Selecting rigorous online programs can be tricky, but this article is here to help by covering some key factors to consider when making a school decision. Read about the certificate and associate degree car mechanic programs available in online or hybrid formats.
How to Select an Online Car Mechanic School
Professional online programs in auto repair are designed to offer students the necessary training to pursue a career as a car mechanic. Online auto repair programs focus on the eight fields of car repair and offer adequate preparation for professional certification exams. Programs tend to combine video lessons with practical exercises that students do at home on their own vehicles. A very small number of community colleges also offer online associate degree programs for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified mechanics wishing to advance their careers.
Online car mechanic training can be found in certificate, diploma and associate's programs. Both are short programs that can often be completed in a year or less. Some schools offer general automotive repair programs, while others offer training centered in more specific areas, such as transmissions or diesel engines. Programs in motorcycle repair are also available.
Online programs in automotive repair offer options for enrollment in both entirely online and low-residency (hybrid) programs. Due to the hands-on nature of automotive repair, hybrid programs can benefit students by providing first-hand experience working with cars in school facilities. Fully online programs offer virtual field experience though video lectures, simulations and detailed drawings and demonstrations through online platforms.
Because of the hands-on nature of auto repair, students will want to look for programs that require them to complete hands-on practical exercises on their own cars. Some programs also offer internship possibilities working in a garage.
Students should seek programs that prepare them for the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam. This certification is not mandatory, but it is preferred by some employers.
List of Popular Online Programs in Automotive Repair
Online Certificate in Auto Repair
Students gain familiarity with the tools and techniques used by auto mechanics by following online interactive exercises and animations as well as reading charts and detailed guides. Classes detail and explain the operation of the various systems of a modern automobile such as suspension, fueling and cooling. As part of the program, students receive preparation for the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence certification exams. This online program aims to provide students with basic knowledge in all automobile service areas, such as:
- Automotive engine parts and operations
- Computerized engine control
- Antilock brake systems
- Transmissions and suspensions
- Engine troubleshooting
Online Associate Degree in Automotive Technology
To enter this program, individuals must already be ASE-certified. Students may be able to substitute some of their prior training for college credits. This program includes general education classes along with advanced automotive and business subjects, such as:
- Service area
- Automotive shop management
- Automotive HVAC
- Manual transmission drivelines
- Electronic fuel management systems
Schools with Online Car Mechanic Programs
Penn Foster Career School allows students to take an auto repair technician certificate program entirely online. This program prepares students to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification tests. They do not guarantee that this program covers legal employment requirements in every state, so checking with regulatory boards prior to enrollment is strongly recommended.
An associate's degree in automotive technology is awarded by Northampton Community College upon completion of their online program. However, this program includes ASE certification as a prerequisite; it is designed for practicing technicians seeking a career promotion or a shift in specialization. A literacy college placement test is also required.
A few online certificate and associate's degree options are available for those who seek or hold ASE certification. However, it may be easier and more beneficial for aspiring car mechanics to seek hybrid programs due to the manual nature of the job.