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24 Best Colleges for an Associate in Automotive Technology

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

We ranked the 24 best colleges for an associate degree in automotive technology. Graduates from the top school, Sheridan College, had median salaries of $54,000 one year after completing their degrees. The college with the lowest median student debt for automotive tech graduates was Suffolk County Community College, with a median debt of $7,000.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Sheridan (WY) Sheridan (WY) $10,110 $8,323 $54,000
#2 #2 Okmulgee (OK) Okmulgee (OK) $11,160 $12,000 $48,900
#3 #3 Wahpeton (ND) Wahpeton (ND) $6,222 $12,000 $45,600
#4 #4 Alexandria (MN) Alexandria (MN) $5,565 $12,000 $45,300
#5 #5 Charlotte (NC) Charlotte (NC) $8,936 Not Reported $44,500
#6 #6 Honolulu (HI) Honolulu (HI) $8,310 Not Reported $44,400
#7 #7 Salt Lake City (UT) Salt Lake City (UT) $12,460 $9,000 $43,800
#8 #8 Rosemount (MN) Rosemount (MN) $5,864 $12,000 $43,700
#9 #9 Fort Worth (TX) Fort Worth (TX) $8,235 $9,875 $42,700
#10 #10 Ankeny (IA) (and 6 others) Ankeny (IA) (and 6 others) $9,600 $10,812 $41,800
#11 #11 Fergus Falls (MN) (and 2 others) Fergus Falls (MN) (and 2 others) $5,560 Not Reported $41,700
#12 #12 Las Vegas (NV) Las Vegas (NV) $10,842 Not Reported $41,300
#13 #13 Brooklyn Park (MN) Brooklyn Park (MN) $5,248 $14,800 $41,100
#14 #14 Sheldon (IA) Sheldon (IA) $6,540 $12,000 $41,000
#15 #15 Portland (OR) Portland (OR) $9,418 $13,031 $41,000
#16 #16 Littleton (CO) (and 2 others) Littleton (CO) (and 2 others) $15,009 Not Reported $41,000
#17 #17 Selden (NY) Selden (NY) $11,522 $7,000 $40,300
#18 #18 Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $23,119 $12,000 $40,200
#19 #19 Helena (MT) Helena (MT) $9,416 $10,563 $39,700
#20 #20 Lincoln (NE) (and 1 other) Lincoln (NE) (and 1 other) $3,096 $10,375 $39,500
#21 #21 Vancouver (WA) Vancouver (WA) $9,258 Not Reported $39,400
#22 #22 Morrisville (NY) Morrisville (NY) $18,780 $12,000 $39,100
#23 #23 Watertown (SD) Watertown (SD) $5,514 $12,000 $38,900
#24 #24 Vincennes (IN) Vincennes (IN) $14,364 $12,000 $38,700

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for an Associate in Automotive Technology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Sheridan (WY)
Median Salary $54,000
Median Debt $8,323
Annual Tuition $10,110
Graduation Rate 45%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

Located in Sheridan, WY, Sheridan College is part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District. The college's Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology includes a combination of classwork and hands-on learning in the newly renovated Technical Education Center. Courses include Mobile Hydraulic Technology, General Welding, and Heavy Equipment A/C Systems. The degree program is four semesters long and requires 63 credits.

Students can join the Diesel Club and compete in competitions around the country. The school also has strong community partnerships that enable students to gain experience in a professional setting through internships. Graduates have a high employment rate; over 90% of students find a job before or immediately after graduating.

Visit Sheridan College's website.

Median Salary $48,900
Median Debt $12,000
Annual Tuition $11,160
Graduation Rate 37%

Founded in 1946, Oklahoma State University of Technology is a public institution that offers 36 different degree programs, most of which are Associate in Applied Science degrees. The AAS in Automotive Service Technology is available in five different concentrations; students can specialize in Ford, GM, Mopar, Toyota, and general automotive and diagnostic procedures. All are two-year programs and are offered both on the university’s campus in Okmulgee and in hybrid format.

Students receive a comprehensive education in all major automotive systems, including electrical, brakes, steering and suspension, automatic and manual transmissions, transaxles, climate control, and engine performance. Courses in business, math, English, and history are included in the general education requirements. Automotive theory and classroom instruction are combined with hands-on training, as each program includes an internship arrangement where students work and receive compensation in real-world situations under supervised conditions so they can apply what they are learning. Depending on the program, 84 to 90 credits are required to complete the degree. Students may be eligible to transfer credits from prior learning.

Visit Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology's website.

Median Salary $45,600
Median Debt $12,000
Annual Tuition $6,222
Graduation Rate 51%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

Founded in 1903, North Dakota Technical College is a public college located in the city of Wahpeton and is part of the North Dakota University System. More than 100 degree, certificate, and transfer programs are offered in subjects ranging from agriculture to IT to manufacturing. The Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology degree is an on-campus program that teaches students to test, diagnose, adjust, and repair all major automotive systems, including transmissions, brakes, electrical, heating and air conditioning, suspension, steering, and axles. With the growing emphasis on green technology, students will also learn about electric and hybrid systems.

General education courses include mathematics, writing, and public speaking. An optional fifth semester features courses in advanced chassis repair, engine building, automatic transmission, transaxles, and computer systems. After completing the two-year degree, graduates can return for one more year and earn a second major in Auto and Diesel Master Technician. Students who wish to further their education can transfer this AAS degree to many four-year universities.

Visit North Dakota State College of Science's website.

Median Salary $45,300
Median Debt $12,000
Annual Tuition $5,565
Graduation Rate 57%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

Located in Alexandria, Minnesota, ATCC is a public college and part of the Minnesota State system. The school offers more than 50 certificate and associate degree programs, including an Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Mechanics. The program covers multiple areas where diesel engines and technology are employed, such as trucks, agriculture equipment, and construction equipment.

Students receive both classroom and lab instruction; along with studying theory, industry standards, and safety, they also learn skills related to engine repair and maintenance. Courses target such subjects as hydraulics, electrical systems, power trains, HVAC systems, braking systems, servicing, and technical writing. The curriculum covers the major players in the industry, including Case IH, Caterpillar, Cummins, Freightliner, John Deere, Kenworth, Meritor, Peterbilt, and others. Students can complete the program over four standard semesters (fall/spring) and one summer session. In the final semester, students have the option of participating in an internship. A total of 75 credits are required to complete the degree. ATCC has partnered with various companies in the industry that provide both scholarship and sponsorship opportunities for eligible students.

Visit Alexandria Technical & Community College's website.

Median Salary $44,500
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $8,936
Graduation Rate 17%

Established in 1963, CPCC is a public college in the area of Charlotte, North Carolina. Nearly 300 different degree programs are available at its six campus locations. The Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology is offered at the Merancas Campus in Huntersville and the Levine Campus in Matthews.

Students learn how to repair and maintain vehicles of many makes and models. Courses cover all major aspects of automobile systems: brakes, electrical/electronic systems, steering, suspension, automatic transmissions, manual drive trains, climate control, engine performance, and more. The curriculum covers tools, equipment, methods, and the most up-to-date service information from leading manufacturers in the industry. Students learn to diagnose and repair a wide range of problems, from simple fixes to complex electronics systems. The course includes a work program so students can gain experience in a real-world environment while they are completing their education. Students can study fully on campus or choose to take some classes online. A total of 68 credits are required to complete the degree, and graduates of the program may take the Automotive Service Excellence exam.

Visit Central Piedmont Community College's website.