Raleigh Auto Mechanic School Overviews with Program Options

The Raleigh area has more than five colleges that offer auto mechanic programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and other requirements for three of these schools, all within 45 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

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Auto Mechanic Schools in the Raleigh Area

Students in the Raleigh area have multiple options when it comes to choosing an auto mechanic training program. This article looks at three schools within 45 minutes of downtown and the programs they offer. There is also a table of information about each institution, with statistics on enrollment, costs and the percentage of students who graduate on time. At the end of the article is a list of a few more Raleigh-area schools with auto mechanics programs.

  • Wake Technical Community College is almost 10 miles from downtown Raleigh and offers an associate's degree in automotive systems technology.
  • Durham Technical Community College offers an associate degree in automotive systems technology and several automotive certificates. This school is nearly 27 miles from downtown Raleigh.
  • About 44 miles from the Raleigh city center, Central Carolina Community College features a certificate, diploma and associate's degree in automotive systems technology.

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College offers over 180 certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs. The school offers training for aspiring auto mechanics through its Applied Technologies Division. This division also includes programs in air conditioning and heating, construction management, heavy equipment, electrical engineering, plumbing, welding technology and machining technology.

Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology

Students in this program develop the essential skills and knowledge needed to diagnose vehicle problems and perform repairs using tools and sophisticated computerized equipment. The curriculum covers topics in electrical systems, brakes, automatic and manual transmissions, steering, suspension and climate control, along with engine performance and repair. Students who complete the program are prepared for certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Durham Technical Community College

Durham Technical Community College provides auto mechanic training through its Applied and Public Services Technologies Division, which also features programs in welding, fire protection, electronic engineering and industrial systems. The automotive systems technology program helps students develop technical skills through classroom study and hands-on work in Durham Tech's fully equipped automotive lab.

Certificates in Automotive Systems Technology

Students have the option to complete automotive certificate programs in drivetrain, electrical, engine performance, under car or automotive machining. Each certificate is 12-14 credits and includes 2-3 courses in the specific system and a basic automotive technology course. These certificate programs combine academic coursework with automotive lab training.

Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Automotive Systems Technology

The AAS in Automotive Systems Technology is a 72-credit program that can be completed in five semesters. Students take both introductory and advanced automotive courses. The curriculum includes coursework in engine repair, brake systems, auto climate control, engine performance, auto transmissions and automotive machining. Students also must complete a cooperative work experience.

Central Carolina Community College

Central Carolina Community College has more than 45 associate's degrees, certificates and diploma programs at its three campus locations. In addition to an automotive systems technology program, students can also pursue automotive restoration, electronics engineering, industrial systems, motorcycle mechanics and mechanical engineering training.

Certificate in Automotive Systems Technology

The automotive systems technology certificate is 16 credits and can be completed in two semesters. This certificate is offered during the evenings, and students can apply their credits into the diploma or associate's degree program. An emphasis is placed on electrical and electronic systems, and graduates can pursue ASE electrical certification upon completion. Courses cover topics in auto electricity, engine performance and auto electronics.

Diploma in Automotive Systems Technology

Students enrolled in the 3-semester diploma program learn about the servicing, performance, operation and repair of automotive vehicles. The program is offered during the day and requires that students complete 43-45 credits. The curriculum includes coursework in suspension and steering, brake systems, safety and emissions, engine performance and auto electricity. Students are eligible for ASE certification exams after graduating from the program.

Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology

The AAS in Automotive Systems Technology is 75-78 credits and can be completed in five semesters. The automotive curriculum is very similar to the diploma program; however, students are required to complete additional general education coursework. Students in the associate's degree program also have an opportunity to take advanced courses in auto electronics and engine performance. Graduates are qualified to pursue ASE certification.

Comparison of Schools

There are many factors to examine when choosing a college. The following table presents information about each of these three schools in a format that makes comparison easy.

Wake Technical Community College Durham Technical Community College Central Carolina Community College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 19,158* 5,232* 4,773*
Campus Setting Rural Midsize city Rural
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $2,210 in-state; $8,354 out-of-state* $2,200 in-state; $8,364 out-of-state* $2,216 in-state; $8,360 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 65%* 71%* 58%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 69% full-time; 51% part-time* 55% full-time; 34% part-time* 56% full-time; 34% part-time*
Graduation Rate (2011) 15% (12% transfer-out rate)* 12% (22% transfer-out rate)* 39% (11% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

More School Options

Vance - Granville Community College is 40 miles from Raleigh and offers automotive diploma, certificate and degree programs. Located 45 miles from Raleigh, Alamance Community College also offers an automotive systems technology degree.

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      • Graduate: Master
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      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
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      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
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