Automotive Technology

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 103  |   Length of Program: 8 quarters

Subject: Automotive Technology

Automotive Technology - Associate in Applied Science

Students learn to diagnose automotive problems in a practical hands-on shop environment, using state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair equipment. Upon completion of this program students will be qualified for a broad range of employment opportunities.  

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Career Opportunities

The automotive industry employs more than 17,800 persons in the state of Washington.  There is a shortage of qualified journey-level workers. Studies show many employers are reluctant to hire trainees without on-the-job or live shop experience. Job prospects are best in high population centers. Some mechanics specialize in one aspect of repair work while others become technicians or general mechanics. Car dealers, garages, service stations, industrial plants, and public agencies are potential employers.  See Automotive, Welding & Manufacturing  » Automotive for more career and employment information.


The Automotive Technology Program curriculum is certified with the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).

Length of Program

The Automotive Technology Program takes a minimum of two years of full-time studies for the Associate in Applied Science degree. The beginning certificate can be completed in a minimum of three quarters leading to the advanced certificate for an additional three quarters.

Cost of Program / Financial Aid

The required set of first year professional grade tools will typically cost $2,000 or more depending on the vendor.  Second year purchase of professional grade tools are highly recommended before graduation and can cost up to $3,000 or more. Books will cost approximately $800 for the two-year course.

Admission Requirements

Students with previous automotive background or completion of high school automotive training can receive advanced placement credit for AUTO 100 and AUTO 110 and enroll directly into AUTO 108.  Students who have had no previous automotive training must enroll in AUTO 100 and AUTO 110 or have instructor’s permission.  Students may enroll in AUTO 100 and AUTO 110 concurrently. 

For the technician in the field, single classes may be taken for update upon instructor approval.  For information during summer quarter please contact the Counseling/Career Center, (360) 596-5261.

Application Process / How to Apply

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Program Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the Automotive Technology program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify, analyze and provide diagnostic solutions to automotive repair projects
  • Apply effective communication skills as a team member by properly completing work order summaries containing the three “C’s” (complaint, cause, correction)
  • Interpret and apply mathematical equations used in the automotive industry
  • Apply the appropriate legal repair standards and technical practices while diagnosing and repairing customer-based cars
  • Critique their own ability to work effectively and collaboratively in multi-disciplinary lab teams
  • Be proficient in the safe and proper use of automotive hand tools
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge in the use of modern shop diagnostic and repair equipment
  • Demonstrate the hands-on competency in the following NATEF task areas; automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drive train, steering and suspension systems, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, engine performance and engine repair
  • Research applicable vehicle information using computer based service manuals
  • Demonstrate the ability to write a vehicle work order summary containing the three “C” (complaint, cause, correction)
  • Demonstrate the entry-level knowledge necessary to take the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) tests
Ed Plan / Class List
General Education Requirements


ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.

MATH101 Technical Mathematics I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Covers the theories and applications of mathematics used in technical fields with emphasis on problem solving strategies, measurement, algebra, geometry, unit conversions and the metric system. Prerequisite: Eligible for MATH 092.

Human Relations 

Diversity Requirement 
Diversity-designated courses at South Puget Sound Community College provide opportunities for students to develop awareness of their own social and cultural identities, seek understanding of others, and cultivate skills to communicate across cultures and differences. All programs require the completion of a diversity course.


Effective Catalog Year 2020-2021

Revision Date: 
May 1, 2020