If you want to become an automotive engineer in Alabama, there are five schools located throughout the state that can help you reach your goals. All five of these schools have Associate's degree programs in automotive technology. The average cost of tuition is $1,600 per semester for residents and $2,800 per semester for non-residents.
As an Associate's-level student, you can plan on spending two to three years in school. All schools require at least 60 credits. In addition to a small selection of general education courses, you take lower-level engineering courses like Engine Systems and Controls, Body Control Systems, Fluid Power Technology, and Electronic Fundamentals.
The goal of your automotive engineering program is to give you the skills you need to build and repair vehicles. This also involves working on the individual components of vehicles. You can plan on spending lots of time in your school's lab or garage, working on vehicles and practicing your new skills.
Some schools have space for electives in their curriculum. This allows you to choose a specialty that interests you and focus on it. For example, if you like to work on fuel-efficient vehicles, you can take courses like Alternative Fuel Systems and Hybrid Configurations.
Alabama schools tend to be very affordable, and tuition rates are similar across all five schools. George C. Wallace State Community College has some of the lowest tuition rates in the state; tuition is approximately $1,560 for residents and $2,900 for non-residents. Tuition at J.F. Drake State Technical College is slightly higher. Tuition is almost $1,700 for residents and almost $3,400 per semester for non-residents.
Scholarships and grants can make your educational experience much more affordable. The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Dr. Bernard J. Schroer Scholarship is typically worth $750 per semester for two semesters.
In most cases, Alabama automotive engineers get their license from the Alabama State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. This level of licensure does require a four-year Bachelor's degree, so if you graduate with an Associate's degree, you'll need to complete a Bachelor's degree in automotive engineering first.
With an Associate's degree, you can find a variety of jobs in the automotive repair and manufacturing industry. This industry is growing rapidly in Alabama. The Alabama Media Group reports on the creation of more than 200 new automobile manufacturing jobs in southeast Alabama.