For those of you who are tired of getting your auto fix by continuously customizing and modifying your own car, or gluing yourselves to TV shows like “American Choppers” or “Pimp my Ride”, there are ways to expand — automotive technology could be a lucrative career instead of just a way of letting the day speed by on the couch.Automotive technology schools provide students with the possibility of blending their technical and creative passions together. Your interest in design, form, color, and presentation can be satisfied along with your desire to problem solve, tinker, experiment, and work with ever-evolving technology and science.According to the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, professional automotive technicians can earn $60,000 or more per year with the appropriate training — and with good reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pros in the field are in demand, with over 800,000 automotive technicians employed as of 2004. As the number of multi-car families continues to increase, job opportunities for automotive technicians are expected to grow as well.An automotive technician career isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago, and as a result automotive technology schools have had to update their curriculum accordingly. With global positioning systems, Internet access, and alternate-fuel systems among the many increasingly common technological advancements found in cars, students at automotive technology schools cannot complete their training without knowledge in these fields. In fact, according to the College Board, more automotive technology schools are now even offering courses in stress management and customer service.Not that automotive technology should be a stressful job — to the contrary, a successful automotive technician is one who is passionate about his or her career. But let’s face it, cars are a big part of the way we live and keeping them on the road is no small task. According to the Center for Automotive Research, by the year 2000, there were about 217 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., traveling 2.5 trillion miles, and consuming 160 billion gallons of gasoline. So sure, the job can get a little stressful at times — which is why an automotive technology career relies on education during crunch time.Once you’ve received your training from an automotive technology school, certification is the only thing standing between you and your career. Voluntary certification by ASE is the standard credential in the automotive industry. Your certification will be in a specialty field of your choice, of which there are eight. These include electrical systems, engine repair, brake systems, suspension and steering, and heating and air-conditioning. Master automobile technicians are certified in all eight areas .