An Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology program features detailed shop courses that allow students to gain practical, hands-on experience and demonstrate their troubleshooting skills when diagnosing various mechanical problems. After completion of such a program, graduates can pursue a master technician certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Prospective students should have an interest in car mechanics and be skilled and knowledgeable about the various tools most commonly used in the profession. The only educational prerequisite for most community colleges is a high school diploma. However, many schools will accept applicants who have a GED certificate instead.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology
In addition to core car mechanics classes, general education courses are required in order to complete the 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology program. Some of these general education classes cover topics such as writing and communication, which are important to the car repair profession. Some possible classes include:
- Auto electronics
- Emission control
- Business communication
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics was expected to increase by 5% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reported that as of May 2015, the annual median salary of automotive service technicians and mechanics was $37,850.
Continuing Education Information
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a master technician certification. Eight tests are required for mechanics seeking the master technician certification for automobiles. Once a candidate passes the exams, the certification is valid for five years, at which point recertification is required.
Two years of full-time work experience are required before a mechanic is eligible to take the tests. However, if a candidate has two years of post-secondary education in the field, this can be substituted for one of the two years of work experience.
Most 2-year mechanic associate programs offered by community colleges or vocational schools allow students to get hands-on experience in the field of car repair. Master technician certification can then be acquired through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and could lead to additional employment opportunities.