If you’re considering an automotive technician job in California, it’s natural to wonder how much you’ll earn per year. There’s good news – mechanics can actually earn a very good living. The median income nationally is about $37,000 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, but if you’re in California, you can expect your auto mechanic salary to be higher due to the higher cost of living in the state. The average pay (mean) for a mechanic in California is actually $44,940, which equates to about $21.61 per hour. Of course, there are other factors that will affect how much you earn as a mechanic.
Training and education helps you earn more
It’s important to understand that before you seek out auto technician jobs, your training and education will definitely have an effect on what you earn. If you have only completed minimal apprenticeship training, you will earn less than someone who has completed an ASE certification. The same principle applies to dealer certification. You can increase the amount you make per year, as well as your access to mechanic jobs by becoming ASE certified and getting your dealership certification.
You can get the basic training needed to enter the field through most community colleges and technical schools in the state, of which there are many, many options, such as De Anza College in Silicon Valley, or San Bernardino Valley College. You can also opt for larger schools, such as UTI.
As a general rule of thumb, the longer the training, the more you can expect your skills to be in demand by potential hirers, whether you want to work for a branded dealership, go into business for yourself, or do something completely different. Hirers are willing to pay more for automotive technician jobs if you have specialization and in-depth training and knowledge. That doesn’t mean that a six-month course at a local community college will do you no good, though. It is at least a starting point for your further education.
Supplement your work income with work as a mobile mechanic
The choice to pursue auto mechanic jobs is one that can give you a good salary with plenty of job security. However, you need to first ensure that you have the education necessary, then earn your certification, and choose the right type of auto mechanic job for the highest potential pay per year.
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 California? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.