Currently, there are a limited number of schools in the United States that offer bachelor’s degree programs in automotive technology. Continue reading to learn more about degree requirements, course topics, certifications and salary potential. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Will I Learn in a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Automotive Technology?
Four-year programs in automotive technology can lead to a Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Technology. These programs are somewhat uncommon, as an associate’s degree or on-the-job training are the standard educational backgrounds for automotive service technicians.
A bachelor’s degree, however, can prepare you to work at the management level in the automotive service industry.
In general, these bachelor’s degree programs require approximately 124-127 credits to complete and include both general education and technical courses. Along with the standard admission requirements of a high school diploma or GED, prerequisites may include an associate degree in automotive service technology or a related area.
While each program is different, some may allow for specializations in manufacturing or service management, diesel and heavy equipment, collision repair or mechanical design, among other areas. You may also have to complete a capstone experience and participate in an internship or a practicum. Although this is a hands-on field of study, some schools offer individual courses online.
What Courses Can I Expect to Take?
An automotive technology program typically includes core topics in electrical and electronic equipment, engine analysis and performance, climate control or the use of fuels and lubricants. You can also learn about steering and suspension systems, braking systems and transmissions. Some programs provide training in alternative fuel systems, auto body repair, drivability diagnostics and safety management. As an aspiring professional, you may also take courses in business, computer technology, communication and management.
Will I Need Certification and Licensure?
While not required by all employers, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certifications in eight areas, including heating and air conditioning, brakes, engine performance and engine repair.
This certification is standard for automotive technicians. Requirements include having two years of experience, or a combination of education and experience, and passing an exam.
A passing score on all eight exams is required for Master Automobile Technicians. Technicians who handle or purchase refrigerants must take a test and be licensed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Certifications from automotive manufacturers may also be available at individual schools. For example, if you’re pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology, you may be interested in Honda’s Professional Automotive Career Training certification program, which can help you acquire a background in sales and service management.
What Is the Career Outlook and Salary for this Career?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected to increase by five percent between 2014 and 2024, a fast-as-average rate of growth when compared to all other occupations.
Candidates with formal training in advanced automotive technology should have an advantage in the job market.
As reported by the BLS, automotive service technicians and mechanics nationwide earned a median annual wage of $37,850 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). According to PayScale.com, automotive service managers earned a median wage of $52,311 in January 2016.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: