Automotive technology certificate programs either focus on a specific area of automotive repair, or they provide broad knowledge of several aspects of the field. Classes may cover tire technology within the curriculum, but classes exclusively covering tires are uncommon. Most programs provide classroom lectures and hands-on automotive technology experience opportunities.
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs usually consist of a broad range of topics in car, truck and van repair. Students learn about gasoline and diesel engines, automotive climate control and braking systems. Students work directly with vehicles in order to practice proper repair and maintenance techniques.
Automotive Technology Certificate
Automotive technology certificate programs encourage the development of the skills used to diagnose and fix problems with cars, trucks and vans. Students learn about the mechanical and electrical systems of vehicles. The topics listed below are usually discussed:
- Automobile safety
- Automobile accessories
- Automotive suspension systems
- Automobile steering systems
- Braking systems
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Associate's Degree in Automotive Technology
Associate's degree programs teach students to diagnose a range of automotive issues and to accurately fix various components. Some classes offered may cover tire technology as part of a larger framework on safety features or accessories. Students often take courses on the following subjects:
- Engine maintenance
- Transmission repair
- Automotive electronics
- Automotive diagnostics
- Wheel alignment
Popular Career Options
People who earn a certificate or an associate's degree in automotive technology may qualify for entry-level positions in automotive repair shops and car dealerships. People who are interested in tire technology often choose a career working with automotive accessories, or they work as general automotive mechanics. Many people choose one of the careers of automotive engine specialist, electrical system repair specialist, or transmission technician.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service technicians and mechanics have a projected job growth rate of 5% from 2014-2024. As of 2015, their median annual salary was $37,850. The BLS also reported that tire repairers and changers made a median annual salary of $24,220.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Many employers seek mechanics that have earned Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. To become certified, people must have at least two years of work experience in their areas of expertise, and they must pass a written examination. ASE certification is available in eight concentrations, including engine repair, automotive electronics and brake systems.
Individuals with an interest in working with automotive tires may not find a degree or diploma program for tire technicians specifically, but automotive technology certificates and associate's degrees in automotive technology offer classes that teach students what they need to know to work with auto accessories like tires.