Students who participate in high performance or motor sports automotive technology certificate programs spend most of their time learning to modify engine components, such as carburetors and fuel injection systems, to improve horsepower and overall performance. In addition to hands-on training, programs can include instruction in the science behind engine performance.
Prerequisites for most programs include a high school diploma or GED. Some may only admit applicants who have already completed an associate's degree or automotive technology certificate program.
High Performance/Motor Sports Automotive Technology Certificate Program
This type of certificate program will provide students with the advanced technical knowledge and skills to work in a NASCAR setting. Coursework may include topics like automotive drive trains and welding, as well as learning how to machine cylinder heads, use a dynamometer to perform tune-ups, and participate in an engine teardown and rebuild. Other common course themes include:
- Engine assembly
- Electrical systems
- High performance tuning
- Steering and suspension
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of these certificate programs can find employment with part or tool manufacturers, automotive machine shops, and automotive repair shops. Race teams might also hire qualified automotive service technicians and mechanics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 1% decrease in employment opportunities was projected for automotive service technician and mechanic professionals through the 2018-2028 decade. They earned an average annual salary of $40,710 as of May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Even though automotive technicians are not required to earn certification, the BLS states that many of these professionals do hold credentials from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certifications are available to applicants with two years of work experience and passing scores on exams. Those interested in the engine performance certification will be tested on their knowledge of such topics as ignition systems diagnosis and repair, computerized engine controls diagnosis and emissions control systems. Every five years, professionals must retake these tests to maintain certification.
Associate degrees are also available in motor sports automotive technology. Earning this degree allows graduates to apply for positions beyond the entry level.
Students in high performance/motor sports automotive technology certificate programs learn to modify car engines to improve performance, skills which are necessary to work in a NASCAR environment. Certifications from the ASE are not required for professionals to work in the industry, but many automotive technicians hold these certifications in order to highlight their areas of expertise.