Automotive Technology
Area of Study

Automotive Technology

The Master Automobile Service Technology (MAST) is an accredited program designed to train students in engine performance, engine repair, automatic transmissions and transaxles, manual drive trains, braking systems, steering and suspension systems, electrical systems, electronic components and HVAC.


Northeastern prepares students for the future

Northeastern's Automotive Technology program prepares students for rewarding professional careers in the automotive and light-duty diesel repair industry. Students experience a hands-on learning environment in a modern shop environment.

The Northeastern Junior College's Automotive Technology Program is constantly adapting to keep up with the rapidly evolving environment of the automotive industry. Students in the program not only learn the theoretical aspects of the automotive field, but also gain a solid understanding of the latest advancements in the field. As the industry moves towards self-driving and electric cars, the program ensures that its graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in their chosen career path. With the Automotive Technology Program at Northeastern Junior College, students can be confident that they will receive top-notch education that prepares them for the future of the exciting automobile industry.

What You'll Learn in the Automotive Technology Program

Auto mechanics with ASE accreditation sign

Students perform automotive diagnostics and repair cars and light-duty trucks to master advanced automotive technologies that conform to Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Alliance standards. Students perform repair and maintenance on the full spectrum of vehicle systems including a deep dive into electrical, heating and air conditioning, suspension and steering, braking systems, ignition systems, drive trains and axles, fuel systems, transmissions, gas and diesel engine performance, engine repair and machining.

Future auto mechanics are exposed to a large variety of makes and models of today's vehicles including small foreign vehicles to large diesel pickups. Students will also receive hands on training on hybrid model and electric vehicles. We expect that by the end of the program, a student to be able to work on any make and model that they may encounter in their new career.

About the automotive shop environment

The Automotive Technology shop environment introduces students to modern diagnostic tools used in repair facilities and service centers. The facility stocks a full line of specialty tools and equipment for students to use on real vehicles while in the program. The 9,200 square foot shop features eleven lifts and a dyno bay for testing drivability. Calibration and alignment equipment is available for today's vehicles.

There are no tool requirements for first year students

Auto mechanics working together

The Automotive Technology program first year students will be provided a basic set of tools to use to perform various lab assignments.  Second year students are required to have their own tools so that upon completion of the program they will be equipped entering the workforce as an Auto Mechanic.  Several tool company sales representatives visit our facility and offer special discounts to students.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Accreditation

In 1967 when the auto technology program was started at Northeastern Junior College it was enough for a student to have a love of cars, a passion for engines and the ability to turn a wrench. Most automotive repair involved taking things out and putting things back in. Times have certainly changed. Today’s automotive technicians have to be computer savvy, be good at math and know electronics pretty well plus understand aerodynamics and they have to know how to turn a wrench, but with far greater precision.  

Being recognized by the ASE Education Foundation for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a huge stamp of approval on any automotive training program. Accreditation of an automotive training program brings with it program credibility, prestige, recognition, and overall program improvement. The accreditation process benefits everyone: schools, students, future employers, and the automotive service industry.

Degree Types Offered at Northeastern

Auto mechanic performing diagnostics

At Northeastern Junior College, students interested in pursuing a career in Diesel Technology have a range of options available to them. Whether you're looking to earn a college degree or a certificate, the college has you covered. The Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology is a comprehensive program that includes hands-on training and classes in topics like engine performance, electrical systems, and diesel fuel systems. For those who want to specific auto technician training, the college offers eleven certificates in subjects like maintenance and inspection and drivability and emissions. Program completion prepares students to pursue ASE certification.

Graduates of the program have gone on to pursue Diesel and Automotive master technician certificate in addition to the automotive technician diploma to have a broader foundation for their future.

Auto Mechanics working on parts

Graduates find careers in a large variety of repair facilities across the United States. Graduating students are recruited by employers from across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. These companies offer competitive wages, benefits, and incentives.

Junior and senior high school students can complete the Maintenance & Inspection Certificate in one semester by passing three automotive courses that are offered in the fall and spring semesters. See "Articulations" below for more information.

Start Your Auto Mechanic training Today!

Take the first steps to your new career working on modern vehicles by scheduling a campus tour, visiting with the faculty or complete your application, there is no cost to apply!

