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Schools for Aspiring Vehicle Mechanics

Vehicle mechanics diagnose, repair and maintain cars and light-duty trucks, performing routine services such as oil changes and tire rotations. Current professionals and aspiring mechanics can enroll in automotive technology training and degree programs.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), completion of a vocational training or degree program and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification are typical requirements for vehicle mechanics. Appropriate programs can be found at community colleges and technical institutes.

Vehicle Mechanics Schools

These schools offer auto repair programs, and may combine hands-on training with classroom learning:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state
Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL 2-year, Public Certificate $2,506 in-state, $9,111 out-of-state
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Associate's $1,974 in-state, $8,610 out-of-state
Honolulu Community College Honolulu, HI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,910 in-state, $7,902 out-of-state
Austin Community College Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,550 in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
Erie Community College Buffalo, NY 2-year, Public Associate's $5,189 in-state, $9,784 out-of-state
Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's's $4,203 in-state, $5,670 out-of-state
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI 2-year, Public 18-week training program, Certificate, Associate's $3,051 in-district, $6,027 in-state, $8,715 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students should keep these considerations in mind when choosing a school:

  • School facilities should have a workshop equipped with advanced diagnostic technology and specialized training in brakes, air conditioning and electrical systems are important to aspiring mechanics.
  • Car manufacturer partnerships and certification exam preparation can be found at some schools.
  • Some programs allow students to get hands-on experience working on customers' cars.

Training Programs

Training programs can be completed in 18-51 weeks, and night classes may be available for working students. These programs may lead to certificates or diplomas, depending on the school.

Associate Degree Programs

Candidates for ASE certification may substitute a formal degree program for one year of the 2-year experience requirement (www.ase.com). Some associate degree programs are geared for working professionals, requiring students to gain employment with a manufacturer or repair shop prior to enrollment.

Students who are interested in becoming auto mechanics may find programs available at the certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree levels. Considerations for choosing a program include a school's facilities and whether it allows for hands-on training and prepares students for certification.

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