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Automotive Systems Technology
automotive classOne out of every seven people in the United States is employed by a business involved in the automotive industry. Automotive repair and service technicians are a large part of this group. The need for and importance of automotive technicians can be seen in the fact that more than 200 million cars, trucks, and buses are on the roads today -- all requiring maintenance, inspection, and repair.

Work as an automotive technician varies in different shops. Some shops provide service and repair on all types of vehicles, while others specialize in one or two makes of vehicle or types of repair. Areas of specialization include engine repair, automatic transmissions, manual transmissions and drive trains, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, and engine performance.

Technicians inspect and test to determine the causes of faulty operation and perform maintenance services. They repair or replace defective parts to return the vehicle to its proper performance and economy using the technical information systems, knowledge, and skills learned in the Automotive Systems Technology program.

This hands-on program, certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), helps a student develop technical and manual skills through class assignments, discussions, and practical lab experiences in the clean and well-equipped automotive shop at Durham Tech. Day classes are offered in the Automotive Systems Technology program; and students may take evening classes to complete certificate options in Chassis Servicing and Engine Performance.

An Associate Degree in Applied Science is awarded for successful completion of all requirements in the five-semester Automotive Systems Technology program, and a diploma is awarded for completing the three-semester program. A student who successfully completes an evening certificate option is awarded a certificate.


The Top 8 Reasons to Consider Automotive Systems Technology

The Co-Operative Experience – The major reason that students enroll in the program may well be the Co-Operative Training, according to Nathan Smith, director of the Automotive Systems Technology program. This provides the opportunity for students to “try out” a career without a large investment of time and money. Good Pay, Steady Work – Automotive technicians usually do well financially in good and bad economic times, said Smith. Visit for salary information. 

The Instructors – Durham Tech’s instructors are people who have managed dealerships, independent garages, and specialty auto shops. They are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and L1-certified professionals who teach students how to fix a car, obtain ASE certification, purchase tools, land a job, keep a job, and get promoted.

Cutting-Edge Courses – Durham Tech teaches basic welding with Oxy-Acetylene, Arc welding, MIG welding, TIG welding, and OXY cutting and brazing in the basic automotive course. The program offers machining and electronics in advanced automotive courses.

National Certification – In 2010, the program received certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

The Plan of Study – Students learn all eight National Automotive Technicians Educational Foundation areas, plus dyno testing, automotive computer repair, electronics repair, and automotive machine shop. Students can take Introduction to Automotive to discover if the field is a good career fit.

The Equipment – Students use the best equipment such as Snap-On tools, scanners and data management, Alldata information systems, Mustang Dyno, Hunter, Beam, Coats, Ammco, and more. The shop has 10 auto lifts, 2 alignment racks, 3 brake lathes, and a computer lab.

The Cost The cost to attend Durham Tech is about a fifth of the cost of training through private automotive programs. With the savings, students can use their money to purchase high-quality tools to land an automotive job.

Degree OptionsStudents can complete a two-year degree, a one-year diploma, and/or four certificates options which can be completed during the evenings.



Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

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