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students with instructor looking under the hood of a car

Department: Automotive

Program Type: Automotive and Truck Driving

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Elevate your career with Elgin Community College's Automotive Service Technology degree.

As an automotive program student at ECC, you'll receive thorough training covering all aspects of vehicle maintenance for different types of vehicles. You'll dive into the details of automotive components, understanding how they work and how to maintain them. This includes learning about fuel systems, manual and automatic transmissions, suspension and brakes, driveline units, heating, air conditioning, electrical systems, computer controls, and emission systems.

Our automotive instructors are top-notch professionals with ASE Professional Level certification, many of whom hold the title of Master Technician. They'll be there to mentor you, helping you learn diagnostic skills, troubleshooting, and essential shop safety procedures.

ECC also offers certificates to increase your skill set, including electrical systems, brakes and suspension, mechanical engine repair, transmission and drivetrain, engine performance, and auto heating and air conditioning. 

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The employment outlook for the automotive industry varies depending on the specific occupation and location. Over the decade, roughly 73,300 job openings for automotive service technicians are projected yearly.

This specific role is expected to increase with the increase in demand. Service technicians will be needed to perform repair and maintenance checks on fixing or repairing parts and charging oil. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding similar occupations and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the automotive plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

Basic Vocational Certificates

What does a brake and suspension specialist do?

Brake and Suspension Specialists diagnose and repair full brake and suspension systems for various automobile manufacturers. Regulations and safety requirements control the overall integrity of the automotive world. Brakes and suspension systems are primary concerns when it comes to this integrity. The ability to stop an automobile and control its mobile direction is critical. Learning about automotive suspension and brake system components provides an arsenal of knowledge to secure the safe mobility of any vehicle.

You will learn about installing, replacing, repairing, and adjusting suspension components, such as u-joints, tie rods, wheel assemblies, ball joints, stabilizer bars, bushings, bumpers, springs, shields, hubs, upper and lower A-arms, struts, and rack and pinion parts, and hydraulics, and brake system components, such as rotors, brake pads, calipers, pistons, dust boots, and bleeder screws are covered at length.

What is the job outlook for an automotive brake and suspension repair specialist?

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics estimates that automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected to show little to no change from 2020 to 2030. On average, there are an estimated 69,000 job openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics over the next decade.

It's unsure what future employment looks like in the automotive industry, but there's been a significant increase in the production of electric vehicles. This may limit the demand for future automotive technicians and mechanics because electric vehicles require less maintenance. Check out the Career Coach site to learn about related professions and compensation.

How do I become a brake and suspension specialist as a mechanic?

Completing a certification program like ECC is essential to becoming a certified Brake and Suspension Specialist. This opens the door to entry-level positions with automotive garages, dealerships, and franchises where you can receive advanced training.

What is the work environment like for an automotive mechanic?

The work environment for a Brake and Suspension Specialist is any garage setting where the primary work is performed on a lift. Power Tools are needed for these job functions. One specialist is assigned to one automobile.

Learn more about the Automotive department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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Video Overview

An overview of Elgin Community College's automotive program. This program provides training in all phases of automotive maintenance work for all types of vehicles.

Are you unemployed or looking for a better career?

ECC is partnering with Kane County WIOA to offer free career training for in-demand jobs. Learn more and see if you qualify.

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