The Best Auto Mechanic Schools

Become Team
Become Team
November 11, 2021

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Few individuals are more important to the smooth running of society and commerce than auto mechanics. Auto mechanics' median salary is $44,050 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the number of jobs available is expected to remain steady for the next decade.

Auto mechanic positions require a high school or GED diploma, and many mechanics attend a postsecondary program that usually does not include a degree. Usually, a mechanic can complete training in at least 12 months. The best auto mechanic schools offer a range of programs, allowing you to learn the basics and more advanced procedures.

25 Best Auto Mechanic Schools

The best auto mechanic schools offer small class sizes, low prices, high graduation rates, and proper accreditation. The following schools are accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), which are industry-standard accrediting bodies. Here are the schools that meet our criteria in alphabetical order:

How We Choose the Best Schools

We chose the best auto mechanic schools based on the following credentials:

Advanced Technology Institute Virginia Beach, VA

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $18,978
Graduation rate: 75%

Advanced Technology Institute students in the Automotive Technology diploma program go through a combination of laboratory and classroom learning. This program takes roughly 15 months, and once you graduate, you'll be able to seek employment as an entry-level auto tech.

Apex Technical School Long Island City, NY

School type: Private for-profit
Net Price: $15,155
Graduation rate: 75%

Apex Technical School's Automotive Service & Repair program includes 900 hours worth of classroom and shop learning.

Berks Career & Technology Center Leesport, PA

School type: Public
Net Price: $11,667
Graduation rate: 79%

Berks Career & Technology Center students enrolled in the Automotive Technology program graduate prepared to become auto service technicians or mechanics. You'll also be eligible for the Pennsylvania State Inspection and/or Emissions certification.

Bristol Technical Education Center Bristol, CT

School type: Public
Net Price: $7,514
Graduation rate: 93%

Bristol Technical Education Center's Automotive Technology program takes two years to complete and results in a certificate. You'll also have the opportunity to take ASE certification exams.

Charlotte Technical College Port Charlotte, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: $9,869
Graduation rate: 98%

Charlotte Technical College's Automotive Service Technology I program takes 1050 hours on a Monday through Friday schedule. Visit their website for entry requirements.

Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, CO

School type: Public
Net Price: $7,653
Graduation rate: 98%

Emily Griffith Technical College's Automotive Services program takes 10 months to complete, and you'll be able to earn eight different certifications.

First Coast Technical College Saint Augustine, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: up to $3,654
Graduation rate: 93%

First Coast Technical College has two different Automotive Service Technology programs to decide from based on your budget and timeframe. View the differences between the two on their site.

Grand River Technical School Chillicothe, MO

School type: Public
Net Price: $8,574
Graduation rate: 90%

Grand River Technical School's nine-month Auto Services Technology program has summer internship opportunities on top of their classroom and laboratory learning.

Indian Capital Technology Center Muskogee, OK

School type: Public
Net Price: $6,672
Graduation rate: 98%

Indian Capital Technology Center's Muskogee campus Auto Service Technology program made our list, but the school has campuses in three other locations as well.

Lincoln Technical Institute-Columbia Columbia, MD

School type: Private for-profit
Net Price: $24,487
Graduation rate: 69%

Lincoln Technical Institute has Automotive Technology Training programs across the U.S. The Columbia, MD program partners with Audi to offer students training.

Lincoln Technical Institute-Queens Queens, NY

School type: Private for-profit
Net Price: $23,635
Graduation rate: 68%

Lincoln Technical Institute's Queens campus boasts 50,000 square feet of learning space, and it's in the same building as the Greater New York Auto Dealer's Association, allowing students easy access to networking.

Lorenzo Walker Technical College Naples, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: $9,765
Graduation rate: 91%

Lorenzo Walker Technical College offers an Automotive Service Technology program accredited by the NATEF. Visit their website to learn about their preliminary requirements.

Manatee Technical College Bradenton, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: $4,106
Graduation rate: 91%

Manatee Technical College's Automotive Service Technology program takes 15 months of full-time schooling.

Meridian Technology Center Stillwater, OK

School type: Public
Net Price: $7,707
Graduation rate: 73%

Meridian Technology Center offers two Automotive Technology Training paths: Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician and Automotive Service Technician.

Moore Norman Technology Center Norman, OK

School type: Public
Net Price: $6,267
Graduation rate: 52%

Moore Norman Technology Center has a 1050-hour Automotive Service Technology program available for long-term, short-term, daytime, and nighttime study.

Ocean County Vocational-Technical School Toms River, NJ

School type: Public
Net Price: $7,921
Graduation rate: 83%

OCVTS's Automotive Technology program takes two years to complete. Completion qualifies you for ASE tests and entry-level employment.

Ohio Technical College Cleveland, OH

School type: Private for-profit
Net Price: $22,541
Graduation rate: 72%

Ohio Technical College offers an 18-month Complete Automotive Technology program and has career placement services to help graduates get a job.

Polaris Career Center Middleburg Heights, OH

School type: Public
Net Price: $9,995
Graduation rate: 83%

Polaris Career Center's Automotive Service Technician program takes 41 weeks (600 hours) to complete.