Prospective students must first complete the admissions application with Northeastern Junior College.

Students are accepted on a first-come basis until all available spots are filled. If the program is full, a student can request to be placed on a waiting list for the following year after completion of the automotive program application.

Please contact Instructors Layton Peterman  or Jason Rohm if you have any questions or would like more information.  

The Automotive Technology shop is a 9,200 square foot facility with eleven lifts

The Dyno bay is used to test drivability issues inside the shop.

The Engine Machine shop give students the ability to perform all aspects of engine repair minus crank grinding.

The Tool room has specialty tools for any make or model that may be worked on during the auto program.

NJC Automotive students have access to Mitchel1's ProDemand and Identifix online service information on their electronic devices. Students have access to complete OEM repair and diagnostic information such as color wiring diagrams and mobile friendly information for any vehicle.

The auto tech program has two classrooms with state of the art instructional technology available to students in the program.

Students experience an actual shop environment. You will be expected to work safely with vehicles, repair equipment, and hoists. You will need to be able to stand for extended periods of time, maneuver in tight spots, and manipulate tools in various settings.

You are not required to have previous experience with vehicle repair. We expect you to bring a strong work ethic and willingness to learn.

Customer service is a major aspect of being in the automotive service industry. Students are taught and expected to work in a professional manner with customers, other students and their instructors. The program encourages working in jobs at the college and in the community.

Vehicle repairs: Northeastern students get real-world experience in their studies by working on troubled vehicles. Anyone interested in having repairs done can make a request of the program by submitting a completed Request for Repairs form.


Automotive service technicians and mechanics keep records of diagnostic tests and repairs. Service technicians stand for most of the day, and they typically work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops. Although technicians often identify and fix automotive problems with computers, they commonly work with greasy parts and tools, sometimes in uncomfortable positions.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics held about 749,900 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of automotive service technicians and mechanics were as follows:

  • Automobile dealers 31%
  • Automotive mechanical and electrical repair and maintenance 27%
  • Self-employed workers 13%
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores 9%

Work Schedules: Most service technicians work full time, and many work evenings or weekends. Overtime is common.

Injuries and Illnesses: Automotive service technicians and mechanics have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Service technicians must frequently work with heavy parts and tools. As a result, workplace injuries, such as small cuts, sprains, and bruises are common.

    Auto Tech Club – Students in the auto club perform activities such as:

    • Valve Cover races
    • Thanksgiving Vehicle Inspection – free to students! Before you go home for the break, make sure your car will make it! Students from the NJC Automotive program will have a look under the hood to make sure your vacation is trouble free.
    • Auto Show in Spring – Hot Rods as far as the eye can see!

    In your first year, we provide all tools needed to perform shop assignments. You will be responsible for keeping track of these tools during the course of the year.

    Second year students are required to supply their own tools so they are ready to start their career after completing the program. These tools must be available the 1st day of class, fall (3rd) semester.

    There will be vendors (Snap-On, S/K, NAPA, MAC) presenting their tools at substantial discounts to the students of the Auto Tech program. The tool’s listed below may be purchased from these vendors or the student is welcomed to purchase these on their own.  The tools purchased must be a life-time warranty quality tool.

    Many times this list of tools may be purchased in a complete starter set or set’s offered by manufacturers with large discounts offered also.

    The following list was chosen as a guide only from the Snap-On tool website

    Storage Unit
    Locking Roll Cabinet, storage unit
    Minimum-3000 square inches storage space
    Minimum-10,000 cubic inches storage space

    1/4” Drive socket set
    Set, Socket, Deep, 6-Point (10 pcs.) (3/16" to 9/16") Stock #: 110STMY
    Set, Socket, Metric, Deep, 6-Point (12 pcs.) (5 to 15 mm) Stock #: 112STMMY
    Set, Socket, Shallow, 12-Point (10 pcs.) (3/16" to 9/16") Stock #: 110TMDY
    Set, Socket, Metric, Shallow, 12-Point (11 pcs.) (5 to 14 mm) Stock #: 111TMMDY
    Set, Extension, Knurled (6 pcs.) (1 1/4" to 11") Stock #: 106BTMX
    Driver, Standard Shank, 1/4" female square drive in handle, 6" Stock #: TM4CSA
    Speeder, 16" long  (Optional) Stock #: TMS4E
    Universal Joint, Friction Ball, 1 1/8" Stock #: TMU8B
    Adaptor, 1/4" Internal drive x 3/8" External drive, 15/16" Stock #: TA3
    Ratchet, Sealed Head (High Strength), Standard Handle, 4 7/16" Stock #: T72
    Set, Socket Driver, Hex, Standard, 1/16" to 1/4" (10 pcs.) (Optional) Stock #: 110ETMAY
    Set, Socket Driver, Metric, Hex, Standard, 2 to 6 mm (6 pcs.) (Optional) Stock #: 106ETMAMY

