How Much Does Automotive School Cost?
How Much Does Automotive School Cost?
The good news if you’re planning on pursuing a career in automotive repair is this: Your education isn’t going to cost you as much as a brand-new Corvette. But don’t expect your education to be free either.
If you’re giving significant thought to entering the automotive repair field, it’s wise to first consider the cost. After all, education has been quite pricey these days, generally for any subject.
And in this career field, you’ll want to find a school that will allow you to complete your training quickly so you can find automotive jobs and start earning a solid salary.
Earning a Living as an Auto Tech
Today’s automotive technicians are trained to inspect, maintain, and repair a variety of vehicles that operate on gasoline, electricity, or even alternative fuels. Mechanics who want to specialize in diesel-fueled vehicles must receive specialized training courses and usually enroll in a separate training program.
The process for becoming an automotive technician can begin in high school through a vocational program. Or the path could begin in college where you can earn a college-level certificate or complete an associate degree program.
So, how much does automotive school cost?
The following estimates can help you determine what you can afford for the type of career opportunity you’re hoping to pursue in this field.
Online Automotive Training Programs
These programs typically cost about $1,000 or less. Some schools offer online automotive technician correspondence courses for about $750. You may also need to factor in other expenses, such as textbooks, study guides, online exams, and other resources.
These courses can be completed in as little as six months—or up to two years—entirely through remote learning.
Expect to pay $6,000 to $20,000 for automotive technology certificate programs’ tuition and fees. With a wider variety in how these programs are set up, you may pay less for a basic certificate or more for one that includes specialized instruction in specific brands, technologies, or equipment.
Certificate programs can be as short as 18 weeks or take as long as two years.
An associate degree program in auto technology generally costs between $10,000 and $25,000. Tuition costs at automotive schools can vary greatly based on the demand and reputation of the associate degree program. Like other college programs, sometimes you pay extra for the name or esteem of a given learning institution.
Associate degrees are typically designed to be completed in about two years.
You can also anticipate additional charges for voluntary certifications through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Examples of certifications include those for automobiles/light trucks, collision and refinishing, service consulting, and parts. ASE certification tests cost $47 (or $94 for advanced level tests), plus a $34 registration fee.
And last—but not least—automotive technicians must also take into account licensing requirements that vary by state.
For example, auto mechanics in Michigan are required to take a licensing test for each type of repair they’ll be doing. The exams cost $6 each, and there’s a $25 fee for the certification application.
What does the cost of your education get you—besides the tuition itself? Online certificate programs often include automotive tools and related study materials as part of their fees. For classes that can be taken in person, your tuition will cover classroom lectures, instruction, and hands-on training with equipment.
As with any college-level course or certificate program, you can expect to pay additional fees for books, tools, and other enrollment costs that can raise the total program expense by as much as $1,000–$3,000. These should be factored in before you enroll so you aren’t caught off guard!
Living away from home—if you haven’t lived on your own before—can also add significant expenses to your college budget. Room and board, for example, could add $10,000 or more to your annual cost.
Worried about affording your education? Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you make the investment in your future!
Check out national automotive industry associations and regional groups to see if you can apply or qualify for scholarship funds. You can also search for lists of available scholarship programs online to help make the cost of your education more affordable.
And, of course, you can apply for a scholarship worth up to $1,000 toward the cost of your tuition at schools that participate in the Imagine America scholarship programs.
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