5 Best Online Auto Mechanic Trade Schools in 2024

Do you have a genuine interest in cars and how they work? Do you always feel the itch to troubleshoot complex problems related to vehicles regardless of their brand and model?

Then perhaps you should consider establishing your career around this passion. Enroll in an accredited program and be one of the best automotive service technicians in the country!

What is an Auto Mechanic?

An auto mechanic or auto repair technician is a skilled individual specializing in diagnosing, repairing and maintaining a wide range of vehicles like cars, trucks and motorcycles.

The roles and responsibilities of an auto mechanic include the following:

  • Inspects, tests, and troubleshoots problems with transmissions, engines, brakes, electrical systems, and other vehicle components
  • Performs necessary repairs on vehicles or replacements of faulty components
  • Conducts routine maintenance services to ensure vehicles are in good working condition and to prevent future issues
  • Ensures that vehicles run safely and efficiently after repairs
  • Maintains detailed records of work performed on each vehicle

Auto Mechanic Job Outlook

The job outlook remains stable for automotive service technicians and mechanics, with employment growth expected at 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, which is as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the country’s Labor Statistics Bureau. As of May 2022, the median pay for this occupation is $46,970 per year or $22.58 per hour.

Occupations similar to automotive mechanics and service technicians (and their annual median wage as of May 2022) include the following:

Industry Trends and Forecast

Despite the limited employment growth expected for auto mechanics and technicians in the next decade, the future remains bright for these occupations. For one, Future Market Insights revealed that the global market for automotive maintenance and repair services may increase to $1,850 billion in 2033 with a CAGR of 7.2% from the expected value of $915.88 billion in 2023.

In a related field, research company Global Market Insights Inc. has also disclosed that the car detailing service market is expected to reach $9.1 billion by 2032, with a 4.5% CAGR from the market’s value of $5.8 billion in 2022.


If you’re searching for online auto mechanic trade schools, you’re in the right place! You won’t have to search further, as we have compiled a list of some of the top educational institutions offering the best auto mechanic or automotive technician programs in the country.

Each of the trade schools on our list was meticulously selected based on certain criteria, including the following:

  • Offers courses that are available fully online or in combination with onsite, face-to-face sessions, especially for lab or workshop activities,
  • Provides a curriculum covering all aspects of auto repair and servicing to provide students with a solid foundation in the field,
  • Cultivates strong leadership skills, problem-solving abilities and effective communication, among other skills that are crucial for success in the field,
  • Hires instructors with both real-world experiences in auto mechanics and academic qualifications in the automotive industry to ensure students receive expert guidance,
  • Offers opportunities for students to apply their theoretical knowledge through hands-on experiences, including practical training, workshops and simulated repair scenarios to enhance their skills,
  • Allows students to focus or specialize on specific areas within the automotive field like automotive technology, collision repair and diesel mechanics,
  • Emphasizes the development of technical skills required for auto repair and maintenance,
  • Offers affordable tuition and a variety of financial aid options for students looking to finance their education,
  • Fosters networking with industry professionals and organizations to open doors for future career opportunities,
  • May conduct training programs in partnership with auto repair shops and dealerships,
  • Earned institutional and programmatic accreditation from industry-recognized organizations and agencies such as the Distance Education Accrediting Commission to ensure high-quality educational standards are maintained.

5 Top Online Auto Mechanic Trade Schools

Universal Technical Institute

Universal Technical Institute
  • Location: Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Online Delivery Method: Hybrid
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 51 weeks
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: UTI Institutional Grant Programs, UTI Scholarship Programs, FAFSA

Universal Technical Institute offers an Automotive Technology program delivered in a hybrid learning format that combines hands-on, experiential learning in the lab and instructor-led online coursework. The program has a comprehensive curriculum that exposes students to both domestic and imported vehicles so that they graduate as automotive technicians with capabilities to diagnose, fix, and maintain a wide range of units.

The program takes 51 weeks to finish, with the on-campus courses done at UTI’s NASCAR Technical Institute campus in North Carolina. The Automotive Mechanic courses include the following:

  • Professional Automotive Service Writing
  • Automotive Engines Service & Repair
  • Hybrid Vehicle System Maintenance
  • Vehicle Brake Systems
  • Vehicle Electronic Systems
  • Vehicle Steering & Suspension Service

This Automotive Technician training program meets the ASE Education Foundation’s Master Certification requirements, which means that graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the ASE Certification examinations.

After completing this training program, students can opt to pursue UTI’s Specialized Automotive Technician Training, where they gain technical knowledge on the products of specific auto manufacturers such as:

  • Alfa Romeo
  • BMW
  • General Motors
  • Ford
  • Jeep
  • Porsche
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Toyota
  • Volvo

UTI’s campuses maintain an Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges accredited.

UEI College

UEI College
  • Location: various UEI campuses in Arizona, California, Georgia, Nevada and Washington
  • Online Delivery Method: Hybrid
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 10 months
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Grants, Loans, Scholarships, Military Benefits

UEI College is offering an Automotive Technician Training program that combines online classes with hands-on learning classes in a shop environment. The school has imported and domestic vehicles as well as tools and equipment in its automotive shop so that students can have experiential training to boost their auto mechanic skills and diagnostic knowledge.

Courses available under this program include the following:

  • Electrical Theory and Diagnosis
  • Engine Theory and Systems
  • Automatic Transmissions
  • Manual Transmissions
  • Engine Performance and Ignition Systems
  • Fuel Systems and Emission Control
  • Preventative Maintenance and Hybrid Technology

UEI College has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Olney Central College

Olney Central College
  • Location: Olney, Illinois
  • Online Delivery Method: Hybrid
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 2 semesters
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Payment Plans, FAFSA, Veteran’s Benefits

Olney Central College offers a variety of Automotive Technology programs, including two Certificate programs on Automotive Service Technology.

  • The Automotive Service Technology I is a 26-credit-hour, two-semester certificate program that covers courses on Automotive Engines, Electronics, Engine Performance, and Shop Organization and management.
  • The Automotive Service Technology II is also a 26-credit-hour, two-semester certificate program that covers courses on Automotive Chassis Systems, Hybrid and alternative Fuels, Automotive Air Conditioning, and Automotive Drivetrains.

These two Certificate programs can either be standalone programs or serve as stepping stones for pursuing degree programs. They also meet the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence educational standards.

OCC also offers the following related Certificate programs:

  • The Auto Maintenance & Repair Certificate is a 12-credit-hour, two-semester program that equips students for entry-level positions in the automotive servicing industry.
  • The Automotive Repair Technician Certificate is a 12-credit-hour, four-semester program that prepares students for entry-level careers in the vehicle repair industry.
  • The Light Vehicle Diesel Service Certificate is a 6-credit-hour program that comprehensively covers practical, real‐world topics related to the newest diesel engine systems.

Illinois Eastern Community College, of which Olney Central College is a part, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or HLC.

Texas State Technical College

Texas State Technical College

Location: Harlingen, Sweetwater and Waco campuses (Texas)

  • Online Delivery Method: Hybrid
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 16 months
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Grants, Scholarships, Work-Study Programs, Federal Direct student loans, Parent Loan Undergraduate Student (PLUS) program

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) offers an Automotive Technician Certificate of Completion program as one of its many Automotive Technology programs. This Certificate program is available in its Waco, Sweetwater, and Harlingen campuses in a hybrid learning format.

