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Auto Mechanic Schools in Seattle, WA with Program Overviews

The Seattle area has six colleges that offer automotive mechanic programs. Learn about the certificate and degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Comparison of Automotive Mechanic Programs in Seattle

Automotive mechanics diagnose automotive issues and repair parts and systems in cars and light trucks. The Seattle area has three schools within a 10-mile radius that offer education and training in the field.

While Seattle Community College - South Campus is the only school in Seattle that offers automotive programs, two additional schools in the area include Shoreline Community College and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Shoreline Community College is located about nine miles from Seattle, while Lake Washington Institute of Technology sits in Kirkland, about 10 miles from the city.

Seattle Community College - South Campus Shoreline Community College Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Automotive Programs Offered Automotive Technician Sub-Certificates,
General Service Technician Certificate,
Automotive Technician Minor Certificate,
Automotive Technician Master Certificate,
Automotive Technician Associate of Applied Science
Automotive General Service Technician Certificate,
Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences: Chrysler College Automotive Program, General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program, Toyota Technical Education Network, Honda Professional Automotive Career Training
General Service Technician Certificate of Completion,
Auto Repair Technician Certificate of Proficiency,
Auto Repair Technician Associate of Applied Science
Related Programs Offered Auto Repair Collision Associate of Applied Science,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Associate of Applied Science
N/A Auto Repair Collision Associate of Applied Science,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Associate of Applied Science,
Motorcycle, Marine and Power Equipment Service Technology Associate of Applied Science
School Type Four-year; public Two-year; public Four-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 5,439* 6,115* 4,151*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $3,427 in-state
$8,617 out-of-state*
$3,612 in-state
$6,259 out-of-state*
$3,461 in-state
$8,651 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 61%* 49%* 64%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) N/A* 64% of full-time students// 46% of part-time students* N/A*
Graduation Rate (2011) 20% (16% transfer-out rate)* 37% (22% transfer-out rate)* 21% (8% transfer-out rate)*
Noteworthy Offers a transfer degree option for those who want to enroll in a four-year program Several two-year, manufacturer-sponsored programs are available Class area resembles auto shop environment
Distance from Downtown Seattle 6 mi. (14 min.) 10 mi. (19 min.) 15 mi. (22 min.)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.


Programs at Seattle Community College - South Campus

The Automotive Technology Training Center at Seattle Community College - South Campus features a number of training opportunities in the field. Certificate and associate's degree programs are offered in automotive technician and automotive collision repair. In addition to a general service technician certificate program, students can pursue automotive technician minor and master certificates. Sub-certificates are also available in a number of automotive specialties.

Automotive Technician Sub-Certificate Programs

Several automotive technician sub-certificates are offered at Seattle Community College - South Campus. Each of these sub-certificate programs are 15-16 credits and require students to complete up to four courses. Sub-certificate options include transmissions and transaxles, introduction to automotive, brakes and suspension, engine repair, electrical/electronics & HVAC and engine performance drivability.

General Service Technician Certificate

The general service technician program can prepare students for entry-level employment in vehicle maintenance. This 30-credit program provides students with introductory knowledge and training through courses in electricity, steering and suspension, tires and wheel alignment, brake systems and drivability.

Automotive Technician Minor Certificate

The automotive technician minor certificate provides students with the chance to take intermediate coursework. Students must have completed the general technician program prior to admission. Courses in this National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)-approved program include advanced electrical systems, automotive electronics, engine computers and emissions controls and diagnostic equipment.

Automotive Technician Master Certificate

Students who have earned the general technician and minor certificate can pursue this NATEF-accredited master certificate. This 31-credit program features advanced courses in automotive welding, automotive engine rebuild, automotive engine diagnosis, automotive transmission service and manual transmissions.

Automotive Technician Associate of Applied Science

The automotive technician associate's degree at Seattle Community College - South Campus consists of 114 credits and is approved by NATEF. The program combines general education requirements with technical specialty courses covering automotive concepts. The program requires students to purchase their own boots, coveralls and tools. Students have an opportunity to learn about all aspects of automotive technology, including electrical systems, brakes, steering and suspension, welding, engine computers, tires and wheel alignment and drivability. The school offers a transfer option for students who want to continue their education at a four-year university.

Programs at Shoreline Community College

Shoreline Community College features a Professional Automotive Training Center that offers manufacturer-specific training. Four manufacturers work with the school to offer associate's programs that combine hands-on experience at a dealership with academic coursework. Additionally, a non-manufacturer certificate program is offered. In order to get into the associate's programs, students must have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance, pass an automotive skills test and take a drug test.

General Service Technician Certificate Program

The general service technician certificate is a 45-credit program that can be completed in three quarters. In addition to coursework, students are also required to participate in an internship. Graduates of the program are qualified to perform basic automotive diagnosis and repair, which includes replacing brakes, inspecting climate systems and evaluating electrical systems.

Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences

Students enrolled in this two-year program will spend alternating quarters taking automotive courses on-campus and interning at dealerships. While there are four program options to choose from, all manufacturer programs feature the same format and job placement rate. Courses in the program include electrical systems, brakes and suspension and engine repair.

During their paid internships, students work under the guidance of an experienced mechanic and learn how to service specific vehicles. Graduates are hired by their respective dealerships upon completion of the program.

Programs at Lake Washington Institute of Technology

The Transportation Technology Department at Lake Washington Institute of Technology features a number of automotive programs. In addition to automotive repair technician programs, the school also offers related programs in collision repair, diesel equipment and motorcycle and marine equipment. Graduates of the automotive repair technician programs are eligible to take National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams.

General Service Technician Certificate of Completion

The general service technician certificate is a 32-credit program that provides basic training in the field. Courses in this introductory program cover computer basics, business practices, electrical systems, mechanical principles and maintenance procedures. Students who complete this program are eligible to transfer their credits to the automotive repair technician certificate or associate's degree program. This program can prepare students to take two of the ASE certification exams.

Automotive Repair Technician Certificate of Proficiency

The 89-credit automotive repair technician program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology can prepare students for immediate employment upon graduation. In addition to basic core requirements, students also complete higher-level courses in engine performance, heating and air conditioning service, manual transmissions and brake systems. Students have the option to gain work experience while earning credit during the final two terms of the program, subject to approval from their instructors.

Automotive Repair Technician Associate of Applied Science

The automotive repair technician associate's degree program consists of 117 credits and features courses in engine performance, shop practices, engine repair and brake systems. The program can be completed in six terms and can lead to positions at repair shops, dealership service centers and specialty shops.

Other School Options

There are three other schools offering automotive mechanic training near Seattle, including Renton Technical College, which is 10 miles from the city. Olympic College is about 15 miles from Seattle, while Green River Community College is roughly 25 miles from the city.

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      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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    • California campus Chula Vista
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      • Undergraduate: Associate
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    • Rhode Island campus Warwick
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      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • Michigan campus Big Rapids
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      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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    • Illinois campus Carbondale
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      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
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    • Mississippi campus Poplarville
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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    • Georgia campus Valdosta
    Areas of study you may find at Valdosta State University include:
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics