Auto Mechanic
Schools & Training Programs
Tune-Up for a Career in Vehicle Maintenance

When the car starts sputtering, most people start looking around for a good auto mechanic. Mechanics know how to pull an engine apart to find a problem—and then put it back together with a solution. As cars have become more and more sophisticated, so has the job of a mechanic. They must get in-depth training both in traditional mechanics as well as the electronic components common to most vehicles today, and stay up-to-date with developing technologies. Read on to find out more about educational opportunities and how to get started in the industry.

Best Mechanic Schools & Training Programs: 2016-2017

Hands-on learners who are intrigued by the inner-workings of automobiles are increasingly choosing mechanic training schools and training programs to receive the knowledge and credentials required for employment. With so many schools offering mechanic training programs, it can be easy to become overwhelmed while choosing the best school. To make this process easier, we have ranked schools that offer programs in this field based on factors such as tuition rates, financial assistance opportunities and class size. Explore the list below to find the top mechanic schools and training programs for 2016-2017.

Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
1 Western Wyoming Community College
99.83 39% 8 16:1 53%

Future mechanics may earn a field certificate or degree at Western Wyoming Community College. Students in the mechanic program at Western Wyoming may choose to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology with 64 credit hours, a one-year certificate after 32 credits, or Alternative Fuel Vehicle Technology certificate after completion of 39 credits. Western Wyoming focuses on preparing students for long-term careers after college by keeping up-to-date on the changing science of automotive technology. Western Wyoming offers students on-campus living and a small variety of different clubs including student government. Financial aid is offered to eligible students.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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2 Texas State Technical College-Waco
99.44 38% 13 13:1 24%

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation to educate future mechanics. TSTC has a large variety of different Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates. The courses are offered across TSTC's three Texas campuses. TSTC also offers Toyota and Chrysler specializations within the mechanic program. Some degrees and certifications may take students at least two years to complete. Outside of the classroom, students have the opportunity to participate in TSTC intramural athletics along with other clubs and organizations. TSTC offers counseling, tutoring and health services to students as well. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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3 Sinclair College
99.20 28% 10 15:1 17%

Students interested in pursuing a degree or certificate in the automotive technology field may do so at Sinclair Community College. Accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Sinclair is equipped to provide future mechanics with necessary experience and education for the field. Sinclair offers several degrees that may take students two years to complete, and certifications that may take students at least one year to complete. The program has several specializations including General Motors and Honda. At Sinclair, financial aid is available to qualifying students through FAFSA. Services directing graduates of Sinclair to potential careers are also available.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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4 Hinds Community College
98.99 22% 7 18:1 13%

Hinds Community College offers career and technical certificates in mechanics as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree. Certificate programs may take students a year to complete, while the Associate of Applied Science degree may take two or more years for students to complete. The mechanics degree program offers a variety of hands-on mechanics courses including English writing and public speaking courses geared toward preparing students for future employment. Hinds works with community employers to create partnerships which may provide graduating students with jobs. Financial aid and grants are offered to eligible students at Hinds.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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5 Augusta Technical College
98.82 20% 8 14:1 20%

Future mechanics may receive a diploma in automotive technology at Augusta Technical College. Augusta Tech is a Gainful Employment college and focuses on preparing students for future careers. A high school diploma or equivalent are necessary for admission into Augusta Tech. Earning a degree in the mechanics program at Augusta Tech may take students up to 70 weeks. Augusta Tech has a transmission and transaxle specialization available to students after completion of the six month program. Outside of the classroom, counseling and career services are offered to students of Augusta Tech. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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6 Metropolitan Community College
98.59 20% 8 14:1 12%

The automotive technology program at Metropolitan Community College (MCC) is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. The program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees and various certifications to students in the mechanic program. Students may take courses including brake repair, engine repair and welding. On-the-job training is a part of the curriculum at MCC, and students join other students in building a custom car. Certificates are awarded after completion of the program, which may take students up to two years. MCC offers financial aid to qualifying students. Math and writing centers are available for tutoring services at MCC.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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7 Casper College
98.49 42% 6 12:1 30%

Students interested in pursuing a career in mechanics may earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in automotive technology from Casper College. Casper College also gives students the option of a one-year certificate in the mechanic field. Earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program may take students at least two years to accomplish. The automotive technology program aims to prepare students for careers in the constantly changing field of mechanics by offering classes that include automotive electrical, welding, and on-the-job training in cooperative work experience. Students at Casper College are offered career services to prepare students for future careers.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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8 Washington County Community College
98.28 41% 6 10:1 35%

Washington County Community College's shop-oriented certificate program is designed to produce graduates who can diagnose and solve vehicular programs. Some of the skills that students graduate with include servicing passenger and light commercial motor vehicles, following industry standards in automotive technology and fixing mechanical problems. The program is typically completed in two semesters and focuses on vehicular electronics and electrical systems, then moving to performance and diagnostics. Graduates can go on to work in automotive dealerships or parts supply stores, independent repair facilities and companies with large vehicle fleets. Graduates may accept positions in specific fields including front-end alignment, breaks or general services.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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9 Beaufort County Community College
98.27 5% 9 13:1 18%

This 42-credit hour program offers students the training necessary to obtain an entry-level position as an automotive technician. Courses cover engine performance, breaks, suspensions and advanced electronic diagnosis, among others. There is also a focus on the theory behind automotive technology and students must show proficiency in communication and math to graduate. After completing this diploma, students can expect to pursue employment in auto dealerships and repair shops. Beaufort offers a number of related programs and specialized certificates, including engines, electronics and drivetrains; courses completed in this diploma program can be applied toward those programs.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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10 Cape Fear Community College
98.21 9% 8 13:1 14%

With an emphasis on theory as well as practical skills, this program aims to produce graduates that can keep up with ongoing advancements in the automotive technology field. The 72-credit hour curriculum can be completed in five semesters including one summer semester. Along with principles of auto technology, students will learn auto shop management and PC literacy, and will work in a climate control lab. Upon completion, graduates should be prepared for the Automotive Service Excellence exam and employment in dealerships or repair shops. For those seeking a more condensed program, Cape Fear Community College also offers a 38-credit hour diploma and 16-credit hour certificate in automatic systems technology.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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11 Blue Ridge Community College
98.14 10% 8 12:1 17%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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12 Athens Technical College
98.12 1% 8 13:1 29%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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13 San Juan College
98.11 28% 11 20:1 13%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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14 Gateway Community and Technical College
98.08 9% 8 12:1 34%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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15 Arkansas State University - Beebe
98.08 34% 6 17:1 35%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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16 Maysville Community and Technical College
97.95 9% 6 11:1 30%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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17 Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
97.94 9% 8 18:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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18 Central Community College
97.87 34% 9 14:1 25%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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19 North Dakota State College of Science
97.72 31% 10 12:1 47%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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20 Central Georgia Technical College
97.68 N/A 12 15:1 31%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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21 Guilford Technical Community College
97.67 5% 8 20:1 10%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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22 South Georgia Technical College
97.49 3% 8 14:1 32%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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23 Jefferson Community and Technical College
97.36 1% 9 16:1 11%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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24 Atlanta Technical College
97.21 33% 6 16:1 24%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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25 East Mississippi Community College
97.12 78% 4 12:1 27%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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26 Owensboro Community and Technical College
97.12 4% 7 13:1 30%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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27 Wayne Community College
97.04 5% 5 11:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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28 Trenholm State Community College
97.02 30% 5 13:1 33%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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29 Gadsden State Community College
97.02 25% 6 18:1 14%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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30 Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell Campus
97.00 5% 5 14:1 20%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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31 J F Drake State Community and Technical College
96.98 22% 5 15:1 15%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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32 Fox Valley Technical College
96.96 12% 7 12:1 38%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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33 Western Nebraska Community College
96.95 60% 4 15:1 23%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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34 Somerset Community College
96.93 8% 7 18:1 25%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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35 Bluegrass Community and Technical College
96.92 2% 7 16:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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36 Northshore Technical Community College
96.92 18% 7 21:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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37 Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus
96.90 32% 7 18:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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38 Columbus State Community College
96.88 20% 6 19:1 8%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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39 Kirtland Community College
96.80 18% 8 18:1 16%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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40 Wake Technical Community College
96.79 2% 7 18:1 16%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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41 Wilkes Community College
96.77 17% 6 11:1 32%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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42 West Kentucky Community and Technical College
96.74 1% 7 14:1 38%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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43 Ashland Community and Technical College
96.72 7% 6 14:1 20%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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44 North Georgia Technical College
96.68 1% 6 17:1 30%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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45 Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
96.68 11% 5 15:1 16%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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46 Spokane Community College
96.68 14% 6 17:1 26%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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47 Northwest Louisiana Technical College
96.63 3% 8 24:1 48%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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48 Rend Lake College
96.57 44% 7 15:1 51%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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49 Dodge City Community College
96.52 57% 4 12:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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50 Central Piedmont Community College
96.50 3% 9 19:1 12%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
1 Idaho State University
99.22 37% 12 16:1 31%

