Automotive technology programs help prepare students to work in the automotive service and maintenance industry. Auto techs may work for auto repair shops, dealership service departments. or corporate fleet maintenance departments. These professionals are typically responsible for the inspection, diagnosis, and repair of vehicle issues, as well as preventive maintenance.
Illinois Auto Mechanic Schools
- Southern Illinois University: The automotive technology program at SIU offers a four-year bachelor's degree, a rarity in the industry. The program supplements education in auto technology with courses in business, management, computing technology, and communications.
- City Colleges of Chicago: The CCC auto tech program includes options for an Associate of Applied Science degree or technical certificates. It also offers the opportunity for AAS students to transfer to Southern Illinois University to complete a bachelor's degree in automotive technology.
- Waubonsee Community College: WCC offers AAS degree programs in both automotive services technology and automotive technology. The former concentrates on emerging technologies, and the latter prepares students to work in the auto maintenance and service industry. The school also offers certificate programs in a range of specialties.
- College of DuPage: COD offers both AAS and certificate options, and its degree track leads to an AAS degree in automotive service technology.
- College of Lake County: CLC has two AAS degree options, one in under-the-car specialization and one in under-the-hood topics. The program also offers transfer options to four-year programs at Southern Illinois University and Ferris State University in Michigan.
- Prairie State College: The automotive technology program at Prairie State culminates in an AAS degree.
- Illinois Central College: The AAS program at ICC includes an 8-week paid internship with an off-campus employer.
- Moraine Valley Community College: MCC offers an AAS option and five different certificate tracks, as well as an option to participate in a manufacturer-specific program sponsored by Chrysler.
What to Expect from Illinois Auto Mechanic Programs
Generally, automotive technology programs focus on teaching students how to repair and maintain different automotive systems. These often include:
- Engines, transmissions and brakes
- Suspension and steering
- Electronics and electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Emissions control systems
- Safety equipment
While some instruction may take place in a classroom environment, students should also expect to spend time working on actual automotive systems in a shop or garage. This hands-on training helps to better prepare students for future careers as auto mechanics.
Illinois Auto Mechanic Certification
There is no licensing requirement for automotive technicians in Illinois. Technicians may need a degree or certificate to qualify for certain jobs, however. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence administers the industry-standard certification for auto technicians who pass the ASE certification exam. To qualify to take the test, techs must have at least two years of on-the-job experience, or a combination of one year one-the-job experience and a two-year degree from an accredited automotive tech program.
Resources for Auto Mechanics in Illinois