With just over 7,500 employed mechanics in the state, the automotive industry in Oklahoma is growing very quickly. This means there are many available automotive technician jobs for those with the training and aptitude. You’ll also find that the pay is competitive – the national average auto mