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Auto Mechanic Courses in San Francisco, CA with Degree Summaries

Oct 31, 2018

Research auto mechanic courses in San Francisco, which currently has 13 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 20 miles of downtown and decide which program is right for you.

San Francisco Auto Mechanic Programs

Students in the San Francisco area who are interested in auto mechanic courses can choose from a variety of program options offered by public schools. This article examines three schools that are within a 35-minute drive from the city center. It also includes a table that offers a side-by-side comparison of important statistics from each school, such as enrollment, school types and tuition. There is a brief paragraph at the end of the article that gives information about a few other schools offering auto mechanics programs.

  • City College of San Francisco , located right downtown, offers certificate programs in various aspects of auto mechanics as well as an associate's degree program.
  • Skyline College, about 7 miles from downtown, also offers associate degree programs and some certificate programs.
  • Students may also look at the College of Marin in nearby Kentfield, about 17 miles from the heart of San Francisco. This school offers two certificate programs with auto mechanic courses in addition to an associate's degree program.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a school to study auto mechanics should consider many factors. The following table offers a quick way to compare these three schools and make a sound decision.

City College of San Francisco Skyline College College of Marin
School Type Two-year; public Four-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 26,299* 9,235* 5,749*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,598 in-state; $9,010 out-of-state* $1,447 in-state; $8,136 out-of-state* $1,490 in-state, $9,320 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 59%* 46%* 54%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 returning Fall 2017) 72% for full-time students* N/A 72% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 32% (Students who started Fall 2014)* 25% (Students who started Fall 2011)* 30% (Students who started Fall 2014)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

City College of San Francisco

The City College of San Francisco was founded in 1935 and offers an associate degree program that can help prepare students for professional mechanic work. Students can also find auto mechanic training through a variety of certificate programs offered at the school.

Engine Repair Specialist Certificate

This short program can teach students how to diagnose and repair common auto engine issues. Students take two courses totaling 11 credits and are prepared to take the engine repair certification test that's administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Associate in Science: Automotive Mechanics

Students in the automotive mechanics program should be prepared for entry-level positions in the automotive technology industry. Courses include automotive electrical, brakes, suspension and alignment and engine performance. Students will learn how to diagnose and repair engine components, ignition problems and diagnostic system failures.

Skyline College

Skyline College is located in San Bruno and opened in 1969. Automotive students can choose from two associate degree programs and a variety of certificate programs. Students may have the option to choose from morning, afternoon or evening program plans.

Certificate of Specialization in Automotive Technician: Entry-Level

This program requires the completion of at least nine credits. Students learn about the fundamentals of auto technology and learn entry-level skills needed to work in the auto service industry.

Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Technology: Advanced Engine Performance Tech

Students must complete 19-23 credits to earn this certificate, 15 of which come from an automotive engine performance course. This program also includes a course covering the basics of automotive technology.

Associate in Science: Automotive Technology

Skyline's automotive technology program offers students an overview of automotive systems and how to work with those systems. Students must complete 60 credits to obtain the degree, with 45 of those credits make up courses focused on automotive concepts. Required courses include auto electricity and electronics, engine diagnostics and drive train diagnostics.

Associate in Science: Automotive Technician

Students also have the option to pursue the automotive technician curriculum track. This program teaches students to repair and maintain automotive electrical systems, transmissions, brakes and chassis. This program also requires at least 60 credits, but only 40 of those credits consist of automotive-related courses.

College of Marin

The College of Marin was established in 1926 and has a degree and certificate programs that include courses useful to automotive mechanics.

Certificate of Achievement in Auto Emissions Technology

Students will need to complete 19 credits in order to earn this certificate. Courses cover automotive maintenance, automotive engines, specialized electronics training and automotive basic fuels systems.

Certificate of Achievement in Auto Electrical Technology

For this certificate program, students will need to complete 17.5 credits. Courses cover electrical systems, smog check inspector training and computer controls.

Associate of Applied Science: Automotive Master Repair Technician

This degree requires the completion of 56.5 credits. In addition to basic courses in welding, math and machine technology, students can expect to take a variety of courses covering all of the different systems found on a vehicle. Required courses include brakes and suspension, fuel systems, electrical systems, drive trains and alternative fuels.

Other School Options

Students have no shortage of automotive training options in the San Francisco area. Automotive associate degrees and certificate programs are also available at the College of Alameda, Contra Costa College, Chabot College and De Anza College, which are all less than 40 miles from the San Francisco area.

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