Idaho State University's automotive technology program emphasizes the importance of both technical and critical thinking skills for success in this field. The two-year associate of applied science program incorporates automotive standards and mechanics as well as communications and social science. Students will study diagnostics and repair of domestic and foreign cars. Courses are taught by three instructors who hold Automotive Service Excellence Master Technician certificates. Idaho State University also offers an abridged technical certificate available in automotive technology, which requires three semesters of study. Recent graduating classes have attained an employment or continuing education rate of 100 percent.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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2 Montana State University-Northern
99.18 32% 6 14:1 23%

At Montana State University - Northern in Havre, the automotive technology program is designed to be flexible so that students can work and learn at the same time. Students can pair studying automotive technology with a minor to prepare for management positions in the automotive industry, or choose to focus on the technical elements. The university offers a bachelor's degree of science in automotive technology (120 credits), or an associate of applied science degree in automotive technology (72 credits). The program is NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) certified and designed to prepare students to take the ASE examination.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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3 South Seattle College
98.99 15% 7 15:1 N/A

The automotive technology program at South Seattle College is easily customized to reflect the interests of any student enrolled in the program. The NATEF certified curriculum offers a certificate in automotive repair, eight sub-certificates, or an associate in applied science degree in automotive technology. Students looking to transfer for bachelor's study can earn an AAS-T. State of the art labs and equipment enables students to work on cars donated to the program, as well as the cars of students and faculty at the college. Alumni of the program are eligible to sit for the ASE examinations.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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4 Lake Washington Institute of Technology
98.74 7% 7 15:1 N/A

At the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, students learn technical skills while working on customer cars in the auto repair shop located on the Kirkland campus. This fully functioning auto repair shop is equipped with the most modern tools, equipment, and computerized instruments used by professionals in the field, while also giving students an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills with customers. Students can work towards an associate of applied science degree (117 credits), an Auto Repair Technician Certificate of Proficiency (89 credits), General Service Technician certificate (32 credits) or the I-Best General Service Technician Certificate of Completion (38 credits).

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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5 Midland College
98.72 62% 5 17:1 N/A

At Midland College, students interested in becoming mechanics in the automotive industry can personalize their studies by choosing to go for an associate in applied science degree, or one of the four certificate programs. An associates takes approximately two years and consists of 64-66 credit hours, and covers everything from air-conditioning to engine repair. The certificate programs are 19-24 credits each; about a year of coursework and focus on varying specializations. The automotive technology program is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), and students who graduate are eligible to sit for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examination.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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6 Bismarck State College
98.27 25% 6 14:1 N/A

Becoming a mechanic in automotive technology at Bismarck State College in North Dakota is a great way to learn a new career. Students have a choice of whether to earn a program certificate (60 credit hours), a diploma (69 credit hours) or an associate in applied science degree (75 credit hours). The automotive technology program has limited enrollment and trains students in the eight areas certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. The faculty are all ASE certified (Automotive Service Excellence) and each is an active professional in the field. Students emerge from the program ready to enter the job market.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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7 Weber State University
98.13 50% 6 21:1 45%

