Automotive student with instructor examining the undercarriage of a truck

Automotive Technician

Technical Diploma

55 Credits | 2 Years

Financial Aid-Eligible

Rice Lake

Career Cluster: Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

If you enjoy technology and solving problems, you might find a career as an automotive technician challenging as well as rewarding. Automobiles today are no longer merely mechanical. Many enjoy driving from one place to another in a high-tech machine but maintaining and repairing vehicles is no longer within reach for most owners. Turn your passion for automobiles into a stimulating career. 

Program Overview

With an emphasis on hands-on experience, in the Automotive Technician program you'll learn essential service techniques including testing, repairing and rebuilding of basic automotive systems. Coursework will prepare you to diagnose and repair concerns in engines, drivetrains, brakes, electrical systems, steering, suspension, transmission systems as well as basic diesel, hybrid and alternative systems. 

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate professionalism appropriate for the auto service industry
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive internal combustion engines
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive automatic transmission/transaxle system
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive manual drive train and axles systems
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive steering and suspension systems
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive brake systems
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive electrical and electronic systems
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive heating and air conditioning systems
  • Perform diagnosis, service and repair of automotive engine performance systems

Northwood Tech's automotive programs are nationally certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3).


Student doing hands-on work in the automotive lab

Learn by doing. 

Automotive students listening to instructor in the shop

Nationally certified program. 

Automotive student at work in the lab

98% of graduates employed within six months.


This program has received certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation.

The automotive programs at Northwood Tech have adopted new certification(s) established by the National Coalition of Certifications (NC3). NC3 was established to address the need for strong industry partnerships with educational institutions in order to develop, implement and sustain industry-recognized certifications that have strong validation and assessment standards. 

Career Pathways

As an Automotive Technician student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way. Graduates of this program also earn technical diplomas in Automotive Service Technician and Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician. 

State-of-the-Art Facilities

As a student of the program, you'll spend a lot of your time in the program's new lab space using Northwood Tech's state-of-the-art equipment and technology. 

Get Certified

Complete the nationwide skills attainment motor vehicle air conditioning (refrigeration) to receive the Automotive Service Excellence certification. 


The Automotive Technician program includes studies in Automotive Fundamentals, Engine Repair, Suspension and Alignment, Automotive Transmissions, Advanced Body Electrical Systems, Welding for Mechanics and more. 

Explore the Curriculum

Featured Automotive Technician Courses

| 3 CR
This course is an introduction to automotive body electrical systems. Students will learn about various body electrical components and how to diagnose and repair body electrical systems. PREREQUISITES: 32404375 Automotive Fundamentals and 32404376 DC Automotive Electrical
| 3 CR
This course introduces the operation and repair of manual transmissions, transaxles, drivelines, differential assemblies, and transfer cases. PREREQUISITE: 32404375 Automotive Fundamentals.
| 2 CR
Instruction in safe setup and operation of plasma cutting (PAC), oxy-fuel cutting (OFC), SMAW (Stick), GMAW (Mig), FCAW, and/or GTAW (Tig) welding in applications related to general industry practices. Selection of appropriate welding processes with a specific emphasis on typical repair situations including metal identification will be stressed.

Automotive Technician is Part of a Career Pathway

As an Automotive Technician student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way. 

Download the Career Pathway Map

This technical diploma is embedded in the Automotive Technician program.

Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician

Technical Diploma
11 Credits / 1 Semester
Potential Careers
Lube Technician, Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician, Quick Service Technician
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You could take this first to earn a credential.

Technical Diploma
28 Credits / One Year / 2 Semesters Full Time
Potential Careers
Automotive Service Technician, Drivability Technician, Brake Technician, Suspension and Alignment Technician, Quick Service Technician, Lube Technician
Range of Yearly Salary
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This is the program you’re looking at.

Technical Diploma
55 Credits / Two Years Full Time
Potential Careers
Brake Technician, Air Conditioning Technician, Auto Transmission Technician, Automotive Electrical Technician, Service Writer, Drive Train Technician, Suspension and Alignment Technician, Drivability Technician, Automotive Technician
Range of Yearly Salary
$15,079 - $71,000 annually
Arrow pointing down

Continue your education to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Admissions and Tuition

Northwood Tech has a simple admission process that can be completed in one visit. To start the process, simply fill out an application form along with a $30 application fee. After you’ve successfully submitted your application, your next step is to schedule an admissions meeting with a Northwood Tech counselor to discuss your goals and expectations. That’s it!

Tuition and Fees

Northwood Tech breaks down the cost of education, so you'll have a good idea of how much your education will cost.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to help you pay for your education. It can come in the form of grants, loans, federal work study, military and veterans benefits, division of vocational rehabilitation benefits and scholarships. 

Learn More About Paying for College

Estimated Total Program Costs 2021-22*

Automotive Technician

55 Credits | 2 Years


$3,750 for Tools, Supplies and Uniforms

Download Tool List

*Tuition is an estimate and does not include any miscellaneous fees for various courses, tools, books, supplies or uniforms. Program book costs are in addition to tuition and fees and vary depending on course selection and where the books are purchased or rented. 

After the Northwood Tech Automotive Technician Program

Upon completion of the program, you will obtain technical diplomas in Automotive Technician, Automotive Service Technician, and Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Technician.

Student studying at a computer

Transfer Options

After you complete your Automotive Technician technical diploma at Northwood Tech, you can transfer to another college to continue your education and earn your associate degree, bachelor's degree and beyond. 

View Transfer Options

Career Outlooks

Northwood Tech's graduates experience success. Learn more about the types of careers you can get after graduation.

View Career Options

Student studying at a laptop


ASE Education Foundation logo

Automotive Technician is accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation. 

ASE evaluates each program's structure, resources and quality of automotive service training. They review this against standards established by industry experts and offer ASE accreditation to programs that meet high quality requirements. 

Learn more at

NC3 logo

Automotive Technician is nationally certified through the ASE Education Foundation and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). NC3 is a value-driven organization and the future model for Career and Technical Education, creating highly-skilled, job-ready professionals through a growing network of educational partners and global industry leaders.


Choose a campus to view contact information, or for general assistance, please contact us.

Rice Lake Admissions Contact

Tia Dietz

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 5220


Ashland Admissions Contact

Jennifer Bednarik

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 3195


New Richmond Admissions Contact

Jodi Saliny

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 4339


Superior Admissions Contact

Mary Glad

Admissions Advisor

800.243.9482 ext. 6243


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Are you ready to experience success? Northwood Tech staff are standing by to support you in reaching your educational and career goals, so do it. Take the leap.