    3/8” Drive socket set
    Breaker Bar, 9 9/16" Stock #: F10LC
    Ratchet, Sealed Head, Dual 80 Technology, Standard Handle, 3/8" drive, 7 11/32" Stock #: F80
    Ratchet, Sealed Head, Dual 80 Technology, Long, Flex-Head, 3/8" drive Stock #: FLF80
    Speeder, 17 27/32" Stock #: F4LB
    Universal Joint, Friction Ball, 1 11/16" Stock #: FU80B
    Adaptor, 3/8" Internal drive x 1/2" External drive, 1 5/16" Stock #: A2A
    Adaptor, 3/8" Internal drive x 1/4" External drive, 1 1/4" Stock #: GFAT1E
    Set, Extension, Friction Ball (6 pcs.) (1 1/2" to 11") Stock #: 206AFX
    Set, Socket, Deep, 6-Point (11 pcs.) (1/4" to 7/8") Stock #: 211SFSY
    Set, Socket, Metric, Deep, 6-Point (12 pcs.) (8 to 19 mm) Stock #: 212SFSMY
    Set, Socket, Shallow, 12-Point (11 pcs.) (1/4" to 7/8") Stock #: 211FY
    Set, Socket, Metric, Shallow, 12-Point (12 pcs.) (8 to 19 mm) Stock #: 212FMY
    Socket, Spark Plug, Shallow, 13/16", 6-Point Stock #: S9704KA
    Socket, Spark Plug, Shallow, 5/8", 6-Point Stock #: S9706K
    Set, Socket, Universal, Shallow, 12-Point (6 pcs.) (7/16" to 3/4") Stock #: 206FUA
    Set, Socket, Metric, Universal, Shallow, 12-Point (9 pcs.) (10 to 19 mm) Stock #: 209FUMY
    Set, Socket Driver, Torx Plus, Tamper Resistant, 1/4"-3/8" Drive, 8IPR to 55IPR (11 pcs.) (Optional) Stock #: 211EFTXRTPY
    Set, Socket Driver, Hex, Standard, 5/16" to 3/4" (7 pcs.) (Optional) Stock #: 307ESAY
    Set, Socket Driver, Metric, Hex, Standard, 6 to 19 mm (7 pcs.) (Optional) Stock #: 307ESAMY

    1/2” Drive socket set
    Breaker Bar, 24" Stock #: SN24C
    Ratchet, Dual 80, Standard Handle, 1/2" drive, 10 5/16" Stock #: S80A
    Speeder, 18 7/8" Stock #: S4
    Adaptor, 1/2" Internal drive x 3/4" External drive, 1 7/8" Stock #: GLA12B
    Adaptor, Industrial Finish, 1/2" Internal drive x 3/8" External drive, 1 1/2" Stock #: GSAF1E
    Universal Joint, Friction Ball, 2 11/16" Stock #: S8
    Set, Extension (5 pcs.) (2" to 11" lengths) Stock #: 305ASX
    Set, Socket, Shallow, 12-Point (13 pcs.) (3/8" to 1 1/8") Stock #: 313SWYA
    Set, Socket, Metric, Shallow, 12-Point (13 pcs.) (12 to 24 mm) Stock #: 313SWMYA
    Set, Socket, Deep, 12-Point (13 pcs.) (3/8" to 1 1/8") Stock #: 313SYA
    Set, Socket, Metric, Deep, 12-Point (13 pcs.) (12 to 24 mm) Stock #: 313SMYA

    Wrench Sets
    Set, Wrench, Combination, 12-Point (14 pcs.) (3/8" to 1 1/4") Stock #: OEX714K
    Wrench, Combination, Standard Length, 1/4", 12-Point Stock #: OEX8B
    Wrench, Combination, Standard Length, 5/16", 12-Point Stock #: GOEX10B
    Set, Wrench, Metric, Combination, 12-Point (13 pcs. in tray) (10 to 22 mm) Stock #: OEXM713B
    Wrench, Metric, Combination, Standard Length, 8 mm, 12-Point Stock #: OEXM80B
    Wrench, Metric, Combination, Standard Length, 7mm, 6-Point Stock #: OSHM70B  
    Set, Wrench, Flare Nut Double End, 6-Point (5 pcs.) (1/4"-5/16" to 3/4"-13/16") Stock #: RXFS605B
    Set, Wrench, Metric, Flare Nut Double End, 6-Point (6 pcs.) (9 to 21 mm) Stock #: RXFMS606B
    Set, Wrench, Hex, L-Shape, Natural Finish, 13 pcs. Stock #: AWS13
    Set, Wrench, Metric, Hex, L-Shape, Gold Finish, 9 pcs. Stock #: AWMG9
    Set, Wrench, Adjustable, Snap-on (6" to 12’) (4 pcs.) Stock #: AD704A
    Set, Wrench, Torx, Tamperproof, L-Shape, Natural Finish, 8 pcs. Stock #: AWTR8

    Screwdriver sets
    Set, Screwdriver, Combination, Instinct Hard Handle, Red, 8 pcs. Stock #: SHDX80R
    Set, Nut Driver, Ergonomic Handle (7 pcs.) (1/4" to 1/2" in plastic tray) (Optional) Stock #: NDD1070A
    Set, Nut Driver, Metric, Ergonomic Handle (7 pcs.) (6 mm to 12 mm in plastic tray) (Optional) Stock #: NDDM1070
    Carbon Scraper, Rigid, Red, 1" Blade Width, 12 7/8" Stock #: CSA12CR
    Set, Miniature Pick, Instinct Soft Grip, Red, 4 pcs. Stock #: SGASA204A

    Set, Cutters/Pliers, 4 pcs. Stock #: PL400B
    Set, Locking Pliers, Standard Grip, 4 pcs. Stock #: BLP404
    Pliers, Retaining Ring, Fixed Tip, Convertible, 18°/.038" tips Stock #: PRH12
    Pliers, Retaining Ring, Fixed Tip, Convertible, 18°/.047" tips Stock #: PRH32
    Pliers, Snap Ring (3/32" wide straight tip, 1/16" thick end) Stock #: SRP3A
    Wire Stripper/Cutter/Crimper/Bolt Cutter, (AWG 10 to 22), 8 1/4" Stock #: PWCS8 

    Hammer, Ball Peen, 8 oz. Stock #: BPN8B
    Hammer, Ball Peen, 16 oz. Stock #: BPN16B
    Hammer, Ball Peen, 32 oz. Stock #: BPN32B
    Hammer, Dead Blow, Slimline, 30 oz. Stock #: HBSE30

    Pry bars: 1 set of your choice required
    Set, Striking Prybars, Red, 4 pcs. Stock #: SPBS704R
    Set, Prybar, 4 pcs. Stock #: PBS704

    Punch & Chisels
    Set, Punch and Chisel, 11 pcs. (Center/Pin/Starter/Flat) Stock #: PPC710BK
    Punch, Drift, Bronze, 13/16" point, 12" Stock #: PPB1226A

    Measuring & Misc:
    Gauge, Feeler, U.S./Metric, 25 blades (.0015" thru .025") Stock #: FB325A
    Gauge, Gap for Electronic Ignition Systems Stock #: FB360C
    Rule, Steel, 6" Stock #: RULER600
    Tape Rule, Inches/Stud Markings, 12 ft. Stock #: TPMA12
    Caliper, Dial Type, U.S./Metric, 0 - 6" Stock #: PMF147A
    Mirror, Rectangular, 15 1/4" extension (Mirror: 2 1/8" x 3 1/2") Stock #: GA294
    Pick Up Tool, Magnetic, Telescopic Stock #: PHT5
    Hacksaw, Professional Stock #: HSG325
    Blow Gun, Bent Tube, 4" Stock #: AT4101
    Flashlight, Spot, LED, Compact Stock #: ECF925BX
    Wrench, Oil Filter, Band w/handles (2 7/8" to 3 1/4" filter diameter) Stock #: GA333C
    Wrench, Oil Filter, Band w/handles (3 1/2" to 3 7/8" filter diameter) Stock #: GA340A 