Located in Utah, Weber State's four-year Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology offers students several different courses of study. Students may choose one concentration: Field Service Operations, for those who would like to concentrate on customer service and repair, or Advanced Vehicle Systems, for those who are more interested in technological innovation. Students may also double-up on concentrations or double major in Automotive Technology and Professional Sales. With flexible scheduling—students can take up to 6 years to complete the program, and can take many classes online—reduced tuition and grants, and a high post-graduation hire rate, Weber State's program is considered one of the best in the country.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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8 Florida State College at Jacksonville
98.12 15% 5 22:1 N/A

Florida State College at Jacksonville's Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics program puts a heavy emphasis on supply chain management, global operations, and strategic transportation, which is a good fit for those looking to step away from repair and customer service and start working in planning and management. The national average pay for supply chain managers is $89,000 per year according to Glassdoor, and the industry is expected to grow over the next decade. The school has four major campuses and several smaller learning centers, and the program is also available online, so potential students aren't restricted by location.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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9 University of Alaska Fairbanks
97.98 43% 3 14:1 33%

The Community and Technical College at University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a 34-credit certificate program in automotive technology. Students will learn about everything from basic electrical systems to brake systems, suspension alignment, and engine diagnosis, and the program puts a heavy focus on technical skills. The majority of learning and skill development takes place in a state-of-the-art auto shop at Hutchison Institute of Technology, which supplies cutting edge tools and techniques, so students can expect to learn industry-standard skills. While the program costs roughly $6,000, an entry level auto tech can expect to make around $26,000 per year or $13.50 per hour.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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10 Broward College
97.92 23% 7 27:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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11 College of Southern Nevada
97.80 20% 6 24:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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12 Ferris State University
97.53 63% 7 16:1 53%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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13 University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
97.49 47% 3 18:1 25%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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14 University of Arkansas at Monticello
97.45 51% 4 17:1 23%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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15 Siena Heights University
97.26 99% 3 11:1 43%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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16 Montana State University-Billings
97.11 54% 4 17:1 33%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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17 Lewis-Clark State College
96.94 62% 6 16:1 26%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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18 Pittsburg State University
96.86 56% 4 19:1 50%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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19 Utah Valley University
96.63 33% 4 22:1 17%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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20 Northern Michigan University
96.45 81% 5 21:1 44%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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21 Pennsylvania College of Technology
96.07 9% 8 18:1 40%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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22 Santa Fe College
96.06 5% 2 22:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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23 Morrisville State College
95.94 85% 6 11:1 59%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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24 Daytona State College
95.86 24% 2 18:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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25 Vincennes University
95.78 18% 2 17:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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26 Baker College of Port Huron
95.49 74% 4 19:1 32%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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27 Seminole State College of Florida
95.46 18% 3 29:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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28 New England Institute of Technology
95.46 73% 3 13:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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29 Peninsula College
95.22 23% 3 15:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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30 Ranken Technical College
95.20 56% 4 16:1 100%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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31 University of Alaska Anchorage
94.85 44% 7 19:1 26%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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32 Baker College of Flint
94.75 84% 3 24:1 10%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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33 SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
94.69 81% 5 18:1 52%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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34 University of Hawaii Maui College
94.67 36% 2 15:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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35 Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
94.67 98% 4 10:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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36 Indian River State College
94.61 11% 5 26:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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37 Snow College
94.61 84% 4 20:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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38 Baker College of Auburn Hills
94.60 72% 3 22:1 8%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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39 University of Alaska Southeast
94.30 48% 4 15:1 10%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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40 Washburn University
94.21 58% 2 14:1 34%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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41 Jackson College
94.17 21% 3 18:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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42 Farmingdale State College
94.04 5% 3 19:1 45%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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43 SUNY College of Technology at Canton
94.01 16% 2 17:1 32%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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44 Vermont Technical College
93.52 49% 3 10:1 52%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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45 Arkansas Tech University
93.46 56% 2 20:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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46 Palm Beach State College
93.45 9% 2 30:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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47 Brigham Young University-Idaho
93.43 36% 4 25:1 52%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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48 University of Northwestern Ohio
93.28 33% 8 26:1 30%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
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49 Dixie State University
92.87 23% 2 20:1 63%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
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Auto Mechanic Training: Snapshot

