Prospective students must first decide how much time and money they are willing to commit to learning the auto repair profession. Both certificate and degree programs emphasize diagnosis and repair skills, but the associate's degree covers additional topics, and there may be professional considerations as well.
Schools with Auto Repair Programs
Auto repair colleges can be found around the country. These private and public schools mainly offer programs at the associate's and certificate levels to provide you with the necessary education to enter the auto repair field. Read more about a few institutions below:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||In-State Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Arkansas State University-Beebe||Beebe, Arkansas||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's Degree||$3,480|
|Atlanta Technical College||Atlanta, Georgia||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,746|
|Beaufort County Community College||Washington, North Carolina||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's Degree||$2,368|
|Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||Boston, Massachusetts||4-year, Private||Certificate, Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree||$16,950|
|Blue Ridge Community and Technical College||Martinsburg, West Virginia||2-year, Public||Associate's Degree||$3,696|
|Central Carolina Technical College||Sumter, South Carolina||2-year, Public||Certificate||$5,075|
|Dodge City Community College||Dodge City, Kansas||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's Degree||$2,850|
|Oakland Community College||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's Degree||$5,235|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, Virginia||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's Degree||$5,138|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Associate's degree and certificate programs provide the foundation for a career in automotive repair. With so many programs throughout the country, there are several factors to consider when looking for your ideal school:
- Students should think about the time commitment they're willing to make: a certificate program can be completed in as little as two semesters, while associate's degrees require 2 years to complete.
- Graduates of associate's degree programs are best suited to reduce the work experience requirement for certification, which is worth considering for students who want ASE certification as soon as possible.
- Mechanics must learn about the latest diagnostic tools and technology, so up-to-date training equipment and facilities at a school are important.
- Look for schools that offer internships as part of the program, since hands-on, real-world experience is critical.
Most auto repair certificate programs can be completed in two semesters. Classes include a laboratory component where students have the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience. Courses cover the major areas needed to perform basic engine diagnosis and repair functions. Some of the topics covered include precision tools, automotive brake systems, heating and air conditioning, suspension and steering and automotive technology theory.
Associate's Degree Program
Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in auto repair are required to complete general education courses in addition to courses in auto repair. Much like a certificate program in auto repair, students develop repair and diagnosis skills in a garage. Additional topics covered in an associate's degree program include engine performance analysis, electrical lighting, manual drive train and axle, engine removal and installation and automatic transmission. An internship may also be required to complete the degree.
Students interested in professional work in auto repair can choose from programs at the certificate or associate's degree levels. Professional certification through the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence can give you an extra edge in the job market, so potential students may want to seek out a program that helps them prepare for certification.