Polk Education Pathways Winter Haven, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: $16,030
Graduation rate: 80%

Polk Education Pathways offers two Automotive Service Technology programs to choose from. They're both NATEF-approved, and you'll be eligible for ASE testing after completion.

Pontotoc Technology Center Ada, OK

School type: Public
Net Price: $4,290
Graduation rate: 96%

Pontotoc Technology Center's Automotive General Service Technician program is NATEF-accredited and takes 1050 hours to complete.

Rosedale Technical College Pittsburgh, PA

School type: Private not-for-profit
Net Price: $19,732
Graduation rate: 86%

Rosedale Technical College's Automotive Technology Training program results in an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree or Diploma. They offer daytime and evening classes.

Southwest Technology Center Altus, OK

School type: Public
Net Price: $13,369
Graduation rate: 89%

Southwest Technology Center allows you to complete their Automotive Technology program in one or two years.

Suncoast Technical College Sarasota, FL

School type: Public
Net Price: $9,380
Graduation rate: 92%

Suncoast Technical College offers a 15-month long Automotive Service Technology program.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis Memphis, TN

School type: Public
Net Price: $6,230
Graduation rate: 96%

Tennessee College of Applied Technology's Memphis campus offers a full-time Automotive Technology program accredited by the NATEF.

Tidewater Tech-Trades Norfolk, VA

School type: Private for-profit
Net Price: $21,743
Graduation rate: 84%

Tidewater Tech's Automotive Technician program takes 48 weeks to complete if you attend full-time. The program results in a diploma.

How to Become a Mechanic

A potential employer may look for mechanics who have held apprenticeships or training where they have earned hands-on experience. Most employers will also require a high-school-level diploma or GED.

Although some employers may want their mechanics to hold certification, there are no state requirements or licenses to become a general-duty mechanic. Some states, however, require certification for certain tasks. In Maine and California, for example, licensing is required for those who do vehicle inspections.

The ASE is the primary certification agency, and it offers a series of 52 tests that can certify you in areas such as collision repair, alternative fuels, and undercar specialization. You are considered to have master technician status when you achieve certification in all tests in that area.

FAQs on Auto Mechanic School Programs

Do you have to go to school to become a mechanic?

Most employers require a high school diploma or GED. To qualify for a higher salary and better benefits, you may need an associate degree or ASE certification.

What will you learn in a mechanic program?

Most programs feature a mix of classroom time and hands-on experience that teaches common mechanical tasks such as tune-ups, engine repairs, and brake replacement. You may also learn more skilled jobs such as damage analysis and estimating repairs, alternative fuel repairs, and repairs on busses and large trucks.

How long do mechanic programs take?

Mechanic programs can take up to two years, but you can often find programs that take six months or less. Associate degree programs might take longer if you attend part-time.

How much does mechanic school cost?

Costs for auto mechanic schools vary widely. A program involving six to 12 months of full-time study may cost between $5,000 and $20,000. Online programs may be available for less. You may also pay less if you apply for and receive scholarships, loans, and grant funding.

How to Choose the Right Auto Mechanic School

Choosing the best auto mechanic school is a personal decision. Location and class times may play a role, as well as the reputation of your school. Here are some other factors you should take into account:

Good balance of workshops and classroom learning
As vehicles become more computerized and technologically complex, it's important for mechanics to have the classroom skills to understand the issues that may hinder their functioning. But you'll also need to experience hands-on practice to allow you to get a feel for working with brakes, heating and cooling systems, and other engine functions.
Internships
There is no substitute for actually working in the field. Ask your school counselor if you will have the opportunity to observe and work with professionals in a working repair shop or dealership.
Career placement services
The best mechanic schools have comprehensive career placement services to help you craft a resume, cover letter, and other job materials. They will also be able to work with you to locate competitive positions that best fit your skills.
Qualified instructors
Your instructors should be ASE-certified mechanics with both the technical skills and in-the-field experience to be able to answer your questions and guide you in learning what goes on behind the scenes in a garage or dealership.

Other Ways to Become a Mechanic

It is possible to become a mechanic by becoming an apprentice to an established mechanic willing to train you in the basics and give you the opportunity to prove yourself as you gain experience.

You can pursue ASE certification independently, but learners will need two years of in-the-field training or one year of training in conjunction with an associate degree in a related field to meet the full qualifications for certification.

Mechanics who work toward ASE master technician status in a particular area may open the door to higher wages and better working benefits upon certification. An associate degree may also lead to career benefits. Some schools offer a bachelor's degree in auto mechanics, which allows the student to focus on a specific area such as transmissions or management.

Financial Aid for Your Auto Mechanic School

How much does mechanic school cost? The answer varies greatly depending on the school and your circumstances. One way to keep costs down is to apply for financial aid available at many colleges and trade schools. Here are some scholarships and grants worth looking at.

Mechanic Scholarships

Find Your Drive Scholarship

AWAF (Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation) Scholarships

Imagine America Foundation

Federal Grants for Automotive School

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Assistance

Companies with Tuition Reimbursement Incentive Programs (TRIPs)

Nissan Technical Training Academy/Infiniti Technical Training Academy

Amazon

Become Team
Become Team
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