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    I'm currently doing my A levels and considering getting an apprenticeship as an automotive mechanic instead of going to uni. However I know that its a male dominated occupation and I'm really nervous about it. Will anyone actually take me seriously? Plus my social awkwardness wouldn't help.

    I'm also planning to eventually emigrate to a place like Canada but would anyone offer me a job there if I did complete an apprenticeship?
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    (Original post by AprilFeather)
    I'm currently doing my A levels and considering getting an apprenticeship as an automotive mechanic instead of going to uni. However I know that its a male dominated occupation and I'm really nervous about it. Will anyone actually take me seriously?

    I'm also planning to eventually emigrate to a place like Canada but would anyone offer me a job there if I did complete an apprenticeship?
    I don't know anything about mechanic qualifications or what kind of vehicles you want to be working on but you could just fire off some emails to mechanics in Canada. They might have varying rules by state but that's something you can look into and it's probably unlikely anyway. I'd imagine that as long as you have at least a year or two's worth of experience (after you've completed the apprenticeship) working as a mechanic (unsupervised) then you might well be fine. Having said that they may well have qualification requirements and not recognise what can be obtained over here. Certainly that's an even bigger risk with the apprenticeship unless you get a degree with it as well, for example the Jaguar Land Rover apprenticeship. It is also somewhat understandable given the differences, for example left hand drive and a much larger number of automatic transmissions.

    As for being a girl, unfortunately I think mechanics are particularly bad in terms of the "lad" stereotype - almost on a par with builders. But that's exactly what it is - a stereotype - it doesn't apply to everyone. Unfortunately I don't think anyone can tell how well you'll fit in and if you'll be taken seriously because that's down to how good you are and how you act as well as how they do. I'm not saying you have to act like a bloke, I'm just saying no here can know if you're the kind of person who's easy to get along with, which is the most important thing - male or female.

    As for being taken seriously, I imagine it will likely be an issue but since they wouldn't expect much from a newly started apprentice anyway, I imagine you'll have plenty of time to prove their possible misconceptions wrong as you progress (just like a guy would). It is likely though it might take a bit longer for them to believe in you or you have to actually be a bit better than an average mechanic in order to overcome the likely subconscious bias. Having said that, I think that's probably a minor point and would be made worse if you got carried away thinking that was the case. You might get a bit paranoid and it would become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

    You might want to find a professional society for mechanics although I believe most of them are for quite advanced mechanical engineers. When you've done so, you could try to get into contact with another female either directly or by asking the organisation for help in doing so. I'm sure someone would be willing to help, even if only by giving brief reassurance (or otherwise).

    The most important thing is you have a passion for being a mechanic - if you want to do it, you really should go for it. You might regret it otherwise. Also, if you were to later quit, rightly or wrongly I doubt anyone would hold it against you if you cited "sexism" as one of the main reasons you quit - it's certainly believable and understandable.
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    I went for one and they said I was too inexperienced so offered me a driving job. They don't care about your gender or anything like that, they just want you to know about engines and to get stuck in as early as possible.
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    There's more and more girls entering the motor industry, don't let gender hold you back. They're the sort of skills you can take anywhere, so you experience will qualify you when you move abroad.
 
 
 
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