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.
Table of contents
- What are the factors to consider when deciding on a school for automotive technology?
- What’s better: an associate degree in automotive technology or bachelors of automotive technology degree?
- What’s the difference between an associate in applied science and associate of science degree?
- Which school offers the best automotive technology degree?
- 30 Schools for Automotive Technology Degrees
- Our Ranking Methodology
- Have Problems With Your Ranking?
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).
|1||McPherson College||McPherson, Kansas|
|2||South Seattle College||Seattle, Washington|
|3||Montana State University-Northern||Havre, Montana|
|4||Green River College||Auburn, Washington|
|5||Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||Boston, Massachusetts|
30 Schools for Automotive Technology Degrees
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.
South Seattle College
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.
Montana State University-Northern
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.
Green River College
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.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
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.
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.
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
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.
Morrisville State College
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.
College of Lake County
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.
Lewis-Clark State College
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.
South Texas College
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.
Stark State College
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.
New England Institute of Technology
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.
Front Range Community College
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.
Jefferson Community and Technical College
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.
Vermont Technical College
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.
Walla Walla University
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.
Weber State University
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.
University of Central Missouri
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.
Ivy Tech Community College
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.
Pittsburg State University
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.
Utah Valley University
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.
Southern Adventist University
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.
Pennsylvania College of Technology
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.
Idaho State University
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.
Brigham Young University-Idaho
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.
Northern Michigan University
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.
Indiana State University
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.
Minnesota State University-Mankato
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.
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.
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.