An automotive technology certificate program can typically be completed in one year or less. Graduates can pursue entry-level positions as mechanics or technicians, and they may qualify for certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
A high school diploma is needed for this certificate program. Hands-on training is required through most programs.
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Automotive Technology Certificate
In addition to traditional courses in a classroom, students may gain practical experience servicing automobiles and trucks through cooperative education programs. Common course topics include:
- Automotive electronics
- Engine performance analysis
- Brake, suspension, and electrical systems
- Automotive engine removal and installation
- Automatic and manual transmissions
- Drive train and axles
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of these certificate programs are prepared for automotive technician and mechanic positions in various settings, including automotive repair shops, maintenance shops, and dealerships. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for automotive service technicians and mechanics was expected to increase by 5% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the mean annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $40,720, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Automotive technicians may advance their careers through experience and by keeping up with the latest technologies and certifications. With additional training and experience, they may become service managers, estimators, or educators. Students may be able to apply some of the course credits earned in certificate programs toward an associate's degree.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers eight different forms of voluntary certification in areas like brake systems, engine repair, and air conditioning systems. Certification is not a requirement in this industry, though it can be preferred, expected, or required by certain employers, according to the BLS. For certification in any of the eight possible areas, automotive technicians must possess at least two years of professional experience in the field. Technicians who complete all eight certifications earn the Master Automobile Technician credential.
Those who strive for a career as an automotive technician, can earn an automotive technician certificate where they can get hands-on training and course room lectures. Upon graduation, students can seek voluntary certification for various systems in a car.