There are no completely online programs in automotive mechanics, but some bachelor's degree programs in automotive technology offer mechanic training along with a business management curriculum. The few online courses are recommended only for students who already have experience in automotive technology or who hold an associate's degree in the field. Bachelor degrees in similar fields, such as engineering, are available fully online.
Some automotive technology degrees allow the student to earn an associate's degree in collision or automotive repair during their first two years of study, then move into a more management-focused curriculum for the final two years. They learn about communication skills, human resources management, sales and problem-solving methods. Students must also complete general education courses.
If they aren't already certified mechanics, students should ensure that the programs they are considering will prepare them for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification examinations. ASE certification is the industry standard, and while it's not mandatory, most employers prefer to hire a certified mechanic. The certification must be renewed every five years through re-testing.
Bachelor's Degree in Automotive Technology
Online bachelor's degree programs in automotive technology often combine technical mechanic skills with business management knowledge. Emphasis is commonly placed on areas such as planning and organization techniques, field service operations, personnel management and advanced vehicle systems. Additional focus is also placed on communication, problem-solving and teamwork. Students learn about parts management, collision repair, sales promotion and insurance management.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in automotive technology may require some campus-based courses. These programs are often well-suited for associate degree holders in automotive technology or a related field. Work experience as a mechanic may also be beneficial, with students sometimes being granted credit for prior experience and ASE certification. For many courses, students are able to view video of lectures, access course materials and take exams online.
Online courses rely heavily on videos and lectures. Students should have access to a computer with a cable or DSL Internet connection and updated version of Firefox or Internet Explorer. Plug-ins such as Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Shockwave and Adobe Acrobat may also be required.
A bachelor's-level curriculum in automotive technology focuses on preparing mechanics and other students for a career in management within the automotive industry.
Advanced Topics in Automotive Technology
This course teaches students about the technical trends affecting the automotive industry. Topics cover how operating principles and society determine the changes within automotive technology. Students may discuss issues and ask questions through message boards, online forums and instant messages.
Students in this course learn about human relations, strategic planning and decision-making. The course also emphasizes coordinating financial resources, supervising employees and managing technical resources. Opportunities are available to learn through online videos which educate students on how to react in certain situations.
This course focuses on occupational health and safety. An opportunity is available to learn about hazardous materials, OSHA regulations, environmental regulations and legal liability. Students may have to complete online assignments and exams covering safety policies and procedures.
Career Information for Graduates
Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program in automotive technology are prepared for employment in service and parts management, fleet management, automotive business management and automotive insurance. They should be ready for managerial, sales, marketing and technical positions with auto manufacturers, dealerships, privately owned garages and auto franchises. Bachelor's-level automotive technology programs may also prepare students for graduate programs in a variety of areas, including management and education.
While there are no degree programs for mechanics fully online, some programs offer online classes in addition to the normal coursework and hands-on mechanic training. Credits from common courses and experience can often be put towards certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.