It would be great if auto care only involved changing the oil and rotating the tires. Unfortunately, cars break, and it often takes the knowledge of a professional auto mechanic to return them to working order. Mechanics are skilled in testing various parts and systems, and using to diagnostic tools to identify and fix problems. They play a pivotal role in keeping vehicles safe on the road. Graduates of auto mechanic training programs have the hands-on experience needed to enter the field, pass certification exams, and help customers effectively.

There were almost 740,000 jobs for auto mechanics and technicians in 2014, with a projected increase of 5 percent in the field through 2024.

Carving out a niche often helps in marketability: many auto mechanics become experts in certain areas, like brake repair or engine diagnostics.

Median pay for auto mechanics was roughly $37,000 in 2014, with workers in urban areas and those with specialized skills typically earning more.

Entry-level mechanics can expect to spend two to five years learning the ropes before becoming full technicians.

How to Become an Auto Mechanic: Education & Training

You have to be willing to research and learn. In this day and age, there are so
many resources available; you have to use them. The automotive industry is constantly changing and evolving. If you’re willing to read, use the Internet, watch and learn, you’ll be able to change with the times.

Brady Marchant, owner of DogOn Automotive

Holding a degree or certificate in automotive technology isn’t an absolute requirement for entry-level positions, but it’s desired by most employers, especially as automotive technology becomes more advanced. Many future mechanics take vocational or trade courses in high school to get formal training, and enter the workforce immediately upon graduating. In general, a trade school education should prepare the graduate for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examinations. From there, auto mechanics can earn certifications in various specialty areas and work their way up into more advanced positions.

Vocational & Trade School

Time to Complete: 12 months

Credential Earned: Certificate or diploma; Students should be prepared for ASE exams and certification

Applicants to an auto mechanic vocational or trade school should hold a high school diploma or GED, unless the program is part of a partnership with a local high school. Students will learn how to diagnose problems and maintain and repair vehicles of all types. Courses typically cover automotive power trains, brakes, climate control, engine repair and emissions repair. Some programs offer additional training in power and performance, diesel technology, and street rod or other specialty vehicles.

Students use a wide range of skills and technology to work on automobiles. Below is a sampling of typical courses that students take at the vocational school level.

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Basic Engine Management Systems Introduces basic principles of electricity, batteries, engine theory, component inspection, and diagnosis.
Automotive Brake Systems Provides a comprehensive overview of the design, operating principles, maintenance and service of brake systems.
Electrical Systems Students learn about the theories of basic and solid state circuitry, including body electrical systems, charging systems, starting systems and lighting systems. They may also learn about operation and service of automotive storage batteries.
Drivetrain Systems Covers the components that make vehicles move, including transmission hydraulics and clutches, transaxles, four-wheel drive, and manual clutches.
Community College

Time to Complete: 2 years

Credential Earned: Associate degree

Applicants to associate degree programs must have a high school diploma or GED, or permission from the college to begin taking courses prior to high school graduation. Students must take required general education courses in addition to those required for the major. Students gain an understanding of brake systems, suspension and steering, electrical systems and heating and air conditioning systems, in preparation to take entry-level jobs and complete the ASE exams.

Automotive coursework is generally similar between community colleges and trade schools, but in community college students will also take general education courses to gain a more well-rounded education. Some automotive classes that are usually part of the curriculum include:

Course Description
Manual Transmission-Drivelines Students learn about manual transmissions/transaxles and driveline components, including the function, construction, operation, inspection and troubleshooting of these devices.
Automatic Transmissions Students look at the function, construction, operation, servicing and troubleshooting of transaxle automatic transmissions and rear-wheel drive systems.
Electronic Fuel Management Systems Covers automotive fuel and emissions controls, focusing on microprocessor control systems.
Apprenticeship Program

Time to Complete: 2,000 to 8,000 hours on the job (2 to 4 years), plus classroom time

Credential Earned: Certificate of completion

An apprenticeship program allows students to learn the trade through on-the-job training, giving them real-world experience that translates into marketability in the workforce. Programs may require a high school diploma or GED, although some are open to students in the last two years of high school. Many programs also allow students to choose a specialty area, such as body repair, servicing or transmission repair. Students also learn administrative and business management skills. Graduation requirements may include both work time and classroom time, but vary depending on the program.

