Automotive technicians, mechanics, and supervisors have grown to be in-demand professions throughout the years. The increase in the number of cars driven has brought about the increase in this demand. More vehicles mean more units to service and repair, paving the way for a boom in the automotive industry.
If you’re interested in dealing with car parts and solving engine problems, you may want to pursue a degree in automotive technology. This will help you gain the needed technical knowledge and practical applications in providing automotive services. Programs use a mix of classroom, laboratory, and online classes for a better learning experience.
Over the years, the automotive industry has steadily risen in terms of car sales and innovation. This brought a rise in automotive servicing, which created more job opportunities for individuals interested in automotive technology. Programs range from certificates to associate and bachelor’s degrees. With these programs, you’ll gain the needed technical knowledge and skills to pursue roles in automotive dealerships, manufacturing companies, and government agencies. Working in the automotive industry is both fulfilling and financially rewarding.
Jumpstart Your Automotive Career
For students who are looking to start their careers, earning an associate degree may be a great option. Getting an associate degree usually takes two years to finish, covering both general courses and majors. An associate degree in automotive technology will cover the basics while diving into major topics such as transmission diagnosis, engine repair, and automotive service.
Additionally, most automotive technology programs aim to develop communication and leadership skills. However, it’s good to know that not all associate programs are the same. Some may vary according to the mode of instruction, internship options, and course concentrations.
What must aspiring vehicle experts look for in an online associate degree in Automotive Technology, you ask? We compile the online Associate of Automotive Technology degrees offered by prominent colleges across the States with features that point to high academic standards:
- Fully or partially web-based learning format for flexibility and convenience,
- Associate-level online coursework and curriculum that highlight the basic, most up-to-date automotive technology subjects, theories, applications, and practices for readiness in professional settings or toward advanced education,
- Experienced, certified, and well-credentialed online teachers who are conversant in the many facets of the automotive industry,
- Financial aid for Automotive Technology students who meet the qualifications,
- Properly accredited by academic agencies safeguarding online and brick-and-mortar teaching and learning standards,
- Active membership in, and high regard from, professional Automotive Tech associations.
Check out our Methodology page for more details on our ranking process.
10 Best Online Associate in Automotive Technology Degrees
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Penn College is one of the top schools offering programs in automotive technology. Its associate’s program provides the needed automotive principles and skillset to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Experience real-world situations through simulations while practicing troubleshooting procedures, engine performance, and proper inspection. Through the help of industry experts, you’ll take up topics involving brake systems, automotive repair, and engine electrical systems.
The program’s extensive hybrid curriculum also covers various principles in automotive technology like a manual transmission, steering, and suspension. On top of these, you’ll also learn the core of human relations, which is vital in working as an automotive technician with a team and succeeding in supervisory work.
Community College of Philadelphia
The Community College of Philadelphia has an Associate in Applied Science program in the field of Automotive Technology. This 62-credit program includes online courses that will prepare you to take on automotive computer software and vehicle service and repair. It aims to teach modern solutions through its state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and certified professors.
Aside from the associate degree program, the school also offers certificate and manufacturer programs for aspiring service technicians and engineering students. This is made possible through the college’s partnership with automotive giants like Ford Motors and Nissan. You’re also sure to get quality online instruction and practice since CCP’s automotive program is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation-accredited.
Northcentral Technical College
With the increasing demand for automotive technicians, Northcentral Technical College aims to produce highly skilled graduates through its Automotive Technology associate degree. The program offers a good mix of automotive courses ranging from engine performance, advanced chassis systems, and automotive welding. You’ll also learn how to service and repair air conditioning systems, hybrid drivetrains, and suspension systems.
The hybrid curriculum also offers topics in communication, economics, and psychology where students learn the necessary skills to qualify for supervisory positions in the automotive industry. Additionally, NTC’s automotive program received accreditation from the National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation (NATEF).
Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College provides extensive automotive theories and hands-on training through its associate degree in automotive technology. Its 76-credit program aims to develop the student’s automotive skills in different areas such as engine overhaul, transmission diagnosis, and automotive heating.
After developing the necessary skill set, students will be prepared to take professional certification in different automotive areas including Electrical Systems, Engine Repair, and Heating and Air Conditioning Systems. Several courses, like history and technical communications, are offered online through web conferencing apps for convenience.
Muskegon Community College
If you’re planning to enter the automotive industry, you may start with Muskegon Community College’s associate program in Automotive Technology. The program offers core courses in automotive technology like fuel systems and emission controls, electrical systems, and powertrains. You may also choose from either the Management or Engineering Track.
After completing the program, you may qualify for automotive positions like parts specialist, or automotive technician, or you may pursue higher education and finish a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, this degree may be completed in as fast as two years but may take longer for part-time students.
Lone Star College
Lone Star College offers a laddered program towards your dream of having a career in the automotive service industry. The program pathway consists of two certificate levels before taking up the associate curriculum. The 60-credit program involves different automotive courses such as electrical systems, engine performance analysis, and engine repair.
The program also involves a capstone for practical application of the automotive theories learned. General education courses, like communication, social science, and creative arts, may be taken online through the college’s online learning system. Overall, the program aims to prepare students in taking on management and supervisory tasks like performance monitoring and on-ground coordination with mechanics and installers.
Brookdale Community College
Whether you’re starting out or looking to grow your automotive service career, Brookdale Community College may be the right institution for you. You’ll surely get the right automotive technology education through the college’s associate degree program. The curriculum places heavy emphasis on vehicle malfunction diagnosis, automotive service and repair, and team communications.
The program includes fundamentals in different systems including fuel injection, brakes, and suspension. If you’re studying part-time, you may opt for online instruction when taking up general education courses like humanities and English composition. The associate program aims to produce future service advisors and managers that are capable of leading automotive service centers.
State Fair Community College
State Fair Community College offers a hybrid learning setup for aspiring automotive technicians and production supervisors through its AAS in Automotive Technology. The program provides an in-depth study of different automotive systems while imparting relevant technical skills and practical applications.
Some of the courses are Electrical System Fundamentals, Automotive Heating and Air Conditioning, and Advanced Electrical Systems Diagnosis.
Enrollees will also have the option to attend some classes, like Power Train Management, Automatic Transmissions, and Automotive Engines, in the college’s Sedalia Campus or online. Taking this 75-credit program will allow you to go beyond entry-level employment since you’ll be exposed to computer and management topics. Another reason to choose State Fair is its national accreditation from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
Ashland Community and Technical College
Ashland Community and Technical College offers an associate of applied science degree in automotive technology. The program provides sufficient know-how in troubleshooting, servicing, and repairing vehicles. The program will tackle topics in suspension and steering, computer control systems, and emission controls.
Cover general education courses from the comfort of your home through the college’s e-Learning option. Additionally, you’ll learn the proper use of different automotive tools and software. Aside from imparting technical expertise, you’ll also gain extensive hands-on experience through different lab courses. With this program, you’ll be ready to work in automotive dealerships or even start your own independent garage.
Wichita State University
WSU Tech’s automotive technology associate degree program aims to teach students the basics of automotive diagnosis, repair and servicing. Take up courses like Engine Performance, Diesel Engine Repair, and Automotive Computer Systems. Get the chance to intern and be exposed to actual vehicle servicing and repair. You’ll also have the option to take some of the general education courses online so you’ll have the convenience to work on them anytime and anywhere.
WSU Tech’s edge among other institutions is its certification under the MOPAR® CAP LOCAL training program, which allows its students to earn needed credentials to work on Chrysler or Fiat automotive repairs.
How to Choose the Best Automotive Studies Online Degrees
Various tracks and program pathways are available in automotive technology. It’s important to know which one best suits your career goals and fits your interest. You may choose to specialize in different areas like engine performance, vehicle repair, or electric systems. If you’re looking into advancing in your career, you may look for a program that comes with management courses to help you qualify for supervisory roles.
