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Schools for Aspiring Service Writers: How to Choose

Service writers estimate and calculate the cost of repairing vehicle damage in auto repair shops and dealerships. Certificate and associate's degree programs in automotive service provide training in this area. Read on for four things to consider when choosing a service writer school.

Certificate and associate's degree programs in automotive service, automotive service advising, and automotive service sales and marketing all provide instruction in service writing. They can be found at two-year community and technical colleges throughout the U.S.

10 Schools with Automotive Programs

Service writing students will find programs suitable for their learning needs at the following colleges:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Arapahoe Community College Littleton, CO 2-year, Public Certificate $3,334 in-state, $13,052 out-of-state
Red Rocks Community College Lakewood, CO 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,429 in-state, $13,145 out-of-state
New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI 4-year, Private Associate's $23,031
Pennco Tech Blackwood, NJ 2-year, Private Certificate $21,095
Spokane Community College Spokane, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,388 in-state, $8,726 out-of-state
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA 4-year, Public Associate's $15,810 in-state, $22,470 out-of-state
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,115 in-state, $7,992 out-of-state
Hill College Hillsboro, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,220 in-district, $2,910 in-state, $3,310 out-of-state
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati, OH 2-year, Public Associate's $3,825 in-state, $7,393 out-of-state
WyoTech Blairsville, PA 2-year, Private Associate's $29,250

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for a service writer school:

  • Determine whether the program has been accredited by the National Institute for Auto Service Excellence, which is required to obtain certification as an Automotive Service Consultant.
  • Some schools may offer internships or other networking opportunities.
  • Service writing is offered through many different programs, so be sure to read through the curriculum closely and ensure your chosen school meets your needs.

Automotive Service Certificate

These programs consist of an average of nine classes and last approximately three months. Students take a core sequence of classes in which they learn about general auto mechanics, including braking, suspension, engine and electrical systems.

Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service

Students in these 2-year programs complete general education and field-specific courses. Some programs emphasize management skills. Internships at local repair shops or dealerships are usually included.

Community and technical colleges are the most likely to offer programs suitable for aspiring service writers, providing students with the means to work in the field. Certificate programs generally last a few months and give a broad overview of auto mechanics, while associate's degree programs give a more thorough introduction as well as providing students with more real-life experience through internships.

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