Get Your Career in Gear at Mercer County Community College


The Automotive Technology Program introduces students to current automotive systems and related diagnostic and service techniques. Students learn about current automotive technologies and their use in late model production vehicles. In addition, students develop and learn professionalism while fulfilling internship requirements at their sponsoring repair facility.

The automotive program at Mercer awards graduates an associate in applied science degree (AAS), and offers three paths of study that students can follow. They include the Mopar Career Automotive Program (Mopar CAP), Subaru University, and the Comprehensive Automotive Program.

  • Mopar CAP programThe college first collaborated with Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) in 1986 to offer the Mopar Career Automotive Program, and the relationship has flourished. Students who choose Mopar CAP will complete factory training specific to Stellantis vehicles and secure a position at a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, or Fiat dealership as an apprentice technician during a series of paid internships. The Mopar CAP program at Mercer is MAST certified by ASE. For more information about ASE certification of automotive education programs, visit
  • Subaru UniversityThe Subaru University program, sponsored by Subaru of America, continues to grow since its inception in 2014. Students who choose Subaru University will complete Subaru of America factory training and secure a position at a Subaru dealership as an apprentice technician during a series of paid internships.
  • Students who choose the Comprehensive Automotive Program will learn theory, operation, diagnosis, and service of systems not specific to any particular vehicle or manufacturer. Comprehensive students complete paid internships at an approved independent, franchise, or new-car dealership repair facility.

Graduates of the automotive program generally move into full-time employment with their internship employer. Although this is not a requirement, it creates an easy transition into full-time employment for the graduate. Employers are thrilled to keep students working in a full-time capacity after graduation!

Learning opportunities after graduation:

The college collaborates with Audi of America to offer the Audi Education Partnership (AEP), which offers opportunities to Mercer’s automotive graduates. While the core of Mopar CAP and Subaru University training occurs while students take classes at Mercer, AEP provides advanced learning opportunities for Mercer’s automotive graduates once they leave the college.

Audi Education Partnership

Qualifying graduates of Mercer’s automotive program are eligible to apply to Audi of America for acceptance into the Audi Education Partnership program. AEP begins after a student graduates from Mercer, and the program concludes in as little as 18-months. This program provides many benefits to qualifying Mercer graduates, which include employment as an Audi apprentice technician at a sponsoring Audi dealership, all expenses paid expert-level training from an Audi technical training center, tool purchase incentives, and a full-time job at a participating Audi dealership after the program is successfully completed.

Students that successfully complete the Audi program are considered expert level trained in Audi vehicle technology, which positions them for full-time employment as a service technician at an Audi dealership. Acceptance into the Audi program is competitive. Not every student will meet the qualifications, but for those that do, the Audi Education Partnership may be a good option to jumpstart his or her career. Mercer’s Automotive Technology Program Coordinator will provide more details about the Audi Education Partnership to students expressing interest.

Why Mercer?

Mercer offers an affordable way for students to obtain an in-depth education in automotive technology, while awarding them credentials and skills they can carry with them for a lifetime. Mercer offers small class sizes led by experienced, industry-trained professors. The Automotive Technology Program and its affiliations with vehicle manufacturers bring the most up-to-date transportation technology to the classroom. Mercer continuously receives late model training vehicles, new tools, the latest diagnostic equipment, and updated technical training materials that reflect industry trends.

Students benefit from the college’s long-term commitment to student learning and the program’s relationships within the local automotive industry. Mercer maintains relationships with over forty local repair shops and new car dealerships, offering students a nearly guaranteed path to a quality full-time career.

Local employers value Mercer students and graduates so much that many look to attract new interns with tool purchase incentives and tuition assistance.

A Degree, NOT a Certificate!

There are many reasons to join Mercer’s automotive program. First, a successful candidate will graduate with an associate in applied science degree. Many other schools award their students a certificate of completion. Someone that holds a certificate of completion may find it very difficult to advance their career if they choose to move into another area of study or even into a higher position within the automotive industry. A college degree from Mercer provides better career mobility.

Additionally, the financial cost of the certificate of completion programs from well-known for-profit trade schools is on the rise. These certificate programs often cost tens of thousands more than the cost of Mercer’s college degree program.

Certificates earned from most for-profit trade schools are not transferable. This means credits earned at these schools cannot count towards programs at accredited colleges and universities. Mercer students will not have this problem since Mercer County Community College is an accredited educational institution and awards credits that are transferable.  

Since Mercer awards its automotive graduates an associate in applied science degree at an affordable price, and a path leading to a career, the right choice is obvious.


The required automotive internships allow students to work and earn money while they learn the trade. Automotive internships help students build their resume and gain an insider’s view into the daily operations of a dealership or repair facility, as well as interact with customers, experienced service technicians, and vehicle manufacturers. The greatest benefit from the internships is the experience students accumulate while working on customers’ vehicles with real problems. This is undoubtedly a beneficial situation for everyone involved, and by far the best way for an aspiring technician to start on the right path to a rewarding career.

Classroom learning paired with hands-on exposure in a live repair facility has proven itself the best way to transform a college student into a well-trained, employable technician with a strong work ethic.

Through a partnership with Haldeman Automotive Group , Haldeman provides enhanced benefits to interning students, including tool purchase and tuition assistance programs. In this partnership, qualifying students can complete required internships at any one of four Haldeman locations: Haldeman Lexus of Princeton, Haldeman Subaru, and either of the two Haldeman Ford dealerships


While many graduates remain working as service technicians their entire career, a large number of graduates have moved to other positions within the automotive field.

Some advancement opportunities include shop supervisor, assistant service manager, service manager, service director, shop owner, secondary and post-secondary automotive educator, and various positions within a vehicle manufacturer or aftermarket automotive company.

Ultimately, your destiny is in your own hands. Mercer welcomes the opportunity to tell you more about the opportunities at the college.

We thank you for taking an interest in the automotive degree offerings at Mercer. For more program information, or to schedule a tour of the school’s automotive facility,  contact  us at any time. We look forward to speaking with you!

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