The Automotive Technician program teaches students essential servicing techniques, including the testing, repairing, and rebuilding of basic automotive systems, as well as diagnosis and repair of automotive and light truck electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic systems. Individuals who are mechanically talented, like to solve problems, and enjoy working with people may find success in the automotive technician field. This program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you love problem solving and diverse work? Are you detail-oriented and ambitious? If you possess these attributes and you love cars and trucks, you may have what it takes to pursue a career as an auto technician.

    Students entering the Automotive Technician program should:

    • Be mechanically inclined.
    • Have good reading and math skills.
    • Be able to get along with other people.
    • Think logically.
    • Pay attention to details.
    • Be able to lift 50 pounds.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma, requiring a minimum of two years to complete.
    • Day classes.
    • High school articulation courses accepted.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Classes start in August.
    • ASE Master Certified program.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 24-25

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,820
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,148
    Books and Supplies $1,466
    Personal Expenses $3,608
    Transportation $4,018
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $84
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $23,744
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $11,872

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Math, applied physics, and technical education courses.
    • Good reading comprehension skills
    • Youth Apprenticeship (up to 6 credits of advanced standing)

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.

    Additional requirements

    Students must have eye wear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.

  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Service brake systems.
    • Service electrical/electronic systems.
    • Perform engine performance service.
    • Service steering and suspension systems.
    • Service automatic transmissions and transaxles.
    • Perform engine repair service.
    • Service heating and air conditioning systems.
    • Service manual drive trains and axles.
    • Exhibits a level of professionalism appropriate to an entry level technician.
  • Career Opportunities
  • Employment potential includes:

    • Auto Technician: Diagnoses problems, replaces parts or performs adjustments on automobiles for an auto dealership or independent repair facility.
    • Auto Specialist: Works in a specialized area such as engine repair, electrical, brakes, wheel alignment, tune-up, air-conditioning or transmission repair.
    • Parts Specialist: Work in a larger shop or parts distribution business processing and dispensing parts for automobiles.
    • Service Manager: Meets customers and works with the technicians to help diagnose and locate vehicle trouble areas, and supervises shop activities.

    The earning potential for auto technicians in southwest Wisconsin dramatically increases over a ten year span

    Source: As reported by auto technician employers in Grant, Iowa, Crawford, La Fayette, and Richland counties.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Automotive Technician Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    31-804-305Applied MathematicsYes
    College Mathematics CLEP Test would also be accepted.
    32-806-303Science of MechanicsYes
  • Accreditation