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When it comes to traffic, the Greater Los Angeles area is considered the sixth most congested region in the United States.

Packed roadways warrant the state’s demand for automotive mechanic skills.

If you’re a resident of Riverside or live in the Greater Los Angeles area and are seeking a career that allows you to work with your hands and serve the public, consider training at an auto mechanic school.

Auto Mechanic Training

There are a variety of technical schools in California. Leading mechanic schools like Universal Technical Institute (UTI) equip aspiring mechanics within the area with the skills they need for the industry and prepare them to test for industry certifications.1

Such programs provide students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to maintain, diagnose and repair various vehicles. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Utilizing diagnostic tools to pinpoint issues
  • Professional Automotive Service Writing
  • Automotive Powertrains & Transmissions
  • Repairing or replacing damaged components
  • Testing systems and parts to ensure proper operation
  • Providing oil changes, tire rotations and other forms of maintenance
  • Accurately communicating findings with clients

There are a few ways to ensure the mechanic school you attend will provide you with these skills. Keep reading to learn what you should look for in an automotive school.

Automotive Mechanic School in California

If you’re searching for “automotive schools near me,” you may want to narrow that search to include accredited programs only.

An accredited mechanic school ensures a specific quality of education that may prove valuable to your job search after graduation.

UTI’s Automotive Technology program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) – a Department of Education–recognized agency that strives to enhance graduates’ success in the workforce.

How well an automotive school prepares you to test for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is another thing to consider. Created by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, this certification holds mechanics to continually maintained standards that ensure quality vehicle repair and service.

Although not required by the state of California, many employers prefer candidates who’ve obtained it, as it proves they can provide accurate and quality service on their behalf.

UTI can help prepare graduates to test for ASE certification. The automotive program is Master Certified by the ASE Education Foundation, and all auto school instructors are ASE certified as well. To take the ASE certification exam, you need two years of relevant work experience. UTI graduates can substitute their training for one of those years.

A school’s industry relationships are the last thing you should consider before applying. Brand relationships can suggest a curriculum relevant to the industry, and manufacturer-specific programs can allow students to learn on brand-specific equipment and technology. At UTI’s Rancho Cucamonga campus, qualified students can choose from two manufacturer-specific training programs after completing the core program if they want to extend their training.

This includes the 15-week Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) program and the 12-week Toyota Professional Automotive Technician (TPAT) program.8

Automotive School Courses Offered at UTI Rancho Cucamonga

Through a blended learning model of online instruction and hands-on training, students can gain the knowledge and technical skills the automotive industry needs. UTI also provides students opportunities to practice using the tools and technology they will likely see in the real world. Mechanic school courses at UTI include:

  • Automotive Engines Service & Repair
  • Professional Automotive Service Writing
  • Automotive Powertrains & Transmissions
  • Vehicle Steering & Suspension Service & Repair
  • Vehicle Electronic Systems & Technology
  • Vehicle Brake Systems
  • Automotive Climate Control Systems & Repair
  • Automotive Power/Performance & Emissions Repair
  • Advanced Technology/Hybrid & Service Advising

Career Outlook

The median annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. was $47,770 in May 2023.25 This means half of automotive technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

On a national level, there are 67,000+ estimated average annual automotive technician job openings in the U.S.41

As you can see, there’s a demand for automotive mechanics, and it could be an exciting route for anyone who enjoys continual learning, problem-solving and serving others.

Auto Mechanic Jobs in Riverside, CA

There are a number of auto mechanics careers graduates can pursue77. A few of the most common entry-level auto mechanic jobs include:

  • Automotive technician: These mechanics inspect, maintain, and diagnose vehicles of various makes and models. They typically work in automotive repair shops or dealerships.
  • Parts associate: These auto techs build an in-depth knowledge of various vehicle components. Their duties include stocking, identifying, ordering, inspecting, and sorting parts.
  • Service writer: Service writers have excellent customer service and communications skills. Using their diagnostic experience, they create work orders for auto technicians and act as a source of knowledge for customers throughout the repair process.

Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work. Here are a few advanced roles in this industry:

  • Service manager: Many technicians advance to service manager over time. This role typically oversees the positions listed above while taking on duties such as managing vendor relationships, communicating with customers, and acting as a resource to other employees.
  • Fleet technician: Fleet mechanics usually work for a city, municipality, or business, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing vehicles crucial to daily operation.
  • Shop owner: Some seasoned mechanics venture into opening their auto repair shop. Being a shop owner requires a wide breadth of diagnostic and repair intelligence, excellent communication, and leadership skills.

