In most cases, automotive technology programs help prepare students for work as automotive technicians who maintain and repair cars and trucks. These programs typically include instruction in how to diagnose problems with vehicles and use the latest tools to fix those problems, as well as training covering all of a vehicle's basic systems. Automotive technicians often work in automotive repair facilities, but they may also maintain vehicle fleets in corporate or governmental settings.
Minnesota Auto Mechanic Schools
Several schools in Minnesota offer formal training in the field of automotive technology. Here is a list of institutions with education options for prospective auto mechanics:
- Dunwoody College of Technology: This college, which is located in Minneapolis, offers programs in both automotive service and collision repair. The program works in collaboration with manufacturers such as Honda, Mopar, Toyota, and Subaru to provide brand-specific training.
- Hennepin Technical College: Minneapolis' Hennepin Technical College offers training in diagnostics, maintenance, and repair of cars and light trucks. Its aim is to prepare students for a career as an automotive technician, and the curriculum includes coverage of power train, electrical, emissions, and all other primary systems.
- Lake Superior College: Duluth's Lake Superior College offers a basic program in automotive maintenance that positions students for careers as automotive technicians. The program focuses on diagnostics, repair, and maintenance, as well as tools and environmental procedures.
- Minnesota State College Southeast: This campus of MSC, located in Winona, offers a program in automotive technology, as well as a focused underbody specialist certificate. The programs are housed in a new facility which includes a state-of-the-art lab.
- Newgate School: Located in Saint Paul, the Newgate School offers a 12-month-long program in basic auto mechanics. Curriculum includes training in basics of auto construction, tool usage, and diagnostic systems, along with basic instruction in the maintenance of all major vehicle systems.
What to Expect from Minnesota Auto Mechanic Programs
The goal of most automotive technology programs is to train students to diagnose, repair, and maintain all aspects of modern vehicular systems. Coursework typically covers the following areas:
- Engine and power-generation systems
- Transmission and drivetrain systems
- Brake and suspension systems
- Electrical and electronic systems
- Emissions systems
- Safety systems
In addition to classroom-based lessons, most programs contain a hands-on training component, giving students the opportunity to work on actual vehicles and automotive systems. These exercises may be completed at a school garage or even a local auto body shop. Some colleges also have internship programs with local service facilities, allowing students to gain valuable job experience while they finish their studies.
Minnesota Auto Mechanic Licensing and Certification
Auto mechanics do not need a license to work in Minnesota. However, some employers may prefer to hire candidates who possess a degree in the field or have passed a certification exam.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers a certification credential, known simply as ASE Certification, that testifies to a mechanic's experience and skills in the field. Candidates for ASE Certification must have two years of on-the-job experience or a combination of one year field experience and a two-year degree from an automotive technology program. Many of Minnesota's automotive technology programs are geared toward preparing students to qualify for and be successful at the ASE Certification exams.
Resources for Auto Mechanics in Minnesota