Auto mechanics maintain and repair cars, trucks, vans, and more. To build a successful career as an automotive technician, you should enjoy working with your hands and applying logic and analytical thinking to solve problems. Some mechanics choose to specialize in a certain type of vehicle, such as heavy equipment, import cars, or motorcycles. Others may choose to focus on repairing a particular part of the vehicle, such as transmission work.
Utah Auto Mechanic Schools
The state of Utah offers many educational choices for people interested in earning either a degree or certificate in automotive technology. Here are five schools with programs in the field:
- Dixie State University: Located in St. George, Dixie State offers program options accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), as well as certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Students can choose from two programs, the Automotive Mechanics Certificate or an Associates of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Automotive Mechanics.
- Uintah Basin Applied Technology College: UBATC in Roosevelt offers automotive technology students the chance to learn diagnostics, electrical systems, planning routine service work, and application of mechanical reasoning. The course follows NATEF curriculum guidelines and provides certification upon completion.
- Utah Valley University: UVU, located in Orem, offers five automotive technology programs, ranging from certification to a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management. Students receive hands-on training working with the tools and technology common in modern vehicles.
- Weber State University: At its Ogden campus, Weber State has six degree programs in automotive technology, including two Bachelor of Science programs. Their certificate programs help prepare students for entry-level positions, while programs such as the AAS in Heavy Duty Truck aim to move students into specialized careers.
- Salt Lake Community College: SLCC offers certification and AAS degrees in automotive technology. Students choose from specialty courses such as motorcycle repair, or AAS degrees in maintenance, repair, or collision (or all three).
What to Expect from Utah Auto Mechanic Programs
Students in auto technician programs can expect to study eight basic principles of auto repair:
- Automatic transmission/transaxle
- Drive train and axles
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Engine performance
- Engine repair
- Heating and air conditioning
- Steering and suspension
Vehicles today feature complex, advanced computer and electronic systems. Automotive technology students learn how to read this data to diagnose mechanical issues, and then design and implement an effective repair strategy.
Instruction is typically split between classroom-based lessons and hands-on training exercises. The hands-on component, which gives students the chance to work on actual vehicles or automotive systems, may take place at a campus workshop or even a local auto repair facility.
Utah Auto Mechanic Licensing and Certification
The state of Utah does not require auto mechanics to obtain a special license. However, Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification may boost your resume and earning power, and some shops require it. In addition, the EPA requires certification in the proper handling of refrigerants for mechanics working with this substance.
Resources for Auto Mechanics in Utah
- ASE offers free practice tests and registration for ASE Certification.
- The EPA offers information and tests on Stationary Refrigeration Certification.