In addition to completing core and elective coursework along with laboratory experiences, students in these 4-year bachelor's degree programs may be given opportunities to specialize in various areas of automotive technology. Program graduates could also be qualified to sit for examinations that lead to Automotive Service Excellence certification.
For entry, students should have a high school diploma or GED. Schools may also require standardized test scores, a minimum grade point average, an interview, or for applicants to have an associate degree in automotive technology.
Bachelor's Degree in Automobile Maintenance
A bachelor's degree program in automobile maintenance technology prepares students to work in several automotive industries while showing them how to work on modern, high-tech automobiles. While enrolled, students may learn about both the technical and the managerial aspects of the industry. While there are several undergraduate options for formal training, a bachelor's degree may prove to be a necessary advantage when it comes to looking for a job.
Programs may instruct students on the use of emerging computerized shop equipment used for modern-day automobiles. Learning general maintenance and discovering how to test cars are but two examples of what programs will most likely teach. Depending on the institution, future mechanics may be required to fulfill other general coursework requirements in order to receive their degrees. Students may also have the opportunity to learn about sales if they have an interest in that area of automobile technology. Other coursework may cover these areas:
- Automotive technology
- Safety management
- Alternative fuels
- Engine assembly
- Human relations
Popular Career Options
Graduates of automobile maintenance technology programs will be prepared to work in field service, fleet supervision, and technical support, among other options. Programs may offer internships to students or assist them with job placement, and some automobile manufacturers may seek out graduates of particular colleges in order to recruit them. Viable career options also include these:
- Transmission technician
- Facilities manager
- Automobile body specialist
- Air-conditioning & brake repairer
- Automotive technician
- Front-end mechanic
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
In 2015, automotive service technicians and mechanics earned an annual median salary of $37,850, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). During the decade spanning 2014-2024, the BLS projected a 5% job growth for these workers, which was about as fast as the average for all occupations at that time.
Several automotive technicians carry ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification. Certification isn't mandatory, but it can be common or expected in heavily populated areas. Technicians who are certified could possibly make more money and become more valuable to employers. Technicians have to pass an exam, and they must have at least two years of experience in order to become certified. Among the eight areas of certification are engine repair, brake systems, electrical systems, and heating and air-conditioning.
For students looking to go into the automotive industry as mechanics, technicians, or managers, a bachelor's degree in automotive maintenance is available. Typical studies include engine assembly and hydraulics, preparing students for careers such as a transmission technician, front-end mechanic, or facilities manager.