A trade school mechanic program, or automotive technology program, will focus on auto service and repair and will take about 1 year to complete. An auto technology program will help a student develop an understanding of the theory and practical applications of parts, performance, diagnostics & repair. In modern trade school classrooms and labs, computer-based diagnostic equipment is emphasized. Students will gain experience in subjects like fuel injection, electronic ignition, transmission, brake, and suspension systems.
Goals Of A Mechanic Training Program
Trade school mechanic programs often have two major goals. 1. Teaching students the skills they’ll require to qualify them for an entry level job. And 2. Preparing students to take certificate examinations like the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams and the EPA 609 Air Conditioning Technician exam.
Typical Courses In An Automotive Technology Program
A well-balanced trade school automotive technology program will combine theory with hands-on training. Courses will often include both classroom and shop learning. Typical courses you might expect to encounter during your program include:
- Automatic Transmission
- Brake Systems
- Engine Theory and Systems
- Electrical Theory and Diagnosis
- Engine Performance and Ignition Systems
- Fuel Systems and Emission Control
- Gasoline Engine Construction
- Hybrid Technology
- Manual Transmissions
- Preventative Maintenance
- Service Shop Procedures/Management
- Steering & Suspension
The above list includes common courses taken during mechanic training programs. The actual courses you take will depend on the school you choose to attend. We’ve created a set of ASE practice tests that will familiarize you with the contents of some of these courses.
Hands-On Mechanic Shop Training
During their trade school mechanic program, students will generally spend a lot of time in the lab/shop. They’ll be working both on training models and real cars with real issues. Working on real cars is important since it introduces the student to the wear and tear they’d see in an actual garage. A modern trade school automotive tech shop will have a variety of equipment for students to learn on, including:
- Automotive Lifts
- Brake Lathes
- Common Hand Tools
- Computer Diagnostics Equipment
- Computerized Alignment Equipment
- Emissions Diagnostic Equipment
- Engine Hoists
- Pneumatic Tools
- Valve Grinding Equipment
- Wheel Balancing Equipment
Partner Trade Schools Offering Mechanic Training Programs
These are some of our partner schools and the time it takes to complete their automotive tech programs.
- Porter & Chester – 12 months
- Florida Career College – 10 months
- Lincoln Tech – 56 weeks
- STVT – 50 weeks
The length of time noted is for a student who is going to school on a weekday full-time schedule.
Automotive Technology Program Preview Video
Here’s a recent video from Lincoln Tech, one of our partner schools.