Online auto repair technician programs are usually offered at the undergraduate level in the form of diploma programs, but there are also certificate and associate degree options in this field. However, due to the hands-on nature of auto repair, online auto repair technician diploma programs are rare.
These diploma programs may be completed in less than one year, since the coursework does not require any general education classes. Students will learn about automotive tools and machinery, engine repair, auto body design and brake systems, to name just a few subjects.
Auto Repair Technician Diploma
Completion of this program can prepare students with the basics of automotive repair, from simple tune-ups to troubleshooting common engine problems. Online programs typically include a variety of courses covering automotive systems, automotive repair and engine performance. Students can also learn the basics of engine construction and operation.
Additionally, there are a variety of other diploma, certificate and associate degree programs available in fields related to auto repair, some of which may be offered online. Many of these programs allow students to specialize in a more specific aspect of auto repair.
Possible fields of study include motorcycle repair technology, diesel service technology, and automotive service technology.
Program Information and Requirements
With open enrollment, students can start their program at any time. All textbooks and materials are usually included in the program costs, and all exams are taken online. Students need a computer with at least a Windows XP or a Mac OS system and high-speed Internet access. Online auto repair technician diploma programs do not typically have any general education requirements. Students can access course materials and study guides online.
List of Common Courses
In addition to studying transmission and lubrication systems, automotive operations and automotive repair, other typical courses might include:
- Brake Systems - An overview of automotive brake systems with a focus on brake shoes and lines, disc brakes, drum brakes and master cylinders. Students can also learn about anti-lock braking systems (ABS).
- Ignition Systems - An introduction to ignition system operations, including conventional and electronic systems. These courses also cover components such as the battery, ignition switch and spark plugs.
- Lubrication Systems - Focusing on engine lubrication maintenance, engine oil types and oil filters, this course also covers oil leaks, tests and corrective procedures.
- Electrical Systems - The fundamentals of basic automotive electrical circuitry typically includes information about starting systems, charging systems, wiring and power circuits.
Career Information for Graduates
While automotive repair shops and automotive dealers employ the majority of automotive service technicians and mechanics, some graduates may also work in automotive parts stores, gas stations, automobile rental companies and other organizations or start their own businesses.
For statistical purposes, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups auto repair technicians with automotive service technicians and mechanics (www.bls.gov). The median salary for auto service techs and mechanics was $37,850 as of May 2015, according to the BLS, which predicted an average job growth rate of 5% between 2014 and 2024 for this profession.
Students interested in additional education may seek online diploma programs in diesel mechanics, motorcycle repair and small engine repair. An associate degree in automotive service management technology is also available; some courses may be offered online.
Certification is available through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Their Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is not mandatory but is common for experienced automotive service technicians. Certification requires passing an exam and having at least two years' experience in one of eight areas, including engine repair, brake systems and electrical systems. Technicians must pass all eight examinations to earn ASE certification as a Master Automobile Technician.
Although there are few online diploma programs in auto repair, those that do exist are offered completely online and have no general education requirements. Further education is available through certificate and associate degree programs in related specialty areas, which may also be available online.