In the past it was near-impossible to have an online auto mechanic training program, but with interactive computer software and online lectures, programs can now offer students quality training at home during their own time. Before jumping into one of these programs, it's important to look at what level of education they offer and how they provide students with training in automotive repairs.
How to Choose a Distance Learning Auto Mechanic Vocational School
Due to the hands-on nature of the field, distance learning programs in auto mechanics are not as widely available as other programs. Students looking for such a program do, however, have a few options at various levels. When deciding on a program, students should first determine what their career goals in automotive technology are and then choose the program level and length that will best help them meet those goals.
When choosing a program, students should keep their future plans in mind. Associate's degrees and diplomas can provide valuable experience and prepare students for employment, but they focus mostly on practical mechanics skills, limiting a student's options. This may be fine for certain students, but those looking for administrative or managerial positions in the auto repair industry should consider a bachelor's degree.
How long it takes a student to complete his or her automotive studies and prepare for job opportunities is another consideration. Bachelor's degree programs generally take four years to complete. Though earning a bachelor's will be more expensive, it also provides a more comprehensive education. Associate's degrees only take two years, making them ideal for students looking to keep costs down on a shorter schedule. Diploma programs are the shortest of all, usually requiring one year or study or less.
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Distance Learning Auto Mechanic Online Programs
For students who want to focus exclusively on professional development, an auto repair technician career diploma program can be an excellent option. Curricula for these programs focus on preparing students for the exams required for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification. Online programs may include hands-on activity suggestions that students can perform, as well as options for completing work experience in their local area. ASE certification categories can include engine repair, automatic transmission, and manual drive train and axles. Specific course topics in these programs can include:
- Scientific math & principles
- Automotive safety
- Preventative maintenance
- Electronic systems
Associate's Degree in Automotive Technology
Although associate's degrees in this field aren't typically available in a fully online format, some hybrid programs are offered, as well as degree-completion programs. In a hybrid program, students complete general education courses - like math, English and communication - online, while taking their hands-on auto courses on campus. The on-campus course topics may include the following:
- Fundamentals of automotive service
- Engine repair and performance
- Transmission and transaxle
- Chassis systems
Bachelor's Degree in Automotive Management
Though relatively uncommon, these online degree completion programs are for students who hold associate's degrees in automotive technology or a related field of study. Some programs offer an emphasis in field service operations or advanced vehicle systems to individuals interested in sales and marketing careers or positions as field technical specialists. Students might also choose to focus on automotive management in preparation for careers with auto manufacturers and dealerships. Course topics in this program can include:
- Automotive materials
- Customer relations
Schools with Online Programs in Auto Mechanics
You can find a few schools that offer online training in automotive mechanics. These programs typically prepare students for certification and may even offer a certificate of completion. Penn Foster Career School offers an auto repair technician program that prepares students to take the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification Tests. This online programs uses interactive videos, terminology learning games and recorded lessons by ASE Master Technicians and other leading experts in the field. Students in this program also have access to optional real-world practical exercises.
Northampton Community College offers an online automotive technology degree-completion program that allows master ASE technicians to earn an associate's degree in automotive technology and advance their careers. Since this is an associate's degree program, students will take general education classes online in English, speech communication, science and mathematics. Their work experience and ASE certification will fulfill the credit requirements for the automotive technology portion of the curriculum.
There are several schools that offer training in auto mechanics using interactive online courses and lectures to prepare students for careers and certification, as well as online degree-completion programs for current mechanics. These programs may include some in-person coursework to give students the necessary hands-on practice with automobiles.