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Automotive Engineering Technology School and Training Program Info

Automotive engineering technology training is available at a wide variety of program levels, from certificate programs to master's degree opportunities. Education at lower levels focuses on learning the automotive trade and engine repair, while education at higher levels includes instruction in physics, engineering theory and vehicle dynamics.

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How to Select an Automotive Engineering Technology Program

Programs in automotive engineering technology are available at community colleges, technical schools and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Career goals
  • Specialty course offerings
  • Scheduling options
  • Practical experience opportunities

Career Goals

Students who want to become automotive engineers should consider bachelor's or master's degree programs. Students who would like to assist automotive engineers as technicians might consider attending community colleges, technical schools or vocational schools to earn a certificate or an associate's degree. Those who are considering earning optional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) should consider programs that help prepare for the exam and guarantee compliance with national standards (www.ase.com).

Specialty Course Offerings

There are a considerable number of specialties in automotive engineering technology training programs, such as motorcycles, small engines, heating and air conditioning. Students with a specific interest can look for schools that offer specialty courses.

Scheduling Options

Both night and day programs are available for students desiring a flexible schedule. While undergraduate degree programs usually require on-site training and education, some master's degree programs offer distance-learning options in addition to on-campus courses.

Practical Experience Opportunities

Hands-on lab work on campus is almost always mandatory. Many bachelor's and master's degree programs include affiliations with professional societies that offer internship opportunities where students can gain work experience while associating with industry professionals.

Automotive Engineering Technology Program Overviews

Automotive Engineering Technology Certificate

Certificate programs in automotive technology generally offer one year of training, which can give a student the fastest route to basic automotive technology knowledge. Most of the courses can be applied to associate's degree programs should a student wish to obtain more education. Courses incorporate hands-on training and cover the fundamentals of:

  • Automotive engines
  • Systems
  • Electronic components

Associate of Science in Automotive Technology

These 2-year degree programs offer education that is most likely transferable to bachelor's degree programs. Some programs may require an internship. Common courses focus on these topics:

  • Engine construction and repair
  • Ignition and fuel systems
  • Suspensions
  • Drive trains
  • Emission controls

Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology

Automotive engineering technology bachelor's degree programs typically take four years to complete. Students may be required to complete a capstone project during their final year, or they may need to complete an internship. These programs include courses in the following:

  • Technical drawing
  • Engine theories
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Suspension systems

Master of Science in Automotive Engineering

These 2-year programs focus on the theory and practice of vehicle dynamics. Students may be able to work with faculty members to design their own curricula based on their individual interests. Some programs allow students to choose from thesis and non-thesis program options. Course topics include the following:

  • Hybrid and electrical vehicles
  • Engineering analysis
  • Automobile powertrains
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