Directions From Riverside to UTI Campus

UTI’s Rancho Cucamonga campus is approximately 25 minutes and 19 miles northwest of downtown Riverside. The drive is fairly straightforward. Simply head west on the CA-60 until exit 39 – South Haven Avenue. Take South Haven Avenue up to Sixth Street and turn left. The campus will then be on your left.

In addition to Riverside, there are several other popular California cities that students come from or explore during their time at UTI. Nearby communities include:

  • Los Angeles
  • Stockton
  • Elk Grove
  • Roseville
  • Vacaville
  • Folsom
  • San Bernardino
  • Anaheim
  • Irvine
  • Santa Monica
  • Venice

In addition to these cities, students can enjoy local fun ranging from beaches to hikes to the best of California’s amusement parks!


9494 Haven Avenue
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

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888-692-7800 |  Student Services
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Other Programs Offered at this Campus

Not sure if auto school is a good fit? In addition to the automotive mechanic school, the following programs are currently offered or are coming to UTI’s Rancho Cucamonga campus:

Diesel Technology School

UTI’s diesel mechanic program also uses a blended learning style of online instruction and hands-on training to prepare students to maintain, repair and diagnose heavy diesel-powered vehicles and machines. In just 45 weeks, graduates earn a diploma and can substitute their training for one of the two years required to become ASE certified.7

They could also be prepared to work as diesel technicians, heavy equipment repair technicians, power generation technicians, agriculture technicians and in other entry-level roles.77

Industrial Maintenance

The Industrial Maintenance Technician program is coming to UTI Rancho Cucamonga and is designed to get students career-ready in just 30 weeks.

Throughout the program, students will learn to inspect and maintain machinery. Industrial maintenance technicians can work in various industries and may have opportunities to travel, as their skills are in demand at manufacturing plants and factories across the country. Upon graduating they will know how to:

  • Test and replace damaged parts
  • Diagnose, clean and lubricate machinery
  • Maintain industrial machines

Robotics and Automation

The Robotics & Automation Technician program is available at the Rancho Cucamonga campus . Students who enter this program can graduate in just 51 weeks prepared to:

  • Develop, test and maintain robotics systems and machines
  • Pursue work alongside engineers to design and build various machines and systems
  • Utilize the software and 3D printers necessary for their role

UTI provides students with hands-on practice that can help them build the foundation necessary to pursue careers in the industry.

Welding Technology Program

The welding program at UTI Rancho Cucamonga is designed to take just 36 weeks to complete. Graduates are prepared for industries ranging from aerospace to motorsports. They will also have earned a diploma to prove their knowledge and skills.

This curriculum is developed with help from an industry leader, Lincoln Electric, so students receive industry-aligned training. This also provides them with hands-on practice using the tools and technology they can expect to see in the real world.

Wind Turbine

A 30-week Wind Turbine Technician program is available at UTI Rancho Cucamonga. UTI teamed up with seasoned industry experts to develop a curriculum that is relevant to the industry. Throughout the program, students can gain in-demand skills crucial to the field, such as:

  • Installing, repairing and maintaining the wind turbine’s generator, drive-line components and blades.
  • Safety standards.
  • Wind turbine components and operations.

Following completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to enter the field as entry-level wind turbine technicians, installation technicians or field service technicians.


How Long Does It Take to Become an Auto Mechanic?

At UTI, students can complete the automotive mechanic school in just 51 weeks.7 UTI also offers Career Services to help students find employment opportunities following their completion of auto school.1

Is Mechanic School Worth it?

According to the BLS, employers prefer to hire candidates who have attended a post-secondary education program, as it provides them with both instruction and hands-on practice. Attending a mechanic school helps students gain the skills needed for the industry.

How Much Do Auto Mechanics Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. was $46,970 in May 2022.25 This means half of the automotive technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand, and cost of living in the area.

Prepare for an Auto Mechanic Career With UTI

Ready to get started? Train to become an automotive mechanic at UTI.1 In less than one year, you can graduate with the technical knowledge and skills today’s employers are looking for.7 Contact an Admissions Representative to get started!

If you still want to learn more about UTI’s automotive school at Rancho Cucamonga, schedule a campus tour or request more info.