Are you considering an automotive technician job and wondering about issues like salary, education, training and so on? If so, let's consider the most basic points and facts. According to US News and World Report, the median salary for "mechanic and automotive technicians was $37,120." However, other statistics say that it can range from around $31k to over $41k. This may make you confused, but an auto mechanic salary depends on the location of the mechanic and how much training they received in an auto mechanic school.
Just consider that another set of statistics says that mechanics "work on a variety of equipment, including cars, diesel buses and trucks, aircraft and industrial machines. The type of equipment a mechanic works on generally defines his or her career requirements and salary potential." After all, if you are a light car and truck mechanic who has only on-the-job training and no certifications, you won't make the same as an aircraft mechanic with years of study, training, and advanced certification.
Training increases earning potential
It might be tempting for someone already working in mechanic jobs or technician jobs to say that training would interfere with their work or earnings. However, even a six-month program obtaining certification will get favorable responses from employers. They recognize and appreciate certifications, formal training, and specialization.
Certification is most commonly done through National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence testing. There are nine specific areas for auto mechanic training, including brakes, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, manual drive train and axles, suspension, steering, electrical systems, engine performance, light vehicle diesel engines and automatic transmission. With each certification, you are close to becoming a Master Mechanic and reaching your highest earning potential.
Keep in mind that completion of most programs still leaves you with the need to do hands-on training. For instance, if you are someone interested in auto technician jobs focusing specifically on BMWs or MINI cars, you can get into manufacturer training programs, but they also require you to do at least a year of work in a dealership afterward.
Training in a technical school
There are a few ways to get training - whether it is certificate or degree work. Vocational and trade schools often have targeted classes and can be used by people still in high school. Community colleges are also an option, but formal mechanic's schools and technical schools tend to bring the best results. They provide auto mechanic training that makes you ready to get started even before graduating. Blending classroom, online and hands-on work, they build your knowledge and give you the highest earning potential.
An example of one such school is UTI Universal Technical Institute. They have a 51-week program that focuses on automotive technology training, but they also feature their Manufacturer Specific Advanced Training that is factory-authorized by leading manufacturers, allowing someone to specialize in a specific make of car or truck.
The key to taking the highest salary is to get the training and to specialize. Obtaining a degree and certification and then honing your skill set to a specific manufacturer will help you get the most out of your auto mechanic training.
While there are many career options for mechanics, one option you might consider is working with YourMechanic as a mobile mechanic. YourMechanic technicians earn up to $60 an hour and complete all work onsite at the car owner's location. As a mobile mechanic, you control your schedule, set your service area, and serve as your own boss. Learn more and apply.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Much Does a Mechanic Make in the US On Average? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.