Automotive Technology

A male student in a blue sweatshirt wears goggles while he works on a motor in the Calmar auto technology lab.

Automotive Technology

Subject Area: Auto Tech, Mechanics and Transportation

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 74

Location: Calmar

Entry: Fall


The Automotive Technology program is accredited by NATEF and The National institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). There have been remarkable advances in technical design, construction and complexity of automobiles in the 21st century. New technologies to improve exhaust emissions, engine performance, fuel consumption and drivability have overwhelmed the job market with the need for highly-trained technicians since many currently employed technicians do not possess the education or experience to successfully manage these changes. In addition, the needs of business, industry and the public require a constant influx of educated technicians. The Automotive Technology instructors are ASE Master Certified and have several years of experience.

This program is designed to provide the expertise to repair and maintain technologically advanced vehicles and gives students the opportunity to acquire a thorough understanding of the basic principles, purposes and operation of the various systems and components of today’s automobiles. The automotive laboratories are well-equipped for training in all facets of automobile repair, including theory and practical application in diagnosis and tune-up, electrical and hydraulic systems, automatic transmissions, engines, emission controls, fuel systems, brake systems, suspensions systems, and hybrid vehicle systems. Program graduates find a wide range of employment opportunities in automotive dealerships, mass-merchandisers, fleets, independent garages and service stations.

After completing the necessary course work, students should be prepared to take exams to receive certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in the following areas: automotive 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:191 Auto Metal Repair/Hybrid Vehicles Intro 2.0
AUT:505 Automotive Brake Systems 5.0
AUT:641 Automotive Electrical/Ignition Systems 6.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
AUT:192 Hybrid, Electric, and Alternative Fuel Vehicles 2.0
AUT:405 Automotive Suspension and Steering 5.0
AUT:706 Automotive Heating/Air Conditioning 6.0
  General Education Elective 3.0
  Psychology Elective (transfer-level) 3.0


Term 3
AUT:306 Automotive Manual Drive Train/Axles 6.0
AUT:824 Drivability and Emissions 8.0
AUT:873 Automotive Service Management III 2.0
* Science Elective (transfer-level) 3.0


Term 4
AUT:168 Automotive Engine Repair 8.0
AUT:219 Automotive Automatic Transmissions/ Transaxles Service 6.0
AUT:874 Automotive Service Management IV 2.0
* General Education Elective 3.0

This Associate of Applied Science degree program requires a minimum of 15 credits of transfer-level general education electives from Communication, Humanities, Math, Science or Social Science. Three of these hours can include SDV:179 The College Experience. If The College Experience course is waived or transfers in for less than three credits, an additional general education elective from the areas listed above is required.


One Communication Elective: COM:723, ENG:105, ENG:106, SPC:112
One Math Elective: MAT:102, MAT:110, MAT:744, MAT:773, transfer-level MAT

Employment Information

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

Experience/Skills/Personality Traits

Mechanics are automotive experts that must understand every detail of every automotive part, how the parts work together, and how 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

Birdnow Chevrolet, Monona, IA
Brown Sales and Leasing, Elkader, IA
Decorah Chevy, Decorah, IA
Don's Sales and Service, Decorah, IA
Ericson Automotive, Cedar Falls, IA
Four season Tools, Decorah, IA
Goerend Transmission Inc., St. Lucas, IA
Jay's Auto, West Union, IA
Jeff's Auto Repair, Decorah, IA
Johnson Automotive, Cresco, IA
Lifeline Emergency Vehicles, Sumner, IA
Manchester Motor Supply, Manchester, IA
Professional Muffler, Cedar Rapids, IA
R.W. Pladsens, Waukon, IA
Torkelsons, Elgin, IA
Zip's Truck Equipment Inc., New Hampton, IA

Sample Job Titles

Auto Mechanic
Installation Foreman

Additional Information

NATEF Accreditation LogoThe automotive training program at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar has received accreditation by NATEF and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).


Transfer Information

The Automotive Technology program maintains formal articulation agreements with the institutions listed below. Students are encouraged to speak with their transfer college or university to verify that their planned courses at NICC will meet necessary requirements. Learn more about transferring from NICC.


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

Dennis Bolsinger
Automotive Technology Instructor
800.728.2256, ext. 344

Todd Hills
Automotive Technology Instructor
800.728.2256, ext. 246