Automotive Technology Associate Degree Program Overview
While many automotive technicians and mechanics learn their trade on-the-job, some choose to enroll in academic degree programs at vocational schools or community colleges. Some programs provide general training in automotive repair, while other programs focus on specific vehicle manufacturers.
Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology
Associate's degree programs in automotive technology provide students with a technical understanding of various automotive systems. Students learn how to recognize the many components that go into making automobiles run and how to use this knowledge to diagnose and repair malfunctions. Most degree programs in the field place a heavy emphasis on diagnostic procedures, as well as repair, maintenance and general automotive servicing skills.
Degree programs in automotive technology have the primary goal of preparing students for entry-level positions as mechanics or technicians. Besides classroom work, students must complete a number of hours working on actual vehicles. Some programs include internships at local automobile dealerships or repair shops.
Students are often required to have a high school diploma or GED before they can enroll in automotive technology degree program. Some schools recommend that high school students interested in entering the automotive repair field take classes in workshop technology, science, algebra and English.
Automotive technology degree programs are often broad-based and include courses in a variety of automotive systems. Specific coursework may include:
- Brake systems
- Manual transmission
- Automotive electrical systems
- Steering systems
- Fuel and emission control systems
- Engine repair
- Automotive air condition
- Vehicular safety testing
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree in automotive technology can prepare graduates for several entry-level positions in the fields of automotive repair, maintenance, sales and manufacturing. Specific jobs may include:
- Mechanic and automotive technician
- Dealership service specialist
- Automotive manufacturing technician
- Automotive repair shop operator
- Automotive parts department manager
Certification may not be required for a career in this field, but many mechanics and technicians voluntarily earn certification to prove their competency in specific areas of repair. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a number of certifications for professionals (www.ase.com). ASE certifications include collision repair, automobile service and underbody specialist. Certification candidates must pass an examination based on their specialty and have a specific amount of work experience.
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