Thinking about applying for an automotive technician job in New Mexico? The automotive industry has grown significantly in recent years, and while New Mexico has fewer employed mechanics than some other states, this can be a lucrative career with the right planning and preparation. Nationally, the average salary for an automotive technician is around $37,000, but in New Mexico, it’s slightly higher, coming in at $38,570 per year. With the right training and some strategy, you can actually earn substantially more than that, though.
Training and education are vital
In order to earn a higher automotive technician salary, you’ll need to complete a course at an auto mechanic school. There are trade schools, tech schools, and community colleges in several areas of New Mexico offering these types of courses, and most of them last about a year, although you can find some longer, more in-depth courses, as well. Your options for education include the following schools:
- IntelliTec College
- Central New Mexico Community College
- New Mexico State University
- Eastern New Mexico University
- CNM Rio Rancho
After completing your course, you’ll be prepared and equipped for an entry-level position within the automotive industry. However, if you want to rise beyond that point and earn more money, you’ll need to invest in yourself through further training. ASE certification is the best way to proceed, and you can choose to specialize in certain areas, such as air conditioning repair or transmissions, or you can become a full ASE certified master technician, which proves that you have in-depth knowledge and expertise in virtually all areas of automotive technology. Hirers are more likely to pay a higher salary to ASE certified technicians, and it is also an important consideration if you decide to open your own shop.
If you decide that you’re better served by working at a dealership, it will definitely be in your best interest to complete dealership certification. These programs are generally sponsored by the automaker and the dealership, and provide you with further training and education regarding the automaker’s specific technology and vehicle designs. This type of training will definitely help you earn more in your current position, but it can also be useful if you decide to look for employment elsewhere, particularly at a private repair shop, or another dealership selling the same brand.
Supplement your income with work as a mobile mechanic
Carefully consider your options, and make sure you have the training and certification needed for success in automotive technician jobs. With those considerations in place, you can expect to enjoy a rewarding career.
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 New Mexico? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.