    Tester, Circuit, for 6 and 12V Systems, Red Stock #: EECT300HR
    Set, Coiled Jump Leads, 4 pcs. Stock #: MTTL311
    Multimeter, Digital, Automotive, Auto Ranging, True RMS Stock #: EEDM525D

    Torque Wrenches
    Torque Wrench, Adj. Click Type, U.S., Flex-Ratchet, 5-75 ft. lb., 3/8" drive (Optional) Stock #: QD2FR75
    Torque Wrench, Adj. Click Type, U.S., Fixed-Ratchet, 50-250 ft. lb., 1/2" drive Stock #: QD3R250

    The following tools will increase productivity when first employed.
    Ratchet, Air, Super Duty, 3/8" Drive (5-70 ft. lb.) Stock #: FAR7200
    Impact Wrench, Heavy Duty, Composite Rear Housing, 1/2" drive Stock #: ATC500
    Set, Socket, Impact, Deep, 6-Point (13 pcs.) (1/2" to 1 1/4")  Stock #: 313SIMA
    Set, Socket, Metric, Impact, Deep, 6-Point (15 pcs.) (10 to 24 mm) Stock #: 315SIMMYA
    Set, Metric, Impact Swivel Socket, Shallow, 6 pt., 7 pcs. Stock #: 307IPLMY
    Set, Air Hammer, Super Duty Stock #: PH3050BCH4
    Drill, Air, Reversible, 3/8" capacity Stock #: AT3000
    Drill, Air, Reversible, 1/2" capacity Stock #: AT5000
    Drill Kit, Cordless, 14.4 volt, 1/2" capacity Stock #: CDR4450
    General Service Set, Brakes, 5 pcs. Stock #: BTK5
    Set, Puller, Bolt Grip, 1 1/4" to 3 13/16" (includes storage case) Stock #: CJ2001P
    Set, Pliers, Needle Nose, 3 pcs. Stock #: PL6711A
    Set, Socket, Deep, 6-Point (13 pcs.) (3/8" to 1 1/8") Stock #: 313TSYA
    Set, Socket, Metric, Deep, 12-Point (13 pcs.) (12 to 24 mm) Stock #: 313SMYA
    Creeper, Standard, Adjustable, Red Stock #: JCW65AR

    There are many more tools that will assist with your work, but can be purchased as you find they would be useful.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to show little or no change from 2021 to 2031.

    Despite limited employment growth, about 73,300 openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

    Automotive Technician, Automotive Electronics Technician, Auto Service Technician, Automotive Mechanic, Engine Technician, Service Technician

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $46,880 in May 2021.

    Automotive Service Excellence (ASE Certification) Accreditation


    ATC Program Student Learning Outcomes:

    1. Analyze and interpret codes, standards, prints, and schematics.
    2. Demonstrate safe work practices while working with equipment and tools.
    3. Demonstrate the ability to earn industry certifications.
    4. Integrate problem solving skills to perform physical tasks.

    Junior and senior high school students can complete the Maintenance & Inspection Certificate in one semester by passing three automotive courses that are offered in the fall and spring semesters. Students can start in the fall or spring semester.

    The training gives students basic vehicle maintenance skills to allow them to work in their hometown while still in high school. Students will also learn how to take care of their own vehicles even if they don't plan on pursuing advanced training or employment.

    Interested students should talk to their high school counselor to include it in their ICAP and make sure they have the high school requirements completed so it will fit into their schedules. Students and parents can also contact the NJC Student Success Center to talk with an advisor.

    Daniel Knight
    Student Profile
    Daniel Knight

    Seeing how the NJC shop compared to his high school shop was mind blowing.

    Taner Brandner
    Student Profile
    Taner Brandner

    The teachers make it feel less like a school and more like a group of friends hanging out, while still learning.

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