered with UTI, most graduates have many opportunities for employment upon graduation.
MINI STEP Program Highlights
The training will supply graduates with four factory credentials, making them MINI Level 1 Technicians. Training is done in the classroom and hands-on settings, as well as through the use of eight online sessions that introduce different MINI systems. There are also focused sessions on the latest MINI models. When complete, students will have studied:
MINI Drive Line - Which trains in two of the vehicles engines - W10 and W11, as well as transmissions (automatic and manual), engine management, suspension and steering, brakes, and traction controls.
MINI R56 - Which allows students to learn about the powertrain, vehicle electronics and modules, driver information systems, bus systems, chassis dynamics, and the information/communication technologies in the latest models.
MINI R60 - This introduces learners to the new engine technologies in the N16 and N18 models, and also the diagnostic equipment, bus systems, chassis dynamics and infotainment systems.
If you are a current student at a technical institute like UTI, or you’re just considering getting your MINI dealership certification, you can choose from the BMW programs or a partner program.
Regardless of the path you follow to become a MINI dealership certified technician, you will obtain the skills and knowledge required and easily find employment with your sponsor or through a MINI dealership.
If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Get MINI Dealership Certified and was authored by Valerie Johnston.