Massachusetts Automotive Classes
Those seeking training to enter this field or advance their careers can choose from certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree programs typically found in technical schools or community colleges. Several programs are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Learn about the curricula, hands-on training and length of programs for two schools. The table at the end of this article also gives additional details about each option.
- Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is located in Boston and offers a certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree in automotive technology.
- Mount Wachusett Community College, located farther north, in Gardner, offers a certificate and an associate's degree in automotive technology.
Comparison of Schools
After comparing the program requirements above, aspiring automotive technologists and technicians might want to learn more details about these two schools. The table below provides info on tuition, enrollment and graduation rate for each school.
|Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||Mount Wachusett Community College|
|School Type||4-year, private, non-profit||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||507*||4,336*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Rural|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)||$16,950*|| $5,188 (in-state)*
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||99%*||84%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014-2015)||100% (open admissions)*||100% (open admissions)*|
|Retention Rate (2014-2015)||Not reported*||61%*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students who began in 2008)||47% (students who began in 2008)*||16% (students who began in 2011)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Founded in 1908, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers 15 certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs for its annual student population of about 600. Individuals interested in automotive technology have three options for training in the field. These programs combine classroom and hands-on lab work to prepare students for work in the automotive industry. Faculty for all three program options are certified by the ASE and NATEF.
Automotive Technology Certificate
A certificate of proficiency is available for those looking to begin a career in the automotive field without obtaining a degree. This program typically takes 15-16 months to complete and includes eight basic courses that discuss air conditioners, electrical systems, engines, brakes, electricity and electronics.
Associate of Science in Automotive Technology
This 2-year program prepares students for careers in the automotive industry through theory-based and practical education. General education requirements include 25 credits in English, mathematics, physics and the humanities. Degree-specific courses include 47 credit-hours in electricity and electronics, electrical systems, brake systems, air conditioning, suspension, transmissions, engines, fuel and servicing. A large portion of the program allows students to work on vehicles in the instructional garage, preparing them for careers as manufacturer's representatives, technicians, diagnosticians and machinists.
Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology
A bachelor's degree in automotive technology may allow graduates to achieve management positions in the industry. On top of the technical and general education aspects, this program also consists of business and management courses. Employment opportunities for graduates are increased due to partnerships between Ben Franklin Institute of Technology and local dealerships as well as national manufacturers.
Mount Wachusett Community College
Mount Wachusett Community College has over 40 degrees and certificates available between its four locations and an online distance-learning division. During the 2008-2009 school year, over 10,000 students enrolled in both credit and non-credit courses. Students interested in automotive training can earn a certificate or associate's degree in automotive technology; both programs are approved by the ASE and NATEF.
Automotive Technology Certificate
This certificate program can be completed through one year of daytime classes. Students learn about automatic and manual drivetrains, electrical systems, engine repair, performance, diagnosis, brakes, suspension and steering. Applicants to the program should have reading comprehension and communication skills, the ability to analyze and draw conclusions, and the physical ability to work on their feet and lift heavy equipment. Individuals also must be able to work in the standard automotive shop environment, which may involve loud noises and vehicle emission fumes. Career options for certificate-holders may include service technician, diesel mechanic, small engine mechanic and shop manager.
Associate in Automotive Technology
Unlike some automotive technology programs, Mount Wachusett Community College's does not provide manufacturer-specific training. This allows enrollees to gain generalized experience that can be more broadly applied. Students gain the skills necessary to perform diagnosis and repairs on systems and parts throughout a vehicle. They may also choose to take advantage of the 3-credit cooperative education course to gain hands-on work experience through an employer while in school.
This associate's degree program takes two years to complete and follows the same first-year curriculum as the certificate program described above. During their second year, students complete their general education requirements in English, mathematics, science, health and the humanities. Upon completion of the program, graduates may chose to start a career in the same areas as certificate-holders, or they can opt to continue their education at a 4-year school through transfer agreements held by the college.