Auto Repair Technician: Online Diploma

Get info about online programs for auto repair technicians. Read about program requirements and course topics as well as career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online auto repair technician programs are usually offered at the undergraduate level in the form of diploma programs, but there are also certificate and associate degree options in this field. However, due to the hands-on nature of auto repair, online auto repair technician diploma programs are only available through a very limited number of schools.

These diploma programs may be completed in less than one year, since the coursework does not require any general education classes. Students will learn about automotive tools and machinery, engine repair, auto body design and brake systems, to name just a few subjects.

Related Program Options

There are a variety of other diploma, certificate and associate degree programs available in fields related to auto repair, some of which may be offered online. Many of these programs allow students to specialize in a more specific aspect of auto repair. Possible fields of study include:

  • Motorcycle Repair Technology
  • Diesel Service Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology

Online Availability Fully Online
Degree Levels Available Certificate; Associate's Degree
In-Person Requirements None

Online Auto Repair Technician Diploma Program

These programs can prepare students with the basics of automotive repair, from simple tune-ups to troubleshooting common engine problems. Online programs typically include a variety of courses covering automotive systems, automotive repair and engine performance. Students can also learn the basics of engine construction and operation.

Online Program Information and Requirements

With open enrollment, students can start their program at any time. All textbooks and materials are usually included in the program, and all exams are taken online. Students need a computer with at least a Windows XP or a Mac OS system and high-speed Internet access.

List of Common Courses

Online auto repair technician diploma programs do not typically have any general education requirements. Common courses include overviews of transmission and lubrication systems, automotive operations and automotive repair. Students can access course materials and study guides online.

Brake Systems

This class gives an overview of automotive brake systems with a focus on brake shoes and lines, disc brakes, drum brakes and master cylinders. Students can also learn about anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

Ignition Systems

Students get an introduction to ignition system operations, including conventional and electronic systems. These courses also cover components such as the battery, ignition switch and spark plugs.

Lubrication Systems

This course focuses on engine lubrication maintenance, including engine oil types and oil filters. Students can also learn about oil leaks, tests and corrective procedures.

Electrical Systems

Students can learn the fundamentals of basic automotive electrical circuitry. This course typically includes topics on starting systems, charging systems, wiring and power circuits.

Career Information for Graduates

While automotive repair shops and automotive dealers employ the majority of automotive service technicians and mechanics, some graduates may also find employment in automotive parts stores, gas stations, automobile rental companies and other organizations. Some may start their own business.

For statistical purposes, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups auto repair technicians with automotive service technicians and mechanics ( The average salary for auto service techs and mechanics was $37,120 as of May 2014, according to the BLS, which predicted a job growth rate of 9% between 2012 and 2020 for the profession. That's about par with the BLS's predicted national growth rate of 10% for all occupations over the same time period.

Continuing Education

Students interested in additional education may seek online diploma programs in diesel mechanics, motorcycle repair and small engine repair. An associate degree in automotive service management technology is also available and some courses may be offered online.

Certification is available through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Their Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is not mandatory but is common for experienced automotive service technicians. Certification requires passing an exam and at least two years experience in one of eight areas, including engine repair, brake systems and electrical systems. Technicians must pass all eight examinations for ASE certification as a Master Automobile Technician.

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