Auto Mechanic Training in San Diego, CA with Degree Summaries

There are five schools within 30 miles of San Diego that have auto mechanic degree programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

San Diego Auto Mechanic Training Schools

The San Diego, CA, area has a number of options available for individuals looking to receive auto mechanic training. Get the details on three schools, all of which are 20 minutes or less from downtown. Provided near the end of the article is a table displaying important school statistics, as well as a short paragraph discussing two other nearby schools.

  • Located 15 miles from downtown, Cuyamaca College is a public school that offers an associate's degree in automotive technology.
  • San Diego Miramar College, which is 15 miles from downtown, has the lowest tuition of all three schools profiled and has an automotive technology associate's program.
  • Southwestern College is 14 miles from downtown and offers associate's degree programs in automotive technology, as well as small engine and service repair.

Cuyamaca College

After completing the automotive technology program at Cuyamaca College, graduates can be ready for entry-level employment as mechanics. Those already employed in the field can learn specialized skills at the college.

Associate in Science in Automotive Technology

This program covers engine performance, brakes, four-wheel alignment, drive train systems and air conditioning/heating systems. Students have to supply their own hand tools and eye protection. The curriculum also includes automotive work experience, and students get to learn in a simulated shop setting. In addition to the general automotive technology program, students can also gain specialized skills working with Ford or General Motors vehicles. Students who pursue one of these specialized options get to work as paid technicians at a local dealership.

San Diego Miramar College

San Diego Miramar College offers an automotive technology program that combines hands-on training with classroom instruction. The school also offers certificates in automotive chassis, electrical, transmissions and engine performance.

Associate in Science in Automotive Technology

This program can teach individuals about safety and workplace health compliance and automotive repair data. Courses in the associate's degree program include electrical systems fundamentals, manual drive train, Honda/Toyota engine performance, suspension/steering and handling as well as an emission specialist exam qualification course. Students also receive internship training in Honda and Toyota motor sales. The program requires the completion of at least 60 credit hours of coursework, with 46 of those credit hours focused on automotive technology. The school encourages students to complete ASE certification exams.

Southwestern College

After earning an associate's degree or certificate from Southwestern College, graduates should be ready to for work as automotive technicians, service station attendants, automotive engineers or vocational teachers. All of the programs are approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and can prepare students for ASE certification exams.

Associate in Science in Automotive Technology

This associate's program requires 42 credit hours of automotive coursework in addition to general education courses. Students can expect to take courses in automotive electronics, computerized engine controls, automotive transaxles and basic automotive service. This program covers the operation of all systems found on an automobile.

Associate in Science in Small Engine Repair and Service Repair

This program is intended for students interested in entry-level employment at small engine service and repair shops. Students can learn about automotive science, basic mechanics, outboard marine engine repair, motorcycle engine repair and industrial engine repair. This program only requires the completion of 32 credits of coursework focused on engine repair to go along with the general education requirements.

Comparison of Schools

The following table compares important information and makes it easy to choose the right college.

Cuyamaca College San Diego Miramar College Southwestern College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 8,436* 12,805* 20,409*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $1,096 in-state; $6,606 out-of-state* $898 in-state; $5,290 out-of-state* $1,052 in-state; $6,372 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2011) 63%* 55%* 73%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 66%* 69%* 70%*
Graduation Rate (2011) 24% (10% transfer-out rate)* 25% (18% transfer-out rate)* 12% (8% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

Other School Options

Other institutions that have automotive mechanic training programs include Palomar College, found 30 miles from San Diego, and MiraCosta College, which is 34 miles from San Diego.

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