In New Jersey, aspiring automotive technicians can complete courses as well as an undergraduate certificate or associate degree program at 9 public and private, not-for-profit colleges statewide. Completing one of the programs detailed in this article can qualify students to sit for certification exams through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Many employers prefer to hire certified technicians, and passing these exams allows mechanics to work in various specialized areas, including automobiles/ light trucks, auto maintenance/ light repair, collision repair/refinishing and truck equipment. Read on to learn about the programs offered at these 9 schools and the tuition information for each school.
Brookdale Community College
Lincroft's Brookdale Community College offers 2 associate degree programs for individuals interested in careers in automotive technology. Students can choose from an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology or an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology - GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) option. The A.A.S. in Automotive Technology includes courses in heating and air conditioning, drive trains and transmissions, brake systems and automotive electronics. The GM ASEP option includes study of automotive systems, steering, suspension, alignment, brakes and engine performance, as well as an internship at an approved GM dealership.
Camden County College
At the Blackwood campus of Camden County College, students can pursue 2 associate degree programs or a certificate program related to automotive technology. The Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (Apprentice) is a 66-credit-hour program that combines general education courses with professional education that meets standards set by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The program includes 300 hours of work study at a local service center, giving students the opportunity to practice safety and repair skills learned in the classroom.
The Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology - GM ASEP option is a 75-credit-hour program that requires support from a General Motors dealership. Students in this program need to have a good driving record and pass the Automotive Service Educational Program qualifying test. Students participate in 9-week sessions of dealership experience 4 times throughout the program. Dealership experiences offer uniforms and compensation.
The Automotive General Technician Certificate is a 44-credit-hour program that gives beginning and experienced auto mechanics knowledge and skills in current automotive technologies. Interactive courses provide students with general automotive experience in engine repair, drive train overhauling, electrical system diagnostics and parts installation. Students also participate in 300 hours of work experience at affiliated service centers.
Rowan College at Gloucester County
Sewell's Rowan College at Gloucester County offers an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology. This Ford ASSET program is offered as a partnership between the school, the Gloucester County Institute of Technology and Ford Motor Company. The full-time, 2-year program includes courses in automotive electrician systems, service fundamentals, front-end suspension, manual and automatic transmissions and HVAC for automobiles, along with 3 semesters of cooperative work experience that begin in the first semester. Each term of cooperative work experience lasts 10 weeks and takes place at a local Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealership. Students also complete general education courses and take a course in automotive history.
Mercer County Community College
In West Windsor, Mercer County Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology program, in which students gain hands-on experience through a series of internships. Students choose from 2 study tracks: comprehensive studies or the Chrysler College Automotive Program. This latter program focuses on Chrysler-specific vehicles and allows students to work at Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep dealerships as apprentice technicians. Summer session attendance is required in these programs. Courses include manual and automatic transmissions, automotive service fundamentals, fuel systems, engine service and automotive emissions.
Ocean County Vocational-Technical School
In Toms River, Ocean County Vocational-Technical School offers 2 technical prep programs in automotive technology, focusing on automotive and diesel engine technology or automotive technology. Both programs are 900 clock hours. The automotive and diesel engine technology program includes study of auto and diesel technologies for cars and light trucks. Students learn about a range of topics in the automotive industry, from engine repair to parts specialist or service consultant tasks. Students may be able to earn college credit after completion of this course.
The automotive technology program includes study of maintenance service and car repairs. In addition to shop safety and use of tools, students learn about engine performance and repair, electrical systems, brakes, steering and suspension. At the end of the course, students may sit for ASE certification tests. Through agreements with local colleges and universities, the school offers the opportunity for students to earn college credit for completion of this program, as well.
Raritan Valley Community College
Students at Branchburg-based Raritan Valley Community College can earn a certificate of professional competency as an automotive entry technician in just 4 semesters by taking courses at the main campus as well as at an instructional site in Bridgewater. The certificate program includes courses in fuel systems and emission control, manual and automatic transmissions, advanced automotive diagnosis and automotive theory.
Sussex County Community College
At the Newton campus of Sussex County Community College, students can earn either an Associate of Applied Science or certificate in Automotive Service Technology through evening courses on a part-time basis. They take courses in automotive engine performance, brakes, suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning, manual transmissions and automotive transmissions. Students also spend 675 hours in an automotive repair facility.
Union County College
Cranford-based Union County College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology on its campus in Scotch Plains in cooperation with Union County Vocational Technical School. Major-specific courses include automotive manual and automatic transmissions, steering and suspension, AC and heating, engine performance and engine repair. Students may be able to complete internships, apprenticeships or cooperative education experiences.
Union County Vocational Technical School
In Scotch Plains, students can take a yearlong course in automotive technology at Union County Vocational Technical School. Students train in 4 modules: brakes, steering and suspension, electrical and engine performance. The course covers computer-controlled antilock brakes and diagnosis. Students learn to diagnose and correct problems based on customer complaints. Each concept includes hands-on training in a simulated ASE shop.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Automotive Technology Courses, Certificates and Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Brookdale Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural|| Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology - GM ASEP option
|$4,869 (in-district); $7,963 (in-state); $8,663 (out-of-state)*|
|Camden County College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Automotive General Technician Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (Apprentice),
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology - GM ASEP option
|$4,320 (in-district); $4,440 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|Rowan College at Gloucester County||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology - Ford ASSET program||$4,470 (in-district); $5,310 (in-state); $9,420 (out-of-state)*|
|Mercer County Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology||$4,206 (in-district); $5,394 (in-state): $7,638 (out-of-state)*|
|Ocean County Vocational-Technical School||< 2-year, public; large suburb|| Course in Automotive and Diesel Engine Technology,
Course in Automotive Technology
|Raritan Valley Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Automotive Entry Technician Certificate||$4,612 (in-district); $5,692 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|Sussex County Community College||2-year, public; fringe town|| Automotive Service Technology Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology
|$6,750 (in-district); $8,850 (in-state); $10,950 (out-of-state)*|
|Union County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology||$5,140 (in-district); $10,280 (in-state and out-of-state)*|
|Union County Vocational Technical School||< 2-year, public; large suburb||Course in Automotive Technology||$5,500*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator