student working on cars

Automotive Technology

Are you interested in combining your enthusiasm for the auto industry with technical skills? Do you have an interest in working in an automotive technology center, automotive dealership or independent service center? If so, Carl Sandburg College’s two-semester certificate program in automotive technology is an excellent fit.

Automotive technology students learn the required skills through a combination of lectures and labs. More than 70 percent of the lab experience is comprised of live work. In addition, students are provided with an engine/transmission to rebuild. At the completion of the rebuild, the engine/transmission is evaluated on a test machine for complete functionality.


Nature of the Work

The work of automotive service technicians and mechanics has evolved from simply mechanical to high technology. Technicians must have an increasingly broad base of knowledge about how vehicles’ complex electronic components work and interact, as well as the ability to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and computer-based technical reference materials. Automotive service technicians and mechanics use these high-tech skills to inspect, maintain and repair vehicles. The ability to diagnose the source of a problem quickly and accurately requires good reasoning ability and a thorough knowledge of automobiles. Many technicians consider diagnosing hard-to-find troubles one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.


Working Conditions

Almost half of automotive service technicians work a standard 40-hour week, but about one-third work more than 40 hours per week. Many of those working over-40-hour weeks are self-employed technicians. Some shops offer evening and weekend service to meet the needs of their customers. Generally, service technicians work indoors in well ventilated and lighted repair shops.



Job opportunities for those individuals who complete automotive training programs are expected to be very good. Persons with good diagnostic and problem-solving skills should have the best opportunity. For well-prepared people with a technical background, automotive service technician careers offer an excellent opportunity for good pay and secure employment. To learn more about the admission requirements and the application process for this program, call the Sandburg Welcome Center at 309.345.3500.

Admission to the Program: Open


First-Time Enrollees

  • Complete an application for admission and, if desired, apply for financial aid.
  • Send an official high school transcript or GED score report to the Admissions and Records Office.
  • Complete the Accuplacer placement exam.
  • Meet with an advisor/counselor to select classes and complete the registration process.