Online Mechanic Schools: How to Choose a School

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online mechanic school. Read more to get an overview of the program options, hands-on requirements, and common topics offered for the field of study.

When looking for an online mechanic program, consider the focus of the program as well as the internships/assistantships available in your area. Most mechanic programs culminate in the awarding of a diploma.

How to Select an Online Mechanic School

An online school for mechanics can be judged based on the type of program and the hands-on elements that it provides for students. Auto, diesel and motorcycle mechanics programs are available from a handful of online colleges; many of these are for-profit institutions.

Program Type and Focus

There are several different types of online education programs for mechanics. Among them are programs for auto mechanics, motorcycle mechanics and diesel mechanics, as well as several other more minor types. Each type of program focuses on different aspects of being a mechanic, such as engine repair and body repair. Students should compare programs and choose the type of program that best fits their needs.

Hands-On Program Elements

A mechanic's job involves a great deal of hands-on work in maintaining and repairing automobiles. Online programs are not well suited to teaching hands-on concepts and processes. This means that students will have to seek outside resources to gain hands-on experience. Normally, colleges and trade schools make a list of all the classes required for a particular degree or certificate available for prospective students to review. In comparing institutions before enrollment, students should consider which will best prepare them for the hands-on aspects of their future career.

Available Online Mechanic Programs

Online Auto Mechanic Career Diploma

An online diploma program for auto mechanics trains students in the techniques and skills needed to repair small cars and trucks. Students read each lesson in the program, review the applicable multimedia material and complete a test online. Tests are returned to instructors for grading, usually via email. The program covers topics such as:

  • Engine parts
  • Lubrication systems
  • Ignition and fuel systems
  • Braking systems
  • Suspension and braking

Online Diesel Mechanic Career Diploma

A diesel mechanic career diploma trains students in diesel engine repair for trucks or large vehicles, such as large earth moving equipment or farm machinery. The lessons are normally presented via textbook and communication is handled asynchronously through email. Hands-on training can be gained through a voluntary internship or apprenticeship. Students in this program learn about:

  • Automotive engine basics
  • Specialty tools and equipment
  • Transmission systems
  • Emergency procedures
  • Computerized systems

Online Motorcycle Mechanic Career Diploma

Motorcycle mechanic career diplomas normally concentrate both on small engine repair and on the maintenance and repair of the various parts of a motorcycle. An online or hybrid motorcycle mechanic career diploma may offer a direct association with a company, such as Harley Davidson or Honda, in order to certify students to work on particular types of motorcycles. Students in a motorcycle mechanic program turn in assignments over the Internet and communicate with teachers via e-mail. Topics of study for this program include:

  • Transportation systems theory
  • Design parameters
  • Drivetrains
  • Electrical fundamentals
  • Troubleshooting and maintenance

Schools with Online Mechanic Programs

Through Ashworth College, students can get a diploma to become a diesel mechanic. The program may take only 4 months to complete, but can be spaced out for working students. Resources include email and phone communication for assistance and animated lab simulations.

Penn Foster Career Schools program options include an auto repair technician program. Graduates are prepared for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams. Students can also receive credit for arranging their own internships, although this is not required for program completion.

Online mechanic programs typically have a focus, such as diesel, automotive, or motorcycles. Due to the manual nature of the job, it is a good idea to seek out opportunities for hands-on work/learning experiences to supplement online training.

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