Automotive technicians are something that will always be needed. In the past, a person who enjoyed working on motor vehicles found their way into the field by finding an older mechanic that took them under their wing and trained them. As the auto industry grew, more trade schools added courses and this gave some people an advantage. Vehicles have continued to improve and the number has increased drastically. Today, many garages have so much competition that they require their technicians to have the best education possible. No longer is learning from the neighborhood mechanic who works on cars in his garage good enough. Today, many automotive repair businesses look for technicians with an automotive technology degree. Auto Mechanic schools have stepped up to the challenge and now offer degrees that help future technicians compete in this challenging occupation.
Top 5 Automotive Technician Schools
|1||Ferris State University||Big Rapids, Michigan|
|2||Montana State University (Northern)||Havre, Montana|
|3||University of Northwestern Ohio||Lima, Ohio|
|4||Southern Adventist University||Collegedale, Tennessee|
|5||Idaho State University||Pocatello, Idaho|
It is estimated that by the year 2026, this country will need an additional 46,000 automotive technicians to keep up with the number of vehicles in operation. These include technicians who can work on older cars, new technologies, and larger vehicles. The average salary of an automotive technician is $38,200. This often depends on the area of the country you live in and what type of services you can offer. For those who have degrees that combine practical work alongside a business education, opening and running your own business can see you doubling and tripling that amount each year.
Best 12 Automotive Technician Schools
Ferris State University
Students earning their BS in Automotive Management at Ferris State University have the distinct qualifications to specialize in working in Performance Motorsports. This school offers four separate majors in the field of Automotive Technician and graduates not only work in the racing industry but can also specialize in working on heavy equipment. Getting into the program requires high math scores on the ACT and at least a 2.7 GPA. With the technical focus of this school, post-graduate career placement is easy to locate.
Montana State University (Northern)
Montana State University offers students an Automotive Technology degree to work in biofuel research. This fast-growing field will benefit both the general and diesel technology student. The area this school is located in is within reach of four major Native American reservations as well as the smallest and largest cities in Montana. Chances for networking are numerous. This school has a rather large continuing education program.
University of Northwestern Ohio
The University of Northwestern Ohio has a lot going for it in the area of Automotive Technician programs. This is one of the few schools that offer students the tools they will need. Their various programs are designed so students can either focus on the technology of automobiles, combine their degree with Business to prepare for starting their own repair business, or specialize in alternative fuels for a step into the future.
Southern Adventist University
Students of the Automotive program at Southern Adventist University get not only academic knowledge but also hands-on experience. The school maintains a full-service garage where students work on community vehicles. This gives them a chance to see their subject fully. During their final year, students spend time each week working in local garages for a chance to start their resume. Being a faith-based school, students seeking to go on a mission during this time can gain credit for their time.
Idaho State University
Idaho State University offers three BS degrees related to Automotive Technicians. Students can pursue degrees in automobile service, collision repair and refinishing, or diesel technology. One of the big advantages of this program is the chance to help run an annual car show, Chrome in the Dome, that is booked as the largest car show in Ohio for refinishers. The networking potential of this event alone is worth attending. One thing prospective students need to keep in mind with this program is that math skills need to be high to be considered for admission.
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg State University is located within the Kansas Technology Center. This is one of the few programs in the country that gives the opportunity to work on extra-large vehicles such as Caterpillars. This isn’t the limit, however, as students can pursue one of two degrees within Automotive Technology. One is focusing on collision repair and the other on diesel and heavy equipment. This program provides students with all the needed tools they will require upon graduation and the recruitment rate is extremely high because of their focus.
Indiana State University
The BS in Automotive Engineering Technology at Indiana State University is an intense experience. The focus is on learning the ins and outs of management. With this being the focus, students are required to learn all the workings of automobiles and the computerized diagnostics involved in finding a problem. The lab work is enhanced by allowing students the opportunity to work with some of the largest auto companies in the area as an intern. Both math and science are strongly emphasized, as is computer knowledge.
Minnesota State University (Mankato)
The focus of the programs at Minnesota State University (Mankato) is meant to appeal to those who want to take their career a step further up and work in design or management. Focusing on emerging technologies, this program is ideal for those seeking a place in the future of Automotive Technology. For those who wish, the school also offers two Masters-level programs. Knowing the why and how behind the design of any vehicle is essential in learning to maintain them.
Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)
The Automotive Technician program at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) is one of the highest recognized throughout the country. Graduates are often offered the highest positions available, in the shortest amount of time. Focus can be directed at learning the entire maintenance of ninety of the top models available today or students can combine their degree with Business to reach the ability to open and run a successful business of their own. An opportunity for paid internships is offered during the final year. This is the only research university that offers a degree in Automotive Technology.
Weber State University
Weber State University offers a program that produces graduates that are sought by some of the biggest names in the automotive industry. They provide training on all state-of-the-art technology, enabling students to leave the program understanding what is needed in today’s workplace. The technology used in this program was developed with the help of major automobile manufacturers throughout the country. This program offers internships with local garages but it offers much more. Students have the opportunity to get involved in research in solar, electric, and autonomous vehicles. This hands-on experience will be priceless in the near future.
Walla Walla University
Walla Walla University boasts a full 100 percent placement rate for graduates of its Automotive Technology program. Students get an extensive education in either Automotive Technology or Automotive Management. Those seeking mission work are encouraged to do so. Students get the opportunity to buy all their needed tools at a deep discount, enabling graduates to embark on their careers fully-equipped. During your study, the fully-functional garage on the campus allows students to gain practical experience as well as make some money to help make things easier.
McPherson College made our list because it offers a program found nowhere else in the country, the focus is on restoring historical vehicles. Finding someone who understands how the oldest vehicles we have work and how to get them back to their top form is difficult. Having a degree from this school will see you able to work in a variety of high-paying settings, including owning and running your own restoration business. Many think restoration only involves cosmetics, but any enthusiast knows it is what is under the hood that counts the most.
How We Rated
The first factor that was considered for our list was the amount of uniqueness in the programs offered. We then factored in how many variations a student could choose, the student-teacher ratio, and how well graduates could find positions in their field. If you believe your school was overlooked, please let us know and we will consider it for future updates.
Finding the right program for your education needs can be a daunting task. If you are seeking a program, whether you know exactly what you want or are exploring, we can help. There is a program out there that fits your needs and a school that will feel like home. Let us help you find your perfect spot!