This article will help you discover what you have to gain from completing an education program in automotive repair technology. It then gives a few examples of these programs, the courses they offer and the job outlook for those who complete a program.
Individuals interested in an automotive repair career can pursue certificate, diploma and degree programs. Students begin with fundamentals and move on to more advanced skills, with ample options for hands-on experience. Such programs are offered at many community colleges and trade schools and can lead to certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Programs At a Glance
- Certificate programs in automotive tech may take 1.5 years to complete; students may also pursue a 2-year associate's degree.
- On-campus courses combine classroom learning with hands-on experience.
Automotive Systems Technology
- Including a summer semester, this is a five-semester program resulting in a diploma in automotive systems technology.
- Most of the on-campus courses include both classroom and hands on shop/lab work.
Courses in Automotive Repair Technology Adult Education Programs
Many courses, especially introductory ones, are designed for people wanting to learn to work on their own cars. You will learn such introductory automotive skills as checking and replacing fluids, jacking up the car, changing a flat tire, lubrication maintenance, battery service, changing bulbs, changing fuses, aiming headlights, checking front disc brakes and practicing safety techniques.
Slightly more advanced courses will teach skills such as wiper washer service, suspension systems, interior care (cleaning, maintenance, stains, torn upholstery), diagnosis and repair of rear brakes, electronic ignition diagnostics, basic computer system diagnostics, and dealing with electrical system problems (including shorts, broken wires, and malfunctioning lights), changing tail light sockets, adding accessories such as CD players, engine compression testing and engine vacuum testing. These courses often have both classroom and hands-on experience requirements. Hands-on experience requirements are usually met by completing scheduled lab and shop hours.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Automobile repair is usually considered a pretty 'recession-proof' industry, as people will always need their cars, and will need to find good mechanics to keep those cars running. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected automotive service technicians and mechanics to have a job growth rate of 5%, from 2014-2024. As of May 2016, their median annual salary was $38,470.
Those with an interest in starting a career as an automotive mechanic may pursue a number of training programs that will prepare them for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification. Students who pursue these programs may earn a diploma, certificate or associate's degree in automotive technology or automotive systems technology.