The Automotive Technology Program curriculum is certified with the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) and is designed to provide entry-level skills in the automotive mechanics field. 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.
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.
Beginning Automotive Technology Certificate leads to work in basic automotive maintenance; basic electrical; fuel systems.
Intermediate Automotive Technology Certificate leads to work as a Tune-up Technician or Entry-level Electrical Technician.
Advanced Automotive Technology Certificate leads to work as an Air-Conditioning Technician, Electrical Technician, Chassis Technician, or Advanced Engine Performance.
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
In addition, students who complete the program will demonstrate the following skills standards specific to Automotive Technology:
- 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
All 100 level Automotive courses must be completed with a “C” or better in order to enroll in 200 level Automotive courses.
A Ceritificate of Proficiency in Beginning or Intermediate or Advanced or Certificate of Achievement in Engine in Automotive Technology will be awarded upon successful completion of the courses listed below.
Admission: Students are accepted into the Automotive Technology Program every quarter.
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 two quarters leading to the intermediate certificate for an additional two quarters. Completing the advanced certificate will take the student an additional two quarters.
The engine certificate will take the student one additional quarter (summer).
Additional Costs: 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.
Special Program Note: Students with previous automotive background or completion of high school automotive training can receive advanced placement credit for AUTO 100 and enroll directly into AUTO 111. Students who have had no previous automotive training must enroll in AUTO 100 or have instructor’s permission. Students may enroll in AUTO 100 and AUTO 111 concurrently.
The program is certified by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation. 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.
Additional Program Information
Certificates of Proficiency
Intermediate Certificate Prerequisite: AUTO 111 or Automotive Placement Test
Advanced Certificate Prerequisite: AUTO 220 or Automotive Placement Test
Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised March 21, 2017