Houston Schools for Automotive Repair Technology
Automotive technicians repair and maintain cars and other vehicles. Some individuals enter this career with just hands-on training, but others complete a certificate or associate's degree program in automotive technology. This article looks at three schools, none more than half an hour from downtown Houston, that offer training programs in this field. There is also a table of important information that prospective students can use to compare schools in areas such as enrollment and costs. At the end of the article is a little information about other Houston-area schools with automotive technology programs.
- Lone Star College System is the largest of the three schools and offers certificate and associate's degree programs in automotive technology. It is about 20 miles from downtown Houston.
- Houston Community College gives students the option to select either an associate's degree or certificate program and is right in the city of Houston, about seven miles from the city center.
- San Jacinto Community College, 23 miles from downtown Houston, also offers associate degree programs. Students at San Jacinto can choose to study a specific make of automobile to gain specialty knowledge.
Comparison of Schools
The following table spotlights important information about these schools and allows students to compare them.
|Lone Star College||Houston Community College||San Jacinto Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||72,336||57,120||30,509|
|Campus Setting||Small city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees 2017-2018*||$1,600 in-district; $3,403 in-state; $3,760 out-of-state||$1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state||$1,500 in-district; $2,580 in-state; $4,140 out-of-state|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)*||55%||62%||50%|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)*||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)*||67% for full-time students||65% for full-time students||72% for full-time students|
|Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2014)*||12%||18%||28%|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Lone Star College System
The Lone Star College System offers an associate's degree program in automotive technology at its North Harris campus, roughly 20 miles from downtown Houston. Students who complete this program can sit for relevant certification exams offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
General Automotive Service Tech Certificate
This program is non-credit bearing. Students spend a total of 544 contact hours in classes on automotive service and the major automotive systems.
Automotive Service Technician Certificate Level I
Students can complete this program in just nine months and apply credits towards the level II certificate or the AAS program. Overall, students take four courses worth a total of 16 credits. Students look at electrical, brake, suspension and steering systems after getting an intro to automotive technology.
Automotive Service Technician Certificate Level II
In 15 months, students can earn the Level II certificate, which can also be applied toward the associate's degree program. Over the course of three semesters, students complete 45 credits worth of courses. This program also includes a co-op experience to get hands-on training.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technician
This associate's program provides a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge for aspiring service technicians. Coursework in technical calculations, chemistry, electronics and engine repair provides the necessary knowledge to work in the automotive repair field. The program takes about two years to complete.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College serves over 63,000 students and has certificate, degree, transfer and workforce training programs. The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) certifies the automotive technology program. Courses taught by ASE-certified instructors prepare students for careers in the industry.
Automotive Technician Certificate
While the automotive technician certificate program provides the same core technical courses as the degree program, students pursuing this option focus solely on technical skills. Topics include brake systems, suspension and steering, electrical systems and engine work. Students are also required to complete capstone courses as part of their curricula. The program takes about three semesters to complete.
Associate of Applied Science: Automotive Technician
The associate's degree program for automotive repair technicians includes the same core courses as the certificate program. Students also complete general education classes in math, writing, the humanities and the fine arts. A total of 60 credit hours is required in order to complete this 2-year program.
San Jacinto Community College
The three campuses of San Jacinto Community College (SJCC) are located in Harris County and offer academic and technical courses, degrees, certificates and continuing education programs. Through the Automotive Technology Department, students learn about the latest technologies in the field and prepare for careers as service technicians, shop foremen and more.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology
The associate's degree program combines technical coursework with general education courses in humanities, English composition and social sciences. Students are trained by ASE-certified instructors according to nationally recognized standards and learn through lectures, demonstrations and practice. The associate's degree program is considered sufficient preparation for students who wish to take ASE examinations. Students may also pursue an associate's degree in automotive technology with a specialization in Honda, GM, Ford or Chrysler vehicle repair.
Other School Options
Prospective automotive technicians can find other academic institutions within 50 miles of downtown Houston, TX. Located roughly 27 miles from downtown in Baytown, TX, Lee College has an associate's degree program in automotive technology. Another school with automotive technology training is Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX, about 50 miles from downtown Houston.