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Fresno, CA Auto Mechanic Schools with Program Summaries

The Fresno, CA, area has several colleges that offer auto mechanic programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 45 miles of downtown Fresno, and make an informed education decision.

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Auto Mechanic Schools in Fresno

Students who want to receive auto mechanic training in the Fresno area have several colleges from which to choose. This article looks at three public schools no more than 45 minutes from downtown Fresno and at the automotive technology degree and certificate programs they offer. There is also a table of information that prospective students should know about each school, such as size, costs and the percentage of students graduating on time.

  • The College of the Sequoias in Visalia provides an associate's degree program and several certificate programs in automotive technology. It is about 43 miles from downtown Fresno.
  • Automotive technology students who prefer a shorter commute can take advantage of the associate's degree or multiple certificate programs at Fresno City College, which is only three miles from the city's downtown area.
  • Reedley College in Reedley, CA, offers an automotive certificate and an associate's degree program that trains students in 10 automotive specializations. Reedley is about 10 miles from the Fresno city center.

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Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a school for automotive mechanics studies need to consider many aspects. This table puts some important statistics together in a way that makes it simple to compare these schools.

College of the Sequoias Fresno City College Reedley College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 10,647* 22,307* 14,633*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large city Distant town
Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $1,388 in-state; $6,988 out-of-state* $1,194 in-state; $6,834 out-of-state* $1,194 in-state; $6,834 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 83%* 85%* 74%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (Fall 2013 returning Fall 2014) 70% of full-time students
48% of part-time students*
67% of full-time students
43% of part-time students*
66% of full-time students
44% of part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2011) 25% (7% transfer-out rate)* 18% (7% transfer-out rate)* 25% (9% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

College of the Sequoias

College of the Sequoias offers students an associate's degree program and several certificate programs in automotive technology through its Industry and Technology Division. These programs combine classroom instruction with hands-on training.

Automotive Technology Certificates

College of the Sequoias offers two types of certificate programs with auto mechanic training. Skill certificates are awarded for programs that require less than 18 credits to complete, and certificates of achievement are awarded to students who successfully finish the coursework for programs that require 18 or more credits. College of the Sequoias provides the following seven skill certificate programs in the automotive technology field: air conditioning, brake systems, chassis, electrical, emissions, engine and power train systems. Each skills certificate program requires the complete of three or four courses focused on the particular system in the certificate title.

The college also offers a Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Technology (Basic) that requires students to earn 38 credits. Students can complete the required courses for this certificate in one year. This certificate is designed to give students broad knowledge of automotive systems and teach them how to diagnose and repair vehicles in auto shops. Some of the required courses include power train systems, brake systems, air conditioning and suspension/steering systems.

Associate of Science in Automotive Technology

This degree program requires students to earn 60 credits, which include 38 credits of the same coursework required for the Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Technology (Basic) and 19 credits in general education courses. Courses required for the automotive technology major include introduction to automotive technology, engine performance, suspension/steering systems, automatic transmissions and engine systems. This program is intended for students who plan on entering the workforce upon graduation.

Fresno City College

Fresno City College was the first community college in the state and currently offers several associate's degree and certificate programs for students seeking employment in the automotive industry. This school has general and advanced training options for aspiring auto mechanics.

Automotive Technology Certificates

Fresno City College offers two different types of certificate programs in various specialties within the automotive technology field. Students who complete a certificate program that requires at least 12 credits can earn a certificate of achievement. Fresno City College offers a certificate of achievement in automotive technology that requires the completion of 71 credits. The certificate of completion program offers training in three main specialties: chassis, power train and emissions.

Associate of Science in Automotive Technology

This college offers two associate's degrees that prepare students for entry-level employment as auto mechanics. The curriculum for the associate's degree in automotive technology is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and requires 68 credits for graduation. Students learn how to diagnose and repair various automotive systems and are required to complete eight hours of cooperative occupational work experience.

Fresno City College also offers an associate's degree for the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program, which is certified by NATEF and General Motors (GM) Corporation. This program requires 74 credits to obtain the degree and provides advanced training specifically focused on diagnosing and repairing GM vehicles.

Reedley College

Instructors in the automotive technology programs at Reedley College have been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and are knowledgeable about domestic and foreign vehicles. Students who complete the degree or certificate program at this school are prepared to take several exams, including the ASE exams for auto mechanic certification.

Automotive Technician Certificate of Completion

Students in this program attend classes for 30 hours a week and receive 1,100 hours of training. Topics covered include automatic and manual transmissions, engine performance and emissions, suspension and steering, engine repair and safety. The school provides tools for students enrolled in this one-year program.

Automotive Technician Associate in Science

This program requires the completion of 60 credits. Students can learn how to diagnose and repair brakes, engines, differentials, steering systems, clutches and many other automotive systems. Upon completion of the program, students should be qualified to enter the workforce at the advanced apprentice level.

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