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Automotive Service Technology Program
Auto mechanics are everybody’s friends. There’s nothing like hissing hoses, squeaking brakes, and failed air conditioning on a hot day to convince you of the value of a great automotive technician. Ridgewater’s Automotive Service Technology program teaches you to be the expert who knows cars inside and out, from basic maintenance to complex diagnostics.
Program Requirements and Job Outlook
- Willmar campus
- Fall start
- Spring start, if space is available. Contact admissions to learn if spring is an option, as this varies each year.
Equipment you will learn to use
- Computerized diagnostic units
- Computer alignment centers
- Transmission dynamometer
- Powertrain analysis equipment
- Parts store operation and customer service
Repair systems you will learn
- Automatic transmissions / transaxles
- Manual drivetrain/axles
- Steering and suspension
- Electrical / electronic systems
- HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
- Engine performance
Ridgewater’s Automotive Service Technology program is the only Snap On NC3 certified program in Minnesota. This National Coalition of Certification Centers partnership provides industry collaboration and support to keep the program’s equipment and tools at the most current standards for the most prepared graduates and future employees Our students have the unique opportunity to earn NC3 certifications to help them stand out among job applicants and to purchase discounted tools.
A full-service parts center on campus provides students with a shop experience nearly identical to a modern automotive repair shop, complete with computerized repair and parts ordering and hands-on labor estimates for real-world customers.
Ridgewater College’s Automotive Service Technology program is NATEF-certified at the master level, and the instructors are ASE master-certified (with Automotive Service Excellence high standards).
Program attributes that help students thrive
- High-tech industry equipment in a fun learning environment
- Large work area for plenty of hands-on, real-world customer vehicle work
- Strong industry affiliations
- Active Auto Mechanics club
- Practical skills evaluation through state and national SkillsUSA competitions
If you love solving problems, have a good mechanical aptitude, strive to understand how things work, and enjoy hands-on learning and work on vehicles, a career in automotive services could be just around the corner for you! Pay may be higher than you think and shops are likely cleaner and more high-tech than you realize. Take us for a test drive!