Automotive technology

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Career opportunities, economic rewards, emerging technologies. Automotive technology has it all.

The Automotive Technology program at Tidewater Community College puts you on track with one of today’s most promising careers.

TCC’s Automotive Technology program, accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), prepares students to become automotive technicians and provides updated training for those already working. Students learn general automotive repair, servicing and diagnostics, which includes theoretical and practical training in engine overhaul, engine performance, automotive transmissions, power trains, steering and suspension and brakes, as well as electrical/electronic systems and air conditioning.

p8_automotiveStudents have a choice of three manufacturer programs in addition to the general associate degree program. Chrysler’s CAP, Honda’s PACT and Toyota’s T-TEN programs prepare the student to work as a manufacturer certified technician at their sponsoring dealerships. These programs also prepare students for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (A.S.E.) certification tests, the Virginia state inspection exam, and the air conditioning license exam.

TCC’s comprehensive automotive program also includes certificate programs in a variety of areas including collision repair; automotive engine diagnosis; automotive brakes, suspension and state inspection; automotive electrical, electronic and air conditioning; and automotive heavy-duty engine and transmission. All certificates are stackable and students can use the credits towards the associate degree.

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Examples of typical automotive technician job opportunities include service technician, service writer, assistant service manager and shop foreman. Collision repair jobs include refinishing and non-structural repair technician. “After completing the program, technicians work in dealerships, repair shops, and for various fleets and government agencies,” said Beno Rubin, director of TCC’s Regional Automotive Center. “Most students find employment while they are completing the required 567-hour cooperative internship program.”

Today’s vehicles contain complex computer and electronic systems, and the technicians who work on them have to be highly trained, skilled professionals who are competent in math, science and computer technology. Communication and management skills are equally important for success in the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow 9 percent from 2012 to 2022. With some employers reporting difficulty finding workers who have the right skills and education, job opportunities for qualified applicants should be very good.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes jobseekers who have completed formal postsecondary training programs – especially candidates with training in advanced automotive technology, such as hybrid fuel or computer systems – should enjoy the best job prospects. Those without formal automotive training are likely to face strong competition for entry-level jobs.

TCC’s automotive technology programs are taught at the college’s Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake. The 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art center is Hampton Roads’ only high-tech educational facility for today’s automotive industry. The Center boasts nine classrooms and 15 instructional garage bays – including one that will accommodate a tractor-trailer rig.

For more information, contact Beno Rubin at 757-822-5077 or [email protected].

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