Automotive Mechanics

A male student in a blue t-shirt works on the underside of car in the auto lab.

Automotive Mechanics

Subject Area: Auto Tech, Mechanics and Transportation

Award: Diploma

Minimum Credits: 48

Location: Peosta

Entry: Fall


In this age of rapidly changing technology, the automotive repair field demands personnel who are trained in the latest methods of diagnosis and repair. If you are mechanically inclined and willing to learn the necessary skills, you will find many opportunities in the automotive field. Instruction is provided in the basic skills as well as on modern, up-to-date diagnostic equipment.

After completing the necessary coursework, students should be prepared to take exams to receive certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in the following areas: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electrical systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering.

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.
Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
AUT:102 Intro to Automotive Technology 1.0
AUT:164 Automotive Engine Repair** 4.0
AUT:503 Automotive Brake Systems** 3.0
AUT:616 Automotive Electrical Systems** 6.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0
* Math Elective 3.0

Term 2

Automotive Automatic
Transmissions/Transaxles Service**

AUT:248 Automotive Drive Trains** 4.5
AUT:404 Automotive Suspension and Steering** 4.0
WEL:330 Welding Fundamentals 1.0
* Communication Elective 3.0


Term 3
AUT:704 Automotive Heating and Air Conditioning** 4.0
AUT:809 Automotive Engine Performance** 7.5


Math Electives: MAT:102, MAT:744, MAT:772, MAT:773, transfer-level MAT
Communication Electives: COM:723, ENG:105

Note: Prior to completion of Term 1, program students are required to provide their program faculty with a copy of their First Aid/CPR certification.

**Certification/Licensure: Completion of these courses prepares students to take an exam to receive ASE Certification.

Employment Information

With an annual income range of $22,832 - $35,792 and a projected growth of 4.3%, the career outlook for Automotive Mechanics graduates is growing.

Source: EMSI; Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations in the NICC district. Growth rate based on projections from 2016-2020.

View Gainful Employment information for this program.

Experience/Skills/Personality Traits

Mechanics are automotive experts that must understand every detail of every automotive part, how the parts work together and be able to troubleshoot engine problems. Technicians today also must understand electronics. Mechanics must pay attention to the details to determine when an electronic malfunction is responsible for a problem.

Automobile technicians need to keep up-to-date with technology by reading service and repair manuals, shop bulletins and other auto publications. They may attend training programs given by manufacturers or take exams to keep their credentials current.

Employers of NICC Alumni

Big A Auto Parts, Dubuque, IA
Breitbach's Garage, New Vienna, IA
Cedar Cross Service, Dubuque, IA
Dave's Downtown Conoco, Dubuque, IA
Jeff's Auto Service, Dyersville, IA
Georgen Auto, Manchester, IA
Hawkeye International Trucks, Dubuque, IA
Lehman's Auto, Cascade, IA
Mausser Auto, New Vienna, IA
Runde Auto, East Dubuque, IL
Scales Mound Sinclair, Scales Mound, IL
Star Equipment, Cedar Rapids, IA
Tandem Tire, Dubuque, IA
Tauke Motors, Dyersville, IA
Tires Plus, Dubuque, IA
Rimde Chevrolet, East Dubuque, IL

Sample Job Titles

ASE Master Mechanic
Auto Collision Tech
Auto Technician
Automotive Tech
Service Tech
Shop Technician

For additional job titles, visit O-Net.


Lenny Graves
Dean of Career and Technical Education
800.728.2256, ext. 240

Joe Cusic
Automotive Mechanic Instructor
800.728.7367, ext. 237