students working on car.

Automotive Technology

Are you interested in combining your enthusiasm for the auto industry with technical skills? Do you have an interest in working in an automotive technology center, automotive dealership or independent service center? If so, Carl Sandburg College’s certificate program in automotive technology is an excellent fit.

Automotive technology students learn the required skills through a combination of lectures and labs. More than 70% of the lab experience is comprised of live work. In addition, students are provided with an engine/transmission to rebuild. At the completion of the rebuild, the engine/transmission is evaluated on a test machine for complete functionality.

The work of automotive service technicians and mechanics has evolved from simply mechanical to high technology. Technicians must have an increasingly broad base of knowledge about how vehicles’ complex electronic components work and interact, as well as the ability to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and computer-based technical reference materials. Automotive service technicians and mechanics use these high-tech skills to inspect, maintain and repair vehicles. The ability to diagnose the source of a problem quickly and accurately requires good reasoning ability and a thorough knowledge of automobiles. Many technicians consider diagnosing hard-to-find troubles one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.

Admission requirements

Automotive Technology is an open-enrollment program, meaning there are no criteria students must meet to be admitted. If you're interested in enrolling in this program should complete our steps to enroll, which includes completing the free application for admission.

We encourage all prospective students to visit campus. We have several Explore Sandburg open houses throughout the year, or you can schedule a campus visit at your convenience.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state or local law. For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator at 309.341.5258 or the ADA/504 coordinator at 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:

Welcome Center


Almost half of the automotive service technicians work a standard 40-hour week, but about one-third work more than 40 hours per week. Many of those working more than 40-hour weeks are self-employed technicians. Some shops offer evening and weekend service to meet the needs of their customers. Generally, service technicians work indoors in well-ventilated and lighted repair shops.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts little or no change in employment from now to 2028 for automotive service technicians and mechanics. The need for basic routine maintenance including oil changes, installation of brake pads and more is expected to rise due to the number of vehicles on roadways. The future of electric cars continues to advance and may change the demand for automotive service technicians and mechanics. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).

Potential careers

Automotive master mechanics

Automotive body and related repairers

Automotive specialty technicians

Tire repairers and changers

Graduates from this program pursue careers in fields such as:

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Learn more

Sample course schedule for the Automotive Technology Certificate program

View the sample schedule for Automotive Technology certificate


Program format

All courses are offered face-to-face with hands-on instruction in the lab. 

Class formats

Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to our course schedule.

Regardless of the course format, you should have access to a reliable computer with broadband (high-speed) internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

View class formats.

Estimated costs for the Automotive Technology Certificate Program

Automotive Technology certificate cost sheet

Financial aid

To apply for financial aid, visit our   financial aid page  for more information.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) helps job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to see if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County | 550 N. Madison St. |   Carthage, IL | 217.357.6749      
  • Warren/Henderson County | 1025 S. 2 nd St | Monmouth, IL | 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building | 311 E. Main, Suite 612 | Galesburg, IL | 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County | 440 N. Lafayette | Macomb, IL | 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, the   Carl Sandburg College Foundation  is able to award more than $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners and returning students — everyone is eligible to apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year.

Meet the Instructors

Michael Hagedorn
Automotive Technology Instructor

Department of Career and Technical Education
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401


Automotive Technology Certificate program goals

Please reference the Carl Sandburg College Academic Catalog for additional information.