Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)

Automotive Technology

Do you have a passion for cars?  Do you want to see how you can transfer that passion into a rewarding high-tech career?  Gain better traction for your career by exploring the field of automotive technology at City College. With the evolution of automotive electronic and computer systems, automotive service technicians have evolved from the mechanic of the past to the high-tech professional of today. Our National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) certified program will provide the key foundational knowledge of engine performance, electrical systems, transmissions, and drive trains.  Students apply this foundational knowledge in the lab settings to enhance their diagnostic and troubleshooting skills. 

Our close connections with local industry professionals directly translate to opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences while building relationships with prospective employers through internships. With a  high regional demand for trained automotive technicians, our program at City College will provide you the skills and experience to not only meet industry demands but exceed expectations.

Automotive Technicians

Median Wage (MT)* $35,160 yearly
  $16.90 per hour

Median Wage (US)* $39,550 yearly

$19.02 per hour

City College entry-level wages of graduates:
 $33,598  (2014-2017)**

Expected Growth (MT)* 10%
Expected Growth (US)* 6%

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Employment Projections; MT Dept. of Labor and Industry, Research and Analysis Bureau; (projections through 2024)

»»  Graduate Placement Data 

As an Automotive Technician, you will find employment in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Major Dealerships
  • Independent and Specialty Shops
  • Transmission Rebuild Centers
  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Diagnostic Specialists
  • Parts Specialists

Examples of where recent City College graduates are working:

  • Lithia Dodge, Billings, MT
  • Subaru, Billings, MT
  • Staleys Automotive and Tire, Billings, MT
  • Tire-Rama, Billings, MT


  • First-time college students must have high school diplomas from an accredited high school, a GED/HiSET, or passed the MSUB Readiness Exam offered through our university.
  • Transfer students will need to submit records from all regionally accredited institutions.

Montana State University Billings is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).  

In addition, the Automotive Technology program at City College is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). 

Upon completion of this program, students are encouraged to sit for the ASE (Automotive Services Excellence) Certification Tests. 

Automotive Technology  » » 
Automotive Technology 

 A student may exit this program after completing two semesters and receive a Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) in Automotive Technology. For those wanting to attend four semesters, the college offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Automotive Technology.


Automotive Technology » »

 Students who earn an AAS degree and want to further their education, and thus career, are able to go on for a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree through MSU Billings.  Students can focus on various thematic concentrations to earn a BAS degree.  Contact the MSU Billings Advising Center at 406-657-2240 for further details.

Q: Is this program hands-on?

A: Yes! The majority of your time in the program is spent working hands-on in our high-tech lab. Our program operates on a 60/40 ratio. Meaning that 60% of the time you are in the lab doing hands-on, skilled work, and 40% of the time is devoted to learning theory and foundational knowledge. Our program contains core automotive classroom work to help build a strong foundation for how the industry works and some general education courses to help not only land your dream job but to continue growing within your field.  

Q: What skills are covered in the program?

A: The Automotive AAS degree covers:

  • Power Train Components: Basic theory and principles of gearing, service, repair, reconditioning of clutches, transmissions, differentials, rear ends, axles, transaxles and transfer cases
  • Brake Systems: Master cylinders, power assist units, hydraulic lines, valve, disk, and drum brakes, antilock systems, parking brakes, brake electrical and electronic components 
  • Suspension, Steering and Related Systems: Design, operation, diagnosis and service of today's suspension and steering systems
  • Overhauls and Rebuilds: Complete disassembly and re-assembly of various engine units
  • Electrical and Electronic systems: Theory of operation, diagnosis, and repair
  • Automotive Transmissions: Disassembly and re-assembly, construction, operation, servicing, and troubleshooting procedures of modern automotive transmissions and transaxles 
  • Fuel Injection and Carburetor Systems: Diagnoses and repair of computerized fuel injection and carburetor systems, covering both domestic and foreign systems
  • Additional Areas: Fuel systems, Emission control systems, Ignition systems, Engine mechanical tests, and General Motors Computer Command Control

Q: Do I have to purchase my own tools?

A: Yes, there are required tools for the Automotive Technology program. These required items are tools that you will need to own and continue to use when you begin a career in the Automotive field,  purchasing a good set of tools as a student is a long-term investment in your career. Please visit the Tool Room Website for more information on required tools.   

Q: When do I need my tools by?

A: It is highly recommended that students wait until the first week of classes to purchase any new tools. At the beginning of each fall and spring semester, City College invites tool vendors to campus to display and sell their tools at discounted prices (usually around 50% discounts).