FEATURE

Automotive technology

Career opportunities, economic rewards, emerging technologies, and satisfaction of a job well done.  Automotive technology has it all.

The Automotive Technology program at New Mexico State University Grants puts you on track with one of today’s most promising careers.

NMSU G’s Automotive Technology program, which follows NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) curriculum guidelines and is currently undergoing NATEF certification, 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. Students may earn a Certificate or Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology.

06/25/2014: NMSU Grants - Automotive shop class. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

06/25/2014: NMSU Grants – Automotive shop class. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Examples of typical automotive technician job opportunities include service technician, service writer, assistant service manager and shop foreman.  “After completing the program, technicians work in dealerships, repair shops, and for various fleets and government agencies, while some graduates find work in the mining and industrial trades.” said Paul Garcia, Program Manager.

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 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. With some employers reporting difficulty finding workers who have the right skills and education, job opportunities for qualified applicants should be very good. The median pay for 2014 was $37,120 per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes jobseekers who have completed formal post secondary 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.