Portland Auto Mechanic School Options
Several schools near Portland, Oregon, offer automotive technology training. This article looks at three schools that are no more than 25 miles from the city center. It also includes a table of information that enables prospective students to see how the schools compare in areas such as enrollment and costs. A few other Portland-area schools that offer automotive technology programs are mentioned at the end of the article.
- Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, about 22 miles from Portland, offers an associate's degree program in automotive technology.
- Students who want to receive training on a specific brand of vehicle can enroll at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, approximately 17 miles out from Portland. This school offers associate's degree programs that focus on Chrysler, Ford, Honda or vehicles manufactured by independent companies. The school has a light repair and maintenance certificate program as well.
- A little more than eight miles from downtown, Portland Community College offers the shortest commute and the lowest tuition costs of these three colleges. It has certificate and associate's degree programs that can prepare students for jobs in the automotive service technology field.
Comparison of Schools
The following table offers information that can help individuals make a decision about their education.
|Clackamas Community College||Mt. Hood Community College||Portland Community College|
|School Type||Two-year; public||Two-year; public||Two-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||7,302*||9,276*||30,929*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Large city|
|Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)||$4,268 for in-state students; $11,918 for out-of-state students*||$4,841 for in-state students; $10,016 for out-of-state students*||$3,766 for in-state students; $8,374 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||72%*||82%*||50%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2016)||N/A - open admissions*||N/A - open admissions*||N/A - open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2014)||50% of full-time students; 33% of part-time students*||55% of full-time students; 35% of part-time students*||60% of full-time students; 44% of part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (of students who began in 2011)||22%*||23%*||15%*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.
Clackamas Community College
The automotive technology program at Clackamas Community College teaches students the skills needed to maintain and repair passenger cars and light trucks. Students who complete this program receive an associate's degree, and they can count professional upgrade courses toward the program requirements.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology
This degree program requires students to complete at least 93 credits. Topics covered include heating and air conditioning, fuel and emissions, brakes, chassis, transmissions and engine repair. Students also learn shop management and basic welding techniques used for automotive repair. This program also allows students to enter in any term.
Mt. Hood Community College
Mt. Hood Community College offers four associate's programs that are geared toward working with specific vehicles. Depending on the program chosen, students are prepared for employment as automotive service technicians at Chrysler, Ford or Honda dealerships or dealerships that service imports and vehicles manufactured by independent companies.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology
This auto mechanic program is a cooperative venture between Mt. Hood Community College and local auto dealerships and repair facilities. Core auto mechanic courses cover internal combustion engines, automotive electronics and power train systems. The program consists of on-campus learning and on-the-job training at the one of the participating automotive facilities.
Students in this program can specialize in Chrysler, Ford, or import and independent manufacturers. They become paid staff members at local dealerships as they learn how to perform company-specific automotive services and repairs. The program offers a significant amount of hands-on training and can give students manufacturer-specific automotive employment experience.
Portland Community College
Portland Community College offers an associate's degree program and a two-year certificate program in automotive service technology. Students enrolled in these programs receive a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Automotive Service Technology Two-Year Certificate
This program focuses only on automotive concepts, unlike the degree program that also includes general education courses. Students enrolled in this comprehensive auto mechanics program take courses in brake systems, engine performance, climate control systems, steering, manual and automatic transmissions and electrical systems. Students must complete 77 credits of coursework to receive this certificate.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology
In addition to 77 credit hours of auto instruction, students in the associate's degree program take 16 credit hours of general education courses. Coursework includes engine systems, suspension systems, manual drives and trans-axle repair. Students also take part in a cooperative education experience, which allows them to work on vehicles while under the supervision of an experienced mechanic.
Other School Options
Clark College in Vancouver, WA, offers several certificate and associate's programs in automotive technology. Chemeketa Community College in Salem provides an associate's degree program and a variety of certificates in the automotive technology field. Students who prefer a small city setting can enroll in the automotive technology associate's program at Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA.