5 Best Mechanic Schools in San Diego 2023 | Requirements & Admission

Are you looking for the best mechanic schools in San Diego to train to become an auto mechanic, as well as the admissions requirements?

Do you want to know what it takes to become an automotive technician in San Diego?

Judging from how the automotive industry is growing in the state, now is the best time to study and start a career as an auto mechanic, and this guide will walk you through all the steps effortlessly.

Let’s get started!!!

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Who is a Mechanic?

The dictionary defines a mechanic as trained and skilled to set up, diagnose, and repair or maintain machinery.

There are so many machines in different sectors, ranging from the agricultural sector to the building sector, and the rest. However, we will focus on one of the most trending sectors in the world today: the automotive industry.

The automotive, or auto mechanic, sector is a field that focuses on servicing automobiles through preventive maintenance or corrective maintenance. The automotive industry is one of the world’s most potent economic workforces, and its significance in transportation systems and mobility patterns makes it more demanding. 

Also, the day one phase of automobiles consisted of steam-powered road vehicles, which were purely mechanical. With the surge of digital technology, automobiles switched from mechanical to computerized auto machines.

This significant change has altered the skills required to be an auto mechanic. Therefore, now is the best time to train at automotive schools and colleges to become an auto mechanic.

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How to Become a Mechanic in San Diego.

Pursuing this career requires steady work with your hands on machines now and then. You need to love fixing things to get through in this field.

The mechanic has a vocational career and does not require any formal certificate to get jobs and earn cash. It is purely based on how skilled the technician is and how well he/she can diagnose and fix problems.

It is convenient, and knowledge of the industrial jargon is less needed in auto repair shops.

There are two ways o become a mechanic in San Diego. They include:

1. Through Apprenticeship

You have to look for an employer who will take you on for the usual four years and train you on the job. You can apply with no experience in a part-time or full-time job.

Areas to focus on during apprenticeships include motor mechanics, heavy vehicle mechanics, vehicle body repairs, and others. In the end, you will be referred to as a mechanic, technician, or auto repairman.

2. Attend Auto mechanic schools

Going to any of the auto mechanic schools in San Diego is considered the best by most people. This is so because it has a lot to offer in terms of its potentiality to train candidates in those skills that launch careers, acquainting them with road safety and traffic rules.

Also, it enables you to make connections, learn new technologies, develop a good work ethic, and secure better opportunities. You can always choose from a broad spectrum of areas; heating and air conditioning, engine and transmission maintenance, collision repair, etc.

There are a lot of benefits to going to mechanic schools, and it is quite helpful for people who take it up as their career. Those degrees obtained in mechanic schools after completing the courses can earn you positions as a supervisor or manager or, with a baccalaureate or graduate degree, an automotive engineer or design specialist.

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Are There Auto Mechanic Schools and Colleges in San Diego?

There are not many automotive schools in San Diego, CA, but I will provide some of the available ones below that are accredited to train you to become a professional auto mechanic.

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List of the Best Mechanic Schools in San Diego, CA

Without further ado, here are the automotive schools in San Diego:

#1. Cuyamaca College, CA

Cuyamaca College is a small public college situated in Rancho, San Diego, California, with an acceptance rate of 100% and an enrollment of 1,646 undergraduate students.

Currently, Cuyamaca College offers free applications for interested candidates. Enrollment is relatively easy because you will not need SAT or ACT range or High school GPA. 

The net cost of studying at Cuyamaca College is $6,472 per year, with 88% of students receiving financial aid on an annual basis.

The school offers various popular courses, including Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, Natural Sciences, Child Care Provider, Mathematics, Human Services, etc.

It also offers a different range of automotive degrees, and the certificates issued to graduating students align with the National Standard for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). 

These courses include:

  • Automotive technology
  • Automotive technology- Automotive Service councils of California ASCCA
  • Automotive Technology Chassis Specialist
  • Automotive Technology Drivetrain Specialist
  • Automotive Technology Electronics and Electric Vehicle Specialist
  • Automotive Technology Engine Performance Specialist
  • Automotive Technology Repair Specialist
  • Automotive Technology Service management


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#2. Southwestern College, CA

This public community college is located at 900 Otay Lakes and trains about 19,000 students annually out of 5,372 students. It has an open admission policy with zero application fee.

An in-state student spends $4,877 on average after aid and $29,141 on average after aid, while out-of-state students spend $35,553 before aid.

The college has a vast spectrum of programs, including business administration and management, criminal justice and law enforcement administration, liberal arts and sciences, biological and physical sciences, psychology, health services, allied health/health sciences, sociology, political science, and government, accounting technology and bookkeeping, Biology/biological sciences and many others.

It also trains students in automotive technology with industry-related experience for varying years and prepares them with in-demand career skills. It provides the following range of degrees in automotive technology:

  • Associate in Science Degree in Automotive Technology
  •  Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Emission Specialist 
  • Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Performance Systems 
  • Certificate of Achievement in Automotive Technology 
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Automotive Brake and Suspension Systems (ABS and Four-Wheel Alignment) 
  • Gainful employment: Automotive Performance Systems – CT
  • Gainful employment: Automotive Technology – CT

The Accrediting Commission has accredited the college for community and junior colleges and the United States Department of Education for meeting acceptable levels of quality in educational programs and services. It is semester-based and offers an associate degree as its highest program award. Its programs also met the status of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) guidelines and National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) certification.


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#3. San Diego College of Continuing Education, CA

San Diego College of Continuing Education is a public educational institution at 4343 Ocean View Blvd, San Diego, CA 92113, United States. 

The institution serves around 100,000 students annually and has a semester-based academic calendar. It is multi-generational and multi-diverse. Whites make up 49% of the population, Hispanics or Latinos make up 29%, and Asians make up 9%. 

This institution provides lots of courses like Auto Body and Paint Technician, Auto Technician, Front End Web Developer I and II, Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc, Welding, Metal Fabrication I and II, Mobile Application Development Program, Construction & Utilities, Air Conditioning and Heating I, Electronics Technician, Plumbing I, II and II, Hospitality, Advanced, Culinary Arts, Clothing Construction, Culinary Arts and Sciences, etc.

San Diego College Continuing Education is also one of the schools that equip its automotive students with industrial knowledge, safety practices, computer skills, and professionalism using the usual classroom instructions and laboratory practices. 

Also, the institution categorizes automotive into Auto Body and Paint Technician and Auto Technician. Auto Body and Paint Technician have two courses which take 24 weeks (25 hours per week) to complete.

  • AUTO 411 Auto Body and Paint Technician
  • AUTO 411A Auto Body and Paint Technician) 

Auto Technician has three courses that take 39 weeks (25 per week) to complete:

  • AUTO 507 Auto Technician
  • AUTO 507A Auto Technician
  • AUTO 507B Auto Technician


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#4. San Diego Miramar College

This is a public community college at F-100 Building (Aviation), 10440 Black Mountain Rd., San Diego, CA 92126, United States. It is one of the three colleges in the San Diego Community College District.

In-state students spend an average of $4,886 after aid in tuition fees, while out-of-state students spend an average of $22,886 before aid.

Other costs of attendance include enrollment fees, health fees, food and housing bills, transportation fees, personal expenses, books, and supplies. The summation of the costs arrived at $15,628 for students with their parents and $24,286 for students living off campus. 

The college has 98% of its students in the state and 1% of the students residing outside California.    

San Diego Miramar College offers 38 majors, including Computer and Information Sciences, Engineering, Foreign Languages, Work and Family Studies, Legal Professions, English and Literature, Liberal Arts, and Humanities.

The college also offers mechanic and repair technologies, with over 100 students graduating from this discipline per annum.

 Below are the courses offered under this significant:

  • Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician    
  • Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician    
  • Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician
  • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician    
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician

The college has a slight ethnic diversion, with a sizable number of students being white, Asian, and Hispanic, an absence of international students, 5% black, and the rest consisting of Hawaiian and unknown races.


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What are the Requirements Needed to Apply to Mechanic Schools in San Diego?

To be enrolled in these schools for your vocational training, you must meet some criteria, especially those specifically listed by the school. These criteria vary in essentiality and numbers with every school. 

  • The candidate must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must apply for admission to the college
  • Must set up and own a student account on the school web
  • Must complete the online orientation
  • Must be a high school graduate or must have completed GED
  • Must submit an official transcript from high school or college to admission and records
  • Must attend an advising session

How Much does a Mechanic Make in San Diego, CA

A mechanic in San Diego makes a minimum of $18.48 per hour and as much as $38.83 per hour, depending on one’s skill set, academic qualifications, and experience.

An average mechanic then earns $26.79 per hour and $5,634 in overtime per year. In addition to getting a degree and certificates, high-in-demand soft and hard skills are needed to increase one’s rate of income in this industry. These include;

  • Air brake
  • Alignment
  • Automotive diagnostics
  • Automotive Repair
  • Bilingual
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy.

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Frequently Asked Questions About San Diego Automotive Schools

How Long Will it Take to Become a Mechanic in San Diego?

If you enjoy working with your hands, are attentive to detail, and can quickly identify problems, you might consider this field.

Some enter this field right after graduating from high school; they go into apprenticeship training which usually lasts for four to five years, while some enter the field after taking one or more years of programs in Mechanic schools.

Due to the vast number of ways to gain expertise in this field, there are different timeframes to graduate from automotive schools in San Diego.

What are the Job Responsibilities of a Mechanic?

The job responsibilities vary as positions in the industry determine the responsibilities’ nature, type, and size. However, there are typical duties of an experienced mechanic regarding their work.

Diagnosing mechanical, electrical, or computer problems in vehicles
To inspect, update and fix electronic or computer systems in automobiles.

Extrapolating the prices and plans for repairing vehicles based on the time, labor, and resources it would cost
Assessing and rating the conditions of vehicles after repair
Ensuring that necessary tools for work are functional, in good condition, and available

What Places Can a Mechanic Work?

The type of place a mechanic can work depends mainly on academic qualifications and degrees.
Some places include gasoline stations, repair shops,  tire stores, automobile dealers, mechanic companies, and the automotive repair and maintenance industry.

What Tools Does a Mechanic use for Work?

There are so many tools and equipment out there available for the repairing of vehicles. The essential tools are a jack, torque wrench, pliers, screwdrivers, ratchets, sockets, an air compressor, a multimeter, pry bars, various hammers and mallets, wire cutters, and vice grips. 

The complex ones require certain training to use them efficiently. Computer literacy is becoming highly important as most vehicle components and work tools are digitized.


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