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Auto Mechanic Schools in San Jose, CA with Degree Descriptions

Research auto mechanic schools in San Jose, which currently has at least six schools offering programs. Read an overview of programs, admission info and program requirements for three San Jose schools that are 50 miles or less from downtown and decide which program is right for you.

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San Jose Auto Mechanic Schools

There are a number of options available in San Jose for individuals interested in auto mechanic training. This article looks at three schools within a 50-minute drive of the city and the programs they offer. It also includes a table of information that prospective students can use to compare the schools and make sound decisions regarding their training. At the end of the article is a listing of some other San Jose-area schools with automotive technology programs.

  • Chabot College is a two-year public school 26 miles from downtown San Jose that offers a certificate and an associate's degree program in the field of automotive technology.
  • The City College of San Francisco is a public school that offers a certificate and associate's degrees related to automotive technology. It is 50 miles from downtown San Jose.
  • De Anza College is only about 11 miles from downtown San Jose and offers multiple auto technology programs at the certificate and associate's degree levels.

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Comparison of Schools

The following table makes it easy for individuals to compare these schools in important areas such as costs, size and graduation rates.

Chabot College City College of San Francisco De Anza College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 13,047* 23,610* 23,104*
Campus Setting Midsized city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,138 in-state; $6,970 out-of-state* $1,598 in-state; $7,554 out-of-state* $1,542 in-state; $8,382 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 71%* 55%* 50%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (Fall 2013 to Fall 2014) 76% of full-time students* 70% of full-time students* 81% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2011) 28% (15% transfer-out rate)* 27% (15% transfer-out rate)* 59% (8% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Chabot College

Chabot College offers two associate's degrees and several certificates of achievement related to automotive technology. Certificate program options include automotive maintenance technology, automotive engine performance technology, automotive chassis technology, automotive engine machining and automotive drivetrain technology.

Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Maintenance Technology

Courses in this 25.5-credit certificate program include automotive fundamentals, electronic/electrical fundamentals, air and fuel delivery and advanced engine performance. Students can earn this certificate in two years. Students also receive hands-on training throughout the program.

Associate in Science in Automotive Technology

Students must complete core automotive courses, such as automotive braking systems, automotive suspension and automotive manual transmissions. Students get to pursue one emphasis, which is selected from the five certificate programs available at the school. Chabot College also offers a BMW manufacture training emphasis, which can prepare students for work at American BMW dealerships. Students who complete the program can pursue employment in service stations, garages and fleet shops.

City College of San Francisco

Students at City College of San Francisco can pursue certificate programs designed for automotive diagnosticians, transmission specialists, brake/suspension specialists, engine repair specialists and general automotive technicians. The school also offers an Associate in Science degree program that can prepare students for entry-level mechanic positions.

Certificate of Completion - Automotive Diagnostician

This certificate program requires completion of 48 credit hours. Courses include introductory automotive mechanics, engine performance and engine repair.

Associate in Science - Automotive Mechanics

This National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-approved program has received accreditation from the National Automotive Teachers Education Foundation (NATEF). Courses include automotive electrical, engine repair, brakes/suspension/alignment and automatic/manual transmissions. Incoming students may receive credit for pre-apprentice training that can be applied towards this associate's program.

De Anza College

De Anza College offers daytime or evening certificate and associate's programs for aspiring auto mechanics. The school also offers a Toyota T-TEN program and even offers some automotive courses during the summer. Graduates of these programs may pursue careers as service managers or automotive technicians. De Anza College has seven full-time faculty members who are ASE certified.

Certificate of Achievement

This school offers multiple certificate programs for aspiring auto mechanics. Students who complete a certificate program at De Anza College can continue on to an associate's program if they choose.

The basic engine performance technology program requires 21 credits and includes courses in electrical systems, auto electronics and electrical schematic diagnosis. The advanced engine performance technology certificate program requires 57 credits and can teach students to use diagnostic equipment, analyze automotive systems and work with automotive electrical systems. The automotive machining and engine repair technology program requires student to complete 18 credits, and the advanced version of the program consists of 48 credits.

Associate in Science in Automotive Machining and Engine Repair Technology

This program can prepare students for entry-level diagnostic work. Course topics include auto electronics, machining and engine repair, auto mechanisms and high-performance engines. Students must also complete 31-42 credits of general education coursework to earn the degree.

Associate in Science in Advanced Engine Performance Technology

This program can teach students how to diagnose, document and troubleshoot automotive systems. The program requires a total of 90 credits and includes courses in ignition analysis, fuel injection and scan tool diagnosis.

Other School Options

Automotive mechanic programs are also available at Contra Costa College, located 47 miles from San Jose, Los Medanos College, which is less than 45 miles from San Jose and College of Alameda, located roughly 33 miles from San Jose.

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