Have you ever wondered more about what helps to propel a vehicle forward? Do the mechanics, electronics, and additional systems involved in car functioning leave you fascinated? Then a career in automotive technology might be for you.
But what is Automotive Technology? This article will provide you with more information on what automotive technology means, what kind of education it entails, and the different kinds of careers the field has to offer. Read on to find out.
Automotive Technology: The Basics
Automotive technology simply refers to the study of self-propelled vehicles or machines. That applies to standard automobiles, sports cars, tractor-trailers, marine vehicles, and more in that bracket.
At the end of this study, scholars in this field will have developed skills related to engine construction, fuel and ignition, brakes, power trains, electronic and diagnostic equipment, and more.
Automotive technology not only equips users with hands-on skills but also prepares them for management roles in today’s fast-paced automotive industry. Automotive technology students prepare for a variety of careers in the automotive and machining industry, including auto repair and sales. Mechanic schools and automotive technology studies can also prepare you for work in leadership and research careers that help advance the automotive industry.
Featured Online Programs
While it is possible to begin working in automotive technology without a degree, the discipline is becoming more sophisticated by the day, intensifying the need to enroll in an Automotive engineering program.
Potential students interested in pursuing a formal education in the Automotive field can choose from the various programs available.
Available Degrees in Automotive Technology
A degree in automotive technology would help prospective employees develop critical skills and provide them with valuable hands-on experience in the field.
Let’s check out the various kinds of degrees and certifications available in automotive technology. Ensure your chances of landing a great job with a competitive salary today.
Certificate Program in Automotive Technology
This program is for learners who want a formal introduction to the foundational aspects of automotive technology. The length of certificate programs varies according to the schools. Full-time students can even complete a certificate course in 1 or 2 semesters in some cases.
A certificate program in automotive technology prepares you to sit for Automatic Service Excellence(ASE) certification. Since the ASE offers different types of certifications, you may need to acquire additional hands-on skills and experience to sit for more specialized certifications. Most certificate holders take time after their program to study before taking the certification exam.
Associate Degree in Automotive Technology
An associate degree in automotive technology is a two-year program where you will learn the basics and additional information on Automotive Technology. Prerequisites for this course may vary across institutions.
You can expect the associate degree to primarily focus on introductory education on repair, maintenance, transmission, suspensions, and more. Hands-on learning will likely prepare learners for work in the service, maintenance, repair, or manufacturing level. Some schools offer a specialized track such as management or engineering. Learners may also receive the freedom to choose their own electives that fit personal interests. Associate degree-holders may sit for an ASE certification upon completion of these programs.
Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Technology
Bachelor’s programs in automotive technology provide learners with more comprehensive studies than certificate and associate programs. These four-year programs typically feature both classroom and hands-on work, including units such as project management, vehicle safety and security systems, and automotive customer relations.
The idea behind this course is to prepare students for management and leadership opportunities in the field. Practical skills will be developed and opportunities to explore and research and technologies lending to automotive innovations will be presented to learners.
However, not many schools offer Bachelor’s programs in Automotive Technology as many employers and employees find an associate degree or certification sufficient to begin work.
Master’s Degree in Automotive Technology
The master’s degree in Automotive Technology is less common than the bachelor’s degree and is only reserved for those who wish to develop expertise in certain specialties and concentrations.
What to Expect From An Automotive Technology Program
Associate and Diploma Degree programs provide students with hands-on experiences. On-the-job experiences enable learners to enact what they learned in class and gain further insight into auto technicians’ and sales peoples’ roles in the field.
Degree-seekers in online mechanical schools complete most or all of their coursework online. Online programs often provide remote learners with interactive lessons, simulations, and animations to offer a virtual learning experience. This may not be as effective as contact learning but it is not far off from the real experience
Before you venture into a career path, it is of uttermost importance that you know the opportunities that you are looking at. So what can you do with a degree in Automotive Engineering?
On-the-job training plays a significant role in many automotive technology job opportunities. Most employers do not even require graduates to complete an apprenticeship before beginning work, especially for those with formal training in a certificate or undergraduate program.
Some of the areas of specialty in certification in Automotive Engineering are:
- Suspension and steering
- Manual drivetrain and axles
- Heating and air-conditioning
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Automatic transmission/transaxle
- Engine performance
- Engine repair
The following industries are often in dire need of the services an automotive technician provides, including regular service and maintenance:
- Fire Departments
Automatic Technology Job Outlook
The automotive industry has experienced some major technological advancements since the turn of the century when the first hybrid car was presented. We’ve since been introduced to Bluetooth, automatic parking, reversing cameras, the Tesla autopilot, and other countless technological advancements in the field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics holds that over 46,000 technicians and mechanics will be called upon to fill roles through 2026, with job prospects on the rise through 2028. The idea of competition should not discourage you from pursuing a degree in automotive technology.
With baby boomers aging out of the workforce and more individuals pursuing four-years degrees and jobs outside of the industry, there is an incredibly high demand for skilled automotive technicians who can help keep up with the different tech and trends coming our way.
High-tech introductions in the Automotive industry are constantly on the rise, and so are job opportunities.
What Kind of Salary Can I Earn in an Automotive Career?
Mechanic school graduates today earn a good living from automotive technology careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals with formal training in automotive technology generally earn more than the median annual wage for all other occupations in the U.S.
Most people who specialize in heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service earn some of the best salaries in the field. In fact, the top 10 percent of earners in these roles earn a median annual wage of at least $79,810 according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Having gained proper knowledge on everything pertaining to the Automotive Technology field, it is now left for one to select the career of their choice. If you find yourself interested in the career, you know what you are getting into. Considering the opportunities, demand, and the improving salary figures, it is a good choice.