The Automotive Technician Certificate program requires students to complete 45 credits to obtain the credential and spans over four semesters. Students will study various automotive components, including:

  • Electrical Systems
  • Suspension and Steering Systems
  • Brake Systems
  • Climate Control Systems
  • Drivetrain and Axles

By the fourth semester, students will have the chance to choose one of the following 3-credit courses:

  • Automotive Compression Ignition Engines & Fuel Systems
  • Automotive Service
  • Automotive Alternative Fuels
  • Cooperative Education – Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician

TSTC also offers the following Certificate programs in the Automotive Technology field:

  • Automotive Maintenance & Light Repair
  • Automotive Technology-Chrysler Specialization
  • Automotive TESLA START Technician (requires AAS in Automotive Technology)

TSTC is Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)-accredited.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College
  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Online Delivery Method: Hybrid, Self-paced
  • Time It Takes to Complete: 16 weeks
  • Completion Rate: undisclosed
  • Types of Aid: Stipend from Tesla, Pell Grant, Florida Medallion Scholarship

Miami Dade College offers a full-time, 16-week program for Advanced Automotive Service Technology – Tesla Technician Career Technical Certificate in collaboration with Tesla START. The curriculum is offered in a blended learning format that combines in-class theory, hands-on workshops, and self-paced learning.

The program requires students to complete a total of 26.5 credits or 800 hours in order to receive the certification that will qualify them to become service technicians at one of Tesla’s service centers throughout the US.

The curriculum provides students with comprehensive skills and knowledge to service the all-electric Tesla vehicles as well as to learn and utilize Tesla’s diagnostic tools, safety equipment, products, and procedures.

More specifically, students will have to study Tesla’s systems and components, including the following: 

  • Brake and chassis systems and components
  • Driver Assist systems
  • Electrical/charging
  • HV Powertrain
  • HVAC
  • Infotainment systems and components

Aside from the technical courses, the curriculum is also designed to equip students with soft skills and collaborative repair practices.

Miami Dade College is Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges-approved.

Take note, however, that one doesn’t have to be enrolled at MDC to apply for this Tesla Career Technical Certificate program.

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Auto Mechanic Trade Schools

Will an online/hybrid auto mechanic program provide hands-on training, and how is it conducted remotely?

Yes, many online/hybrid auto mechanic programs do include hands-on training. To facilitate this remotely, schools often utilize simulation software and virtual labs. These tools allow students to check for important parts like the internal combustion engine and practice various automotive repair and diagnostic tasks in a safe, virtual environment.

Moreover, some programs may also require students to complete in-person lab sessions at affiliated training centers or schedule face-to-face sessions in workshops where the school has all the equipment, tools and even vehicles for students to practice with.

While hands-on training may differ from traditional in-person experiences, it remains an essential component of many online/hybrid auto mechanic programs.

Are online/hybrid auto mechanic programs accredited, and how important is accreditation when choosing a program?

Accreditation is essential when selecting an online/hybrid auto mechanic program, as accredited programs have undergone and passed a strict evaluation process to ensure they meet specific standards of quality and education.

Graduating from an accredited program can boost your chances of finding employment and may be required for certain certifications. Additionally, it ensures that you’re receiving a quality education that aligns with industry standards.

It’s highly advised always to check if the program is accredited by a recognized agency or organization related to automotive education.

What types of certifications or licenses can I pursue after completing an online/hybrid auto mechanic program, and is it mandatory to pursue them?

Many online/hybrid auto mechanic programs are designed to prepare students for various industry certifications, such as those offered by organizations like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence or by specific equipment manufacturers.

These certifications demonstrate your competence and expertise in specific areas of auto repair and can enhance your job prospects and earning potential, considering that many employers prefer or require certified technicians.

Furthermore, some states may require automotive technicians to hold specific licenses, so it’s essential to research your state’s requirements and pursue any necessary licensure to work legally in your area.

Online Auto Mechanic Trade Schools - fact

Summary Points

  • If you are passionate about vehicles, how they function, and how to ensure they’re always in top condition, getting the proper online school training and education from auto repair programs lets you become an auto mechanic or technician.
  • Universities, colleges, and other auto mechanic schools offer certificate, diploma or short-term programs on automotive technology in online or hybrid learning formats to prepare students for entry-level careers in the vehicle repair and servicing industry in two years or less.
  • A career in the automobile technology trade can be worth it, considering the stable job outlook for auto mechanics or service technicians in the next decade, as well as the positive growth rate expected for the automotive maintenance and repair services market.

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