Components of an Apprenticeship Program:

Not all apprenticeship programs require classroom time, but some have it built into the program. Students can expect apprentice programs to include:

Progressive learning

On-the-job training typically begins with routine maintenance and service, such as replacing broken parts. From there, students move on to more complex tasks that involve diagnostics or hydraulic equipment. Advanced training sessions offered through manufacturers may be part of the program.

Area-specific training

Students get training in skills specific to their specialty. Those specializing in diesel will study powertrain and ignition systems, for example, while electronics will be emphasized in general maintenance.

Technical skill development

Students learn skills in specialized technical areas such as welding and soldering.

General business skills

Because apprentices work in actual repair shops, they’re exposed to all areas of running a business, including keeping records or ordering supplies.

Supporting education

Some programs may include courses in support areas such as English, math, and general business.

Before Enrolling: Mechanic School Checklist

  • Small class sizes

    Small class sizes help students receive individualized instruction, and often afford more hands-on time with equipment. They also allow students to build relationships with instructors and fellow students.

  • Overall program cost

    Look at the total cost of a program, including tuition, textbooks, tools or materials fees, and testing fees. Apprenticeships, unlike community college or vocational school programs, allow students to earn an income while training for their careers.

  • Available resources

    Take a campus tour to assess the resources available at the school. Consider services such as career counseling and academic assistance (such as tutoring or additional hands-on time).

  • School accreditation

    Ensure the school is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). This accreditation makes students eligible to sit for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam upon graduation.

  • Specialties available

    Students interested in a specialized area of automotive mechanics should check that it’s offered. Some schools allow students to take specialized classes concurrently with other courses, while others stipulate that basic requirements are met first.

Job & Salary Outlook for Auto Mechanics

From getting to work to shipping goods, the American economy runs on cars and trucks. As more vehicles hit the road, the career outlook for auto mechanics continues to grow. Auto mechanics are able to work in nearly any community across the country, though salaries are typically tied to the cost of living. In addition to opportunities as automotive service technicians, mechanics can also work in a variety of specialties such as body and glass repair, small engines, or diesel service. Overall, the need for specialty mechanics is growing faster than the need for service mechanics, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read on for more information about the various specialties and the job outlook for each.

Automotive Service Technicians & Mechanics

Job Growth: 5%

Annual Salary: $37,120

Typical Education: Postsecondary, non-degree

Automotive service technicians and mechanics identify problems with vehicles and test parts and systems to ensure they are in good working order. They perform basic car maintenance, such as oil changes, checking fluid levels and rotating tires, and make recommendations for the safety of the vehicles. They are employed by auto dealers, maintenance shops, and parts and accessory stores, often working evenings and weekends. About 10 percent of auto mechanics in the U.S. are self-employed.

Automotive Body & Glass Repairers

Job Growth: 9%

Annual Salary: $39,260

Typical Education: High school diploma or GED

Automotive body and glass repairers work in body shops on vehicles that have damage due to an accident. They realign car frames, weld replacement parts, and apply new finishes to restored body parts. They also repair or replace windows. Body and glass repairers generally work long hours and must lift and manipulate heavy objects.

Diesel Service Technicians & Mechanics

Job Growth: 12%

Annual Salary: $43,630

Typical Education: High school diploma or GED

Diesel mechanics work on trucks, buses and other equipment. They diagnose issues common to diesel vehicles and make repairs to engines, exhaust systems, emissions systems and brakes. Usually working with large vehicles, diesel mechanics use a variety of power and machine tools like pneumatic wrenches, grinding machines and welding equipment. About 19 percent of diesel mechanics work in the truck transportation field, and another 10 percent work for state and local governments.