Mode of Instruction
Traditionally, automotive technology courses are taught in classrooms and laboratories. But with the influx of online learning, many institutions provide a hybrid learning setup wherein some courses may be taken online instead. It’s best to consider your program’s learning setup, especially if you’re juggling work with your studies. Additionally, you may also look into the program’s hands-on learning setups like internships and laboratory works. This will help you develop a better grasp of automotive diagnosis and repair.
Aside from checking the food options and campus proximity, it is also important to choose a college that offers modern facilities and laboratories. Most of the theories taught in classrooms are often tested and applied after so it is best to have good working laboratory conditions. Having modern tools are also a plus!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the career options for an Automotive Technology associate degree holder?
Finishing an associate degree in automotive technology will open a lot of job opportunities for you. With the increasing demand for skilled employees specializing in vehicle repair procedures, you’ll be qualified to find employment, including these positions:
- Service Advisor – This role bridges the needs of the vehicle owner to the servicing team for a smooth customer experience. You may find this position in automotive service providers or parts retailers.
- Automotive Service Technician – This role is responsible for the diagnosis, assessment, and repair of vehicles in repair shops or automotive dealerships. This involves different systems such as steering, suspension, brakes, and air conditioning.
- Industrial Equipment Technician – Work on different trucks and tractors, as well as, problems in manufacturing facilities. You may work in production or transit companies.
- Operations Supervisor – Lead a team doing service and repair for different vehicles. In this position, you’ll be responsible for creating cost estimates and ensuring that the repairs are done on time.
- Quality Control – This position is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is safe to drive or that the service rendered was able to resolve the engine issue. You may find work in automotive dealerships or industrial companies.
Aside from private automotive companies, government agencies and hospitality companies offer employment opportunities for automotive service technicians and similarly skilled automotive repair experts.
They expect automotive technology program graduates to be conversant in manual transmissions, installation procedures, diagnosis and repair procedures, electronic components, suspension systems, and charging systems.
How much do online associate degree graduates earn working in the automotive industry?
Entry-level jobs usually start with an annual salary of $40,000. However, higher positions may take home up to $120,000 every year. It is also worth noting that the pay varies according to your field of specialty, experience, and the company you’ll be working in.
Here are some annual salary estimates for several automotive positions:
- Automotive Service Technician – $40,000
- Industrial Equipment Technician – $57,000
- Maintenance and Repair Worker – $45,000
- First-line Supervisor – $73,000
- Master Mechanic – $35,000
- Automotive Service Director – $120,000
- Automotive General Manager – $100,000
With the growing demand for automotive services, the pay is also expected to rise. However, there may be a shift in the positions in the years to come as electric cars and eco-friendly vehicles become more popular.
What can students expect in the Automotive Technology associate degree programs?
Most associate degree programs provide in-depth technical knowledge and discussions. Expect to cover different automotive systems, repair, and performance machining. You’ll also be exposed to courses that will improve your ability to communicate effectively since supervisory roles entail client interaction. You may also deal with research and testing, depending on your specialization.
Should I look for accredited schools that educate students toward automotive service excellence?
Accreditation means that the institution has passed high academic standards and offers quality education. It is crucial for students to secure employment.
Some of the accreditation to look for in schools offering automotive technology are the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
- After finishing your associate degree in an automotive technology program, you’ll acquire the needed technical skills to efficiently diagnose automotive issues and solve them. You’ll be able to utilize the necessary tools while being conscious of the different engine systems. Aside from developing your technical knowledge, you’ll also be able to exercise your decision-making and critical thinking skills while dealing with clients.
- You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively and be able to empathize with your team to succeed in the automotive industry. Clear communication plays an important role in avoiding any misunderstandings while working. This will help maintain a smooth and supportive working environment. Additionally, it’s important to treat your workmates and customers with honesty and respect.