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Auto Repair Technician: Online Diploma

Learn about online diploma programs for auto repair technicians. This article provides an overview of the coursework and remote learning format that you can expect during an online auto repair diploma program. Get information on courses, requirements, career outlook and salary to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Online auto repair technician programs are usually offered at the undergraduate level in the form of diploma programs, but there are also certificate and associate degree options in this field. However, due to the hands-on nature of auto repair, online auto repair technician diploma programs are only available through a very limited number of schools.

These diploma programs may be completed in less than one year, since the coursework does not require any general education classes. Students will learn about automotive tools and machinery, engine repair, auto body design and brake systems, to name just a few subjects.

Related Program Options

There are a variety of other diploma, certificate and associate degree programs available in fields related to auto repair, some of which may be offered online. Many of these programs allow students to specialize in a more specific aspect of auto repair. Possible fields of study include:

  • Motorcycle Repair Technology
  • Diesel Service Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology

Online Auto Repair Technician Diploma Program Overview

These programs can prepare students with the basics of automotive repair, from simple tune-ups to troubleshooting common engine problems. Online programs typically include a variety of courses covering automotive systems, automotive repair and engine performance. Students can also learn the basics of engine construction and operation.

Online Program Information and Requirements

With open enrollment, students can start their program at any time. All textbooks and materials are usually included in the program, and all exams are taken online. Students need a computer with at least a Windows XP or a Mac OS system and high-speed Internet access.

List of Common Online Auto Repair Technician Courses

Online auto repair technician diploma programs do not typically have any general education requirements. Common courses include overviews of transmission and lubrication systems, automotive operations and automotive repair. Students can access course materials and study guides online.

Brake Systems

This class gives an overview of automotive brake systems with a focus on brake shoes and lines, disc brakes, drum brakes and master cylinders. Students can also learn about anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

Ignition Systems

Students get an introduction to ignition system operations, including conventional and electronic systems. These courses also cover components such as the battery, ignition switch and spark plugs.

Lubrication Systems

This course focuses on engine lubrication maintenance, including engine oil types and oil filters. Students can also learn about oil leaks, tests and corrective procedures.

Electrical Systems

Students can learn the fundamentals of basic automotive electrical circuitry. This course typically includes topics on starting systems, charging systems, wiring and power circuits.

Career Information for Graduates

While automotive repair shops and automotive dealers employ the majority of automotive service technicians and mechanics, some graduates may also find employment in automotive parts stores, gas stations, automobile rental companies and other organizations. Some may start their own business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 723,400 automotive service technicians and mechanics working in the U.S. as of 2010 (www.bls.gov).

The average salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $38,560 as of May 2011. The BLS also predicted that the number of automotive service technicians and mechanics would grow 17% between 2010 and 2020.

Continuing Education

Students interested in additional education may seek online diploma programs in diesel mechanics, motorcycle repair and small engine repair. An associate degree in automotive service management technology is also available and some courses may be offered online.

Certification is available through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Their Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is not mandatory but is common for experienced automotive service technicians. Certification requires passing an exam and at least two years experience in one of eight areas, including engine repair, brake systems and electrical systems. Technicians must pass all eight examinations for ASE certification as a Master Automobile Technician.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics