Top 30 Schools for Automotive Technology Degrees - Best Value Schools

Top 30 Schools for Automotive Technology Degrees

February 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Interested in getting a degree in automotive technology, but not sure where to start? Deciding on just one auto mechanic school in a swirling pool of options can be daunting… but not impossible. Whether you want to be a mechanic, service tech, field engineer, customer service rep, or multiple options in between, start by asking yourself a few questions to narrow down the options.

What are the factors to consider when deciding on a school for automotive technology?

Is location important? What about the size of the student population or campus? Does the cost play a major or minor role? What about housing? Consider all the possibilities to determine the best fit.

What’s better: an associate degree in automotive technology or bachelors of automotive technology degree?

Depending on career goals, one is not necessarily better than the other. An associate degree generally provides a basic foundation for entry-level understanding, is less costly, takes less time, but might limit some job opportunities. A bachelor’s, on the other hand, is more comprehensive and may open more career possibilities, but requires more money and years of study/training.

What’s the difference between an associate in applied science and associate of science degree?

An associate in applied science is usually a two-year program and considered a “terminal” degree, giving graduates immediate entry into the workforce. An associate of science is also a two-year program, but is typically used to build toward a bachelor’s degree. Students can transfer to a university with an associate of science degree, but not an associate in applied science.

Which school offers the best automotive technology degree?

Check out the names, links, and curriculum information for 30 colleges, universities, and technician schools below that offer an associate degree in automotive technology, bachelors in automotive technology, certificate, or diploma. We ranked them based on tuition (lowest is best) and enrollment (lowest is best = lower student-to-teacher ratio).

Rank School Location
1McPherson CollegeMcPherson, Kansas
2South Seattle College Seattle, Washington
3Montana State University-Northern Havre, Montana
4Green River College Auburn, Washington
5 Benjamin Franklin Institute of TechnologyBoston, Massachusetts

30 Schools for Automotive Technology Degrees

1

McPherson College

  • McPherson, Kansas
  • Points: 55

Although McPherson College doesn’t offer a degree in automotive technology, it provides an automotive restoration program — the only one on this list and the only school in the country with a bachelor’s degree for this field. During the program, students work on a wide range of makes and models — Model T’s to muscle cars. Once completed, the vehicles are displayed at shows and events, then auctioned off to help pay for the next round of projects.

Tuition: $1,947
Total Enrollment: 845
Awards Offered: Bachelors
Visit School Website
2

South Seattle College

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Points: 48

South Seattle College offers an associate of applied science degree, along with a transfer degree (with an additional nine general education electives), plus a maintenance and light repair certificate. The hands-on curriculum teaches mechanical, electrical, math, and problem-solving skills in a real-world environment.

Tuition: $1,410
Total Enrollment: 6,141
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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3

Montana State University-Northern

  • Havre, Montana
  • Points: 45

For those wanting a career as a technical representative, service manager, or specialized diagnosticians, Montana State University-Northern offers an associate degree in automotive technology, a bachelors in automotive technology, and an automotive technology minor. While enrolled, students can also participate in technician programs and earn Ford or Subaru credentials.

Tuition: $2,977
Total Enrollment: 1,073
Awards Offered: Associates, Bachelors, Minor
Visit School Website
4

Green River College

  • Auburn, Washington
  • Points: 43

In the Green River College ASE-certified associate degree in automotive technology program, students can learn to diagnose and repair engines, along with electrical and other systems, at their own pace. This six-quarter degree also includes courses in oral communication for trades, leadership skills, and human relations and work readiness. Five certificates are also available.

Tuition: $1,410
Total Enrollment: 8,435
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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5

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Points: 42

Since 1908, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology has been teaching students how to diagnose, maintain, and repair all makes and models of cars in their full-service working garage. Students can earn a certificate of proficiency, ASE certification, or an associate degree in automotive technology that can then be applied toward a bachelor’s in automotive management.

Tuition: $3,750
Total Enrollment: 612
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors
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6

Mech-Tech College

  • Florida
  • Points: 40

Mech-Tech College offers an automotive mechanics program with a well-rounded curriculum for training to inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles. They also provide Snap-on certification, day and evening classes, and each of their four automotive technology programs includes welding, English, electronics, and computer courses.

Tuition: $3,037
Total Enrollment: 2,608
Awards Offered: Certificate
Visit School Website
7

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Points: 40

At the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, students can earn an associate of applied science degree, learning entry-level skills for an automotive service technician (AST). Some courses can be applied toward a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification. For more specific skills, a technical certificate and certificate of proficiency is also available.

Tuition: $2,565
Total Enrollment: 6,265
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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8

Morrisville State College

  • Morrisville, New York
  • Points: 37

Students can choose from five associate degrees in automotive technology at Morrisville State College — auto body technology, automotive technology, automotive technology-Ford Asset, mechanical engineering technology, and diesel technology — plus, an automotive management or automotive technology bachelor’s. Each program requires an internship. Factory certifications are also available.

Tuition: $3,535
Total Enrollment: 2,781
Awards Offered: Associates, Bachelors
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9

College of Lake County

  • Grayslake, Illinois
  • Points: 36

With a Master Certified Associates in Applied Science/Under the Hood Technician or Under the Car Technician degree from College of Lake County, students can transfer to Southern Illinois University or Ferris State University to earn a bachelor’s. In addition, there are eight different certificates that can be pursued for a career as a mechanic, journeyman, shop supervisor, or a variety of other opportunities.

Tuition: $1,875
Total Enrollment: 13,743
Awards Offered: Associates
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10

Lewis-Clark State College

  • Lewiston, Idaho
  • Points: 36

Students with previous training or experience can test out of portions of the Auto Mechanics Technology AAS program at Lewis-Clark State College. After completing the program, they must pass the National Automotive Student Skills Standard Assessment and ASE certification tests to obtain their degree.

Tuition: $3,491
Total Enrollment: 3,748
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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11

South Texas College

  • McAllen, Texas
  • Points: 34

Students at South Texas College have hands-on learning of all entry-level areas of a car, including electrical, fuel injection, manual and automatic transmissions, and computerized auto control systems. In two to three semesters, they can earn one of two optional certificates. Certificates can then be applied toward an associate degree in automotive technology. There’s also a comprehensive, two-year General Motors associate degree, where students take classes while training on real customer cars.

Tuition: $1,155
Total Enrollment: 33,054
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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12

Stark State College

  • North Canton, Ohio
  • Points: 32

In addition to learning practical service techniques for domestic and import cars, students at Stark State College can also explore electives like detailing, Caterpillar lift trucks, and special Honda and Toyota training. There are two certificates and an associate degree in automotive technology available.

Tuition: $2,694
Total Enrollment: 11,830
Awards Offered: Certificates, Associates
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13

New England Institute of Technology

  • Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Points: 31

New England Institute of Technology offers four associate degree programs for automotive technology (two standard and two advanced). Students learn all aspects of a car’s system and components through classes, hands-on practice, and labs, along with electives such as business math, intro to hybrid vehicles, and NVH principles and diagnostics. A Ford Maintenance and Light Repair certificate and LOCAL curriculum designed for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram vehicles are also available.

Tuition: $7,875
Total Enrollment: 2,516
Awards Offered: Associates
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14

Front Range Community College

  • Westminster, Colorado
  • Points: 30

Graduates of Front Range Community College’s associate degree in automotive technology will have the knowledge to test, diagnose, and repair auto systems. With the completion of any of the nine certificates, students can return to complete the associate’s program or upgrade their skills.

Tuition: $2,295
Total Enrollment: 19,283
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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15

Jefferson Community and Technical College

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Points: 30

Jefferson Community and Technical College offers an associate in applied science degree, diploma, and seven different certificates. In addition to entry-level technical classes, students can go down two different tracks — automotive parts/service writer or automotive technician. Jefferson also awards free tuition through the statewide Work Ready Scholarship program.

Tuition: $2,685
Total Enrollment: 12,560
Awards Offered: Diploma, Certificate, Associates
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16

Vermont Technical College

  • Randolph, Vermont
  • Points: 30

The associate degree of automotive technology at Vermont Technical College includes a required 10-week summer internship, along with comprehensive courses in diagnostics and repair, body electronic systems, general physics, and technical communication. Vermont Tech also participates in the Choose Vermont Scholarship program, which awards money to students who commit to one of 13 Vermont higher education schools.

Tuition: $9,195
Total Enrollment: 1,704
Awards Offered: Associates
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17

Walla Walla University

  • College Place, Washington
  • Points: 30

Students at Walla Walla University learn about auto systems and how to repair them, using equipment like the Mustang AWD-IMP dynamometer. While earning an associate degree in automotive technology or bachelors in automotive technology or automotive management, they can also gain real-world experience in the student-run auto shop.

Tuition: $9,033
Total Enrollment: 1,831
Awards Offered: Associates, Bachelors
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18

Weber State University

  • Ogden, Utah
  • Points: 28

Weber State University’s Associate degree offers three tracks — General Motors ASEP, heavy duty truck, and automotive technical. Building on the AAS degree that teaches students how to diagnose and repair, the bachelor’s degree provides additional training in field service operations or advanced vehicle systems.

Tuition: $2,545
Total Enrollment: 29,644
Awards Offered: Associates, Bachelors
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19

University of Central Missouri

  • Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Points: 27

The University of Central Missouri provides three bachelors of automotive technology degrees (automotive technology, design technology, and service management), as well as a minor, and certificate in advanced vehicle systems. In addition, students who pursue their bachelors have an Advanced Vehicle Systems certificate and a Business Administration minor built into their program.

Tuition: $3,570
Total Enrollment: 11,229
Awards Offered: Certificate, Bachelors, Minor
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20

Ivy Tech Community College

  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Points: 26

At Ivy Tech Community College, students can earn 10 different certificates, as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree. As part of the associate degree in automotive technology, students can choose from four technical certificates — auto body, automotive service, diesel heavy truck, or motorsports.

Tuition: $2,250
Total Enrollment: 72,689
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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21

Pittsburg State University

  • Pittsburg, Kansas
  • Points: 26

At Pittsburg State University, students can earn a certificate, associate degree in automotive technology, bachelors in automotive technology, or minor in a variety of specific fields. Some of those career paths include Caterpillar ThinkBigger, automotive mechanical design, diesel heavy equipment, and collision repair and insurance management.

Tuition: $4,110
Total Enrollment: 6,645
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors, Minor
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22

Utah Valley University

  • Orem, Utah
  • Points: 23

In addition to an associate degree in automotive technology, Utah Valley University also offers diploma and certificate programs. Students learn how to diagnose and repair a multitude of systems while also taking general education courses such as college algebra, American government, and academic writing.

Tuition: $2,596
Total Enrollment: 41,728
Awards Offered: Diploma, Certificate, Associates
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23

Southern Adventist University

  • Collegedale, Tennessee
  • Points: 23

Along with technical courses like welding, engine rebuilding, and automatic transmissions, students at Southern Adventist University also learn accounting, statistics, public speaking, and principles of entrepreneurship in their pursuit of an associate of technology degree. For a bachelor’s, there are classes in macroeconomics, marketing, human resource management, and business law.

Tuition: $10,725
Total Enrollment: 2,834
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors, Minor
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24

Pennsylvania College of Technology

  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Points: 23

Students in the associate degree in automotive technology program at Pennsylvania College of Technology will learn entry-level, as well as, advanced skills to service and repair vehicles. The degree can also provide students the option to transfer to a four-year institution or test for vehicle safety inspector certification.

Tuition: $10,656
Total Enrollment: 4,972
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors
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25

Idaho State University

  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Points: 21

For an advanced technical certificate at Idaho State University, students must complete 64 credit hours in a variety of automotive diagnostics and repair classes, including engine performance, brakes, and live work. For an associate degree in automotive technology, an additional 15 credits are needed with fundamentals of oral communication, as well as other general education courses. With an AAS, students can then pursue a bachelor of applied science.

Tuition: $3,936
Total Enrollment: 12,402
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors
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26

Brigham Young University-Idaho

  • Rexburg, Idaho
  • Points: 21

In Brigham Young University-Idaho’s bachelor’s program, students learn a variety of technical concepts, as well as leadership skills and how to resolve engineering technology issues. For the associate degree in automotive technology much of the coursework is spent in a hands-on lab. All auto majors are required to have a paid internship before graduating.

Tuition: $2,150
Total Enrollment: 39,145
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors, Minor
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27

Northern Michigan University

  • Marquette, Michigan
  • Points: 21

At Northern Michigan University, the associate degree in automotive technology focuses on maintenance and service with courses in steering, suspension, and alignment, electronic systems, engine performance, and industry safety. Students can earn an auto maintenance or service technology certificate, or take additional liberal studies courses for an associate’s.

Tuition: $8,820
Total Enrollment: 7,732
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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28

Indiana State University

  • Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Points: 20

Students enrolled in Indiana State University’s automotive engineering technology bachelor’s program will learn a balance of management and technical skills, including courses in vehicle technologies, fundamentals of manufacturing, and technical graphics using CAD. Those who pursue an associate degree will have similar courses available, including engine thermodynamics and fleet management.

Tuition: $4,593
Total Enrollment: 12,144
Awards Offered: Associates, Bachelors, Minor
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29

Minnesota State University-Mankato

  • Mankato, Minnesota
  • Points: 19

Minnesota State University-Mankato offers an AET (Automotive Engineering Technology) bachelor’s degree that emphasizes product research, design, development, and technical sales. Students can then pursue a master’s degree with courses in research, management, IT, and organizational development.

Tuition: $3,807
Total Enrollment: 14,325
Awards Offered: Bachelors, Minor, Masters
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30

Vincennes University

  • Vincennes, Indiana
  • Points: 14

In two years, students enrolled in Vincennes University’s associate degree in automotive technology program will learn about transportation fundamentals, engine systems, HVAC, and drive trains, among other repair skills. In addition, once they’ve earned their ASCT degree, students have the option to receive an enrichment certificate in alternative fuel vehicles, automotive electronics, or automotive electronics lab.

Tuition: $5,804
Total Enrollment: 17,239
Awards Offered: Certificate, Associates
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Our Ranking Methodology

From each school’s website, we compiled in-state tuition rates by credit hour, then multiplied them by 15 to get a one semester cost (additional fees or housing costs are not included). To determine the annual cost, multiply the tuition rate by two. We then gathered enrollment data from the NCES college navigator website.

After sorting by tuition (the higher the cost, the lower the rank) and enrollment (the higher the number, the lower the rank), we assigned a maximum of 30 points each. We added the two scores together to get the final ranking score.

Have Problems With Your Ranking?

If you’re employed by one of the schools listed and disagree with the information we’ve provided, please feel free to contact us and we’ll make the correction.

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