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 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.