Small Engine Mechanics

Job Growth: 4%

Annual Salary: $34,130

Typical Education: High school diploma or GED

A small engine mechanic works on small power equipment, from dirt bikes to chainsaws. The job generally requires the use of small hand tools, compression gauges and voltmeters. Small engine mechanics also use computerized equipment to calibrate the engines of higher-end vehicles. Many small engine mechanics work for vehicle dealers, while about 13 percent work in lawn and garden supply stores.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Top 5 States with the Highest Concentration of Auto Mechanics:

State Employment Employment per 1,000 Jobs
1 West Virginia 4,610 6.51
2 Montana 2,720 6.15
3 Maine 3,580 6.10
4 Missouri 16,060 6.01
5 Vermont 1,800 5.98

Highest-Paying States for Auto Mechanics:

State Annual Mean Wage (2014)
1 District of Columbia $52,560
2 Alaska $52,050
3 New Jersey $46,240
4 Massachusetts $45,250
5 Maryland $44,950

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Mechanic Licenses & Certifications

While obtaining certification is not required for auto mechanics, it does demonstrate a commitment to improving skills, and some individual employers may require national certification. Auto mechanics typically seek the following certifications to move ahead in their careers and boost credibility in the profession:

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

This certification is issued by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and is available to automotive technicians who have two years of on-the-job training or one year of work experience plus a two-year degree. More than 40 different certification tests cover nearly every facet of the industry. Practice tests are available on the ASE website, as well as a detailed list of what to expect on test day. Mechanics must retest every five years to keep their certifications current.

ASE Master Certification

Experienced technicians who want to move forward in their careers can earn this certification, which applies to specific areas. Applicants take a series of tests in their chosen specialties, which include automobiles, truck equipment, school buses, collision repair, diesel engines, brakes, suspension and steering, and electrical/electronic systems. Tests are available throughout the year at testing centers across the country, and individuals must retest every five years. The certification is administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Essential Skills & Experience for Auto Mechanics

  • Customer service

    Mechanics need to be able to customers what is wrong with their vehicles, and outline the steps and involved in repairing them. No one wants to feel like they’re being gouged by high prices at the repair shop, so mechanics should be able to clearly explain all costs.

  • Troubleshooting ability

    Sometimes figuring out what’s wrong with a vehicle is a guessing game, requiring a mechanic to diagnose the problem by eliminating others. Mechanics should be skilled in interpreting a car’s “symptoms” to diagnose problems, and understand how unaddressed problems may cause others.

  • Identifying solutions

    Auto repairs are often expensive, so mechanics should be able to suggest less expensive solutions if possible, and explain to customers the relative benefits of various options. A good mechanic will take the time to educate customers so they can make informed decisions.

  • Technical expertise

    Automotive repairs require a gamut of tools, from the most basic screwdriver on up to advanced electronic equipment or heavy machinery. Mechanics should be familiar with an assortment of tools and their specialized uses. In addition, as automotive technology evolves, mechanics should take the time to stay on top of the latest developments.

  • Hands-on experience

    There’s no substitute for practice and on-the-job experience. Exposure to multiple problems and types of vehicles broadens a mechanic’s knowledge base and hones the necessary skills needed to address both common and uncommon issues.

Additional Resources

  • Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association

    The main mission of this nonprofit trade association is to provide information to the general public, but it also represents the interests, policies and purposes of companies that provide auto maintenance and repair services.

  • Automotive Service Association

    Since 1951, the ASA has worked to advance the professionalism of the auto repair industry. It educates and represents members through various services and resources.

  • AVI On Demand

    Designed for industry professionals, this website offers fee-based online courses, ASE test prep, and some free courses.

  • Diagnostic News

    Sponsored by AVI, this online tool helps keep mechanics up-to-date on the latest news in the automotive industry. It also has a library of tips and articles and a Q & A section.

  • International Automotive Technicians Network

    The iATN is an international network of automotive professionals that promotes the growth, success and image of automotive professionals.