Tampa, FL, Auto Mechanic Training Schools
Individuals interested in becoming auto mechanics in Tampa have several schools from which to choose. This article profiles three that are within a 30-minute drive of downtown. All offer programs that prepare students to take various certification exams through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Also included is a table that allows prospective students to compare the schools in areas such as costs and size. At the end of the article is a little information on another area automotive technology program at a school farther from town.
- Just about a mile from downtown, Brewster Technical College offers an automotive technology certificate program that prepares students for employment as service technicians or to work in industrial vehicle management.
- The automotive technology program at Hillsborough Community College teaches students how to diagnose and repair various parts of vehicles through a certificate program. The various areas of automotive repair and technology are taught in separate segments. This school is just two miles from downtown Tampa.
- Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater, almost 19 miles from downtown Tampa, offers an automotive technology certificate program, as well as apprenticeships for aspiring auto mechanics.
Comparison of Schools
Individuals who are looking for a school at which to study auto mechanics need to consider many factors. The following table makes it simple to compare these schools in several areas that are important to prospective students.
|Brewster Technical College||Hillsborough Community College||Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||<2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||254*||27,626*||410*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$10,020 program cost for FL residents**||$2,506 in-state, $9,111 out of state*||$12,957.97 total program cost***|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)||94%*||76%*||72%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||Open admissions*||Open admissions*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||19% of full-time students*||63% of full-time, 49% of part-time students*||70% of full-time students, 71% of part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (Students began in 2014-2015)||60% overall*||30% (13% transfer-out rate)*||67% overall*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator,**Brewster Technical College, ***Pinellas Technical College - Clearwater
Brewster Technical College
Brewster Technical College provides students with technical training designed to prepare them for employment in their chosen field. The various courses and programs offered at Brewster Technical Center are offered through the Hillsborough County School's adult education programs. Career-oriented programs are available during the day and adult education courses are available in the evening. Online courses are also available at Brewster Technical College.
Automotive Service Technology Certificate Program
The 19-month automotive training program teaches students to diagnose, repair and maintain all types of vehicles. Through 1,800 hours of study, participants develop the skills to become technicians in various areas of automotive technology. Automotive courses, consisting of 150-300 hours each, cover topics such as basic vehicle maintenance and service, automotive suspension and steering, automobile brake systems, automotive electrical/electronic systems, automotive heating and air conditioning, manual drivetrain and axles, automatic transmission and transaxle, automotive engine repair and automotive engine performance.
Hillsborough Community College
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has five campus locations and three satellite centers in which to provide students with its various learning programs. HCC offers associate's degree programs, health science programs, college credit certificates, continuing education, adult vocational programs and distance learning options.
Automotive Technology Adult Vocational Certificate
This postsecondary adult vocational program requires completion of 1,800 clock hours of study. The curriculum includes courses in various areas of automotive technology, such as brake systems, electrical/electronic systems, automatic and manual transmissions, suspension and steering systems, engine repair and engine performance. In addition to classroom time, students will spend 150 hours in a cooperative education work experience to gain hands-on training and experience repairing vehicles.
Pinellas Technical Education Center
Pinellas Technical Education Center (pTEC) has two campus locations, as well as distance learning programs. Students can choose from individual courses, certificate programs and apprenticeships. The training, consisting of 60 different programs, focuses on 40 career areas. Applicants to pTEC must be at least 16 years old and not enrolled in high school. They must also take the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), provide proof of identification and participate in an interview or shadowing.
Automotive Service Technology Certificate
The automotive service technology program at pTEC is a 24-month program that requires completion of 1,800 hours of study. The program consists of two levels; students are recommended to complete the first part of the program (1,050 hours) before beginning the second (750 hours). The sequential design of these courses corresponds with many of the ASE certification exams. Some courses may be offered through distance learning. The school offers automotive services to the public, with automotive technology students performing the repairs. Students must provide their own hand tools.
Other Program Options
While the schools above are some of the closest options to the downtown Tampa area, students can also find auto mechanic training at Marchman Technical Education Center, located 39.5 miles away in New Port Richey.