Online Schools with Automotive Technology Programs: How to Choose

Given the hands-on nature of automotive repair, online automotive technology programs aren't very common. Learn more about the courses you might take in a partially online program, and check out a couple of important factors to consider when choosing a school.

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There are many factors to consider when selecting where to attend in order to earn an online automotive technology award. Some of these include the program levels offered as well as the focus of these programs, as well as the format for learning.

How to Select an Online Automotive Technology School

Though traditional, on-campus education programs are much more common for automotive technicians, hybrid, and fully online certificate and degree options are available. A few community and state schools offer automotive technology programs with online components. Students must then weigh the degree level with the program format.

Degree Level and Focus

Automotive technology programs are available at multiple education levels, and students often choose a program based off of their desired career. At the certificate level, automotive technology programs include a curriculum designed for those who wish to maintain and repair automobiles. As degree level increases, the scope of automotive technology programs grows to encompass additional areas that prepare students to advance into management or supervisory positions, such as customer service, technical support, payroll, business management, and sales. Some online certificate programs are also available for current automotive technicians looking to prepare for industry certification exams.

Program Format

Automotive technology programs with online components are either fully online programs or hybrid programs that require on-campus labs or hands-on training. Fully online programs often use interactive programs, videos and animation to teach students. Prospective automotive technology students who learn better by doing may want to consider a hybrid program that allows them to learn by working with actual automobiles.

Online Automotive Technology Program Options

Automotive Service Technician Certificate

Certificate programs for automotive service technicians are available as fully online programs. Distance learning students often learn through online quizzes, animations, and illustrations. Common courses in these programs include:

  • Suspension and steering
  • Automobile electrical systems
  • Engine types and fundamentals
  • Lubrication systems

Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology

Online associate degree programs in automotive technology usually offer lectures and general coursework online, while still requiring students to attend campus for hands-on training in automobile maintenance and repair. The program coursework covers the systems and electronics within a car, including:

  • Transmissions
  • Automotive brake service
  • Climate control
  • Engine performance

Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology

Bachelor's degree programs in automotive technology can be found in both hybrid and fully online formats. Some programs are designed around the business aspects of automotive technology, such as billing, customer service, or sales. Other online bachelor's degree programs are designed specifically in automotive repair and include classes in:

  • Safety management
  • Customer service
  • Structural analysis
  • Introduction to metallurgy

Schools with Online Programs in Automotive Technology

Penn Foster Career School offers an online certificate in automotive technology, preparing students for working with a variety of common automobiles and vehicles. Lasting approximately six months, this program combines online lectures and coursework with informative videos and option real world experience opportunities to create a well-rounded curriculum. Graduates should be qualified to earn Automotive Service Excellence certification and any necessary state licensure needed to offer their services to the public.

At the Pennsylvania College of Technology, students can earn a fully online Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology Management. Designed as a two-plus-two program, most students who pursue this program already have an Associate of Applied Science degree in a relevant field, using their existing knowledge as a foundation to learn more advanced and technical automotive skills. Supervising and management techniques and information are also covered. Students will likely need to own or rent a list of tools in order to perform coursework.

Program levels, format, length, and focus are all critical factors in deciding what kind of online school to attend when earning your automotive technology education.

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