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, brakes, steering and suspension systems, electrical, electronic systems and HVAC.


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.

Students perform diagnostics and repairs on cars and light-duty trucks to master repair skills that conform to ASE Education Alliance standards. Students perform repair and maintenance on the full spectrum of vehicle systems including electrical, heating and air conditioning, suspension and steering, braking, drive trains and axles, fuel and exhaust, transmissions, gas and diesel engine performance, engine repair and machining. Students are exposed to a large variety of makes and models including small imports to large diesel pickups. 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 career.

The Automotive Technology facility employs 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 while in the program.

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.

Northeastern students have the option to complete the Auto-Diesel Master Technician (ADMT) Certificate upon successful completion of requirements in either the Automotive Technology or Diesel Technology programs and an additional 26 credits of course work in a third year.

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.

    Stamp of approval comes from respected national organization

    In 1967 when the automotive technology program was started at Northeastern Junior College in the old Jamison Hall building located on Second Street, 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 and diesel 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. For NJC, staying up on automotive technology has been one of the great challenges of the program and also one of the biggest demands of the industry. 

    Being recognized by the ASE Education Foundation  for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a huge stamp of approval on any automotive training program. Northeastern recently received designation on not one, but two of its automotive programs. The automotive technology program was renewed for ASE certification and the diesel program received this recognition for the first time this year.

    The purpose of the accreditation process for automotive technician training program is to improve the quality of training offered at secondary and post-secondary, public and proprietary schools.

    To get this accreditation, both of the college’s programs were closely evaluated by NATEF  in all areas from its facilities to the number of instructional hours. NJC clearly demonstrated that it has skilled instructors and the latest tools and equipment to engage and teach students well in these areas.

    “We are proud of this coveted recognition and our ability to produce competent technicians and employable students so desperately needed by the automotive industry,” says Stanton Gartin, Vice President of Academics at the college.

    The motor vehicle repair industry has taken on a new sophistication. It requires advanced technical training and computer literacy and expects the top training programs across the nation to train technicians that have thorough knowledge of automotive systems and components, good computer skills, excellent communication skills, above average mechanical aptitude, good reasoning ability; ability to read and follow instructions; and manual dexterity

    NATEF examines the structure and resources of training programs and evaluates them against nationally accepted standards of quality. The evaluation process ensures that accredited training programs meet or exceed industry-recognized, uniform standards of excellence.

    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.

    To achieve this accreditation and associated certification, the NJC program had to undergo a program self-evaluation followed by a NATEF review of these self-evaluation materials. This was followed with an onsite evaluation where several key individuals recognized by NATEF did a visit to the NJC site. When industry requirements are met, the program being evaluation will become accredited for a period of five years.

    Playing a huge role in the ASE Accreditation for NJC was the automotive program advisory committee at NJC. Program advisory committees are organized to provide advice and assistance to the teachers and administrators of specific programs. These advisory committees assist with ongoing curriculum development and program evaluation.

    Serving on the automotive advisory program committee at NJC is Wally Beardsley representing Re-1 Valley School District, Tim Richie, NAPA Auto and Truck Parts, Arlin Dressel of ALD Automotive (Yuma, CO) Mike Schadegg of Wolf Auto, Rob Ahlbrandt of MHC Kenworth (Greeley, CO) Cherie Brungardt of NJC, Cindy Carey of NJC, Mike Fracchinello of Korf (Yuma, CO) Mike Gillespie of Charlie’s Diesel Service, Diana Haas of RE-1 Valley School District, Jeff Osuch of Erlich Toyota East (Fort Morgan, CO) and Eric Weber of Korf Continental. These advisory committee members should be especially proud of helping guide the NJC programs to this ASE credentialing. 


    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.

    Back to all programs Scholarships