If you have a strong desire to take things apart to figure out how they work, then a career in automotive technology could be a satisfying and challenging choice. The best automotive technology management schools offer both hands-on learning opportunities as well as stellar courses that provide access to the latest in equipment and field information.

There are fewer than 20 top schools in the country that offer a premiere education in automotive technology management. Gaining an automotive management bachelor’s degree can propel you into a lucrative leadership position in this changing and expanding industry.

Through detailed courses and hands-on experiences, students who attend one of these top automotive management schools can become expert leaders in their field upon graduation. Most of the top automotive management schools provide theoretical instruction as well as practical application far beyond the basic vehicle diagnosis, design and repair training.

What Is Automotive Technology?

Fascinating and detailed, automotive technology is the real-world use of knowledge about self-propelled vehicles or other mobile machines. Students who study automotive technology train and study the construction of vehicles. This includes the hulking engine, complicated fuel and ignition systems, brakes, transmissions, power trains, delicate electronics and diagnostic equipment.

Why Consider Automotive Technology Management

There’s more to automotive technology than meets the laser eye. Aside from large auto engines and machines, students of automotive technology work on hand tools and small machines. They can repair and maintain any vehicle and know the finer workings of many engines and machines.

A motivated student can go beyond working on the parts of an auto to creating cars. They can dabble in design and construct large and small automobiles. This can include massive work vehicles for civil and military use to sleek sports cars for luxury auto companies.

Creative and logical, an automotive technology manager has great organizational skills and is adept at solving problems with a team. Obtaining an automotive management bachelor’s degree can open a world of opportunities in many cutting edge industries in cities around the world.

Careers Available for Automotive Technologists

There is a wide array of industries that need a qualified automotive technologist. From vehicle maintenance repair to avionic maintenance, an automotive technologist can find work in many niches.

  • Automotive Mechanics
  • Auto body/Collision Repair
  • Aviation Maintenance
  • Mechanical Engineering Related Technology
  • Hydraulics and Fluid Power Technology
  • Self-Propelled Vehicle Technology
  • Electromechanical and Biomedical Engineering Technology

An automotive engineering management degree will allow you to specialize within the vast and changing industry.

The basic courses go beyond mechanics and can include:

  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Matrix Algebra
  • Chemistry
  • Dynamics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Statistics
  • Physics

Programs to Kick Start a Degree

There are many programs that offer students credit hours toward getting a degree. Students in high school can benefit from taking these programs to get a jump start on a diploma from a top-tier automotive management school. This can expedite their schooling and propel them into lucrative leadership positions in the field.

The auto service technician program at Washburn University Institute of Technology offers students a chance to get their hands on the latest in auto machinery and technology. The courses concentrate on maintenance and repair of all types of engines, electrical systems and transmissions among other basic automotive parts. Students can complete the program in two or four semesters. It offers 52 credits for an associates or bachelor’s degree at a higher education institution.

The Central Louisiana Technical Community College offers a 60-credit automotive program. It prepares students to immediately service a wide range of vehicles after graduation of the four-semester program. Upon earning the technical diploma, students will be able to take the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification test.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Students who have earned an associate in applied Science degree in automotive technology can obtain a bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, this highly regarded university has a tailored two-year management program. It includes courses in industry customer relations, service sales, supervision and management and field service engineering among other beneficial modules.

Farmingdale State College

For those who want to get their hands dirty with real-life experience, Farmingdale State College is a good fit. This New-York based college gives students hands-on experience with machines for all types of terrain, from the air to the sea and on the land.

The college has two degree programs, a B.S. in Automotive Management Technology – Industry Technology and an A.A.S. in Automotive Technology. It offers full-time and part-time classes in automotive management technology. More than 80 percent of Farmingdale’s students find placement in the automotive management field after graduation.

University of Central Missouri

Located in in Warrensburg, this top mechanics school has a bachelor’s degree program that focuses on three areas:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Design Technology
  • Management Technology

The college arranges an internship at an automobile manufacturing company that students are required to complete in order to graduate.

Southern Illinois University

This college is recognized around the world as a prominent automotive technology school. Southern Illinois partners with industry manufacturers to offer a fleet of more than 90 late model training vehicles for students to work on. The college blends automotive technical and business operations in its curriculum with a combination of theoretical and practical application in a variety of classes.

The school is one of a few that assists students in completing the internship requirement. Graduates can go on to purse a master’s in business administration for specialized positions in the automotive industry.

McPherson College

This small liberal arts college in Kansas offers a full automotive restoration bachelor’s degree program. Its other automotive-based programs include technology, communications and historic automotive technology. Students are asked to join the Academic Community Essentials program, which can give them work experience as they complete a service project and develop career goals.

Montana State University – Northern

Located in Havre, Montana State University has two programs that teach a comprehensive introduction to the essentials of a wide variety of modern vehicles. Graduates are prepared to pass a number of Automotive Service Excellence tests. Classes for the associate’s and bachelor’s degree include:

  • Alternative Automotive Power Systems
  • Current Trends Mobility Tech
  • Shop Procedures
  • Automatics

Weber State University

This highly regarded program in Ogden, Utah, has a host of specialized technical degree programs. Weber’s College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology offers a variety of associate’s and bachelor’s degrees for students who want to focus on more than automotive repair, service and basic business management. It has a high recruitment rate among graduates.

Weber is one of a few schools that partners with a major automotive manufacturer. Its A.A.S. General Motors ASEP allows students to train for a career with GM with paid, on-the-job experience. Students who intend to pursue a Master ASE-certification will benefit from this type of course.

Walla Walla University

At Walla Walla’s University Auto, students can get real-life experience. The full-service auto shop is completely run by students of the automotive program. This helps students in preparing to pass the ASE certification exams.

A major benefit of attending this college is that students can earn an income while working in the University Auto shop. This experience strengthens the graduate’s resume to find work in the industry immediately upon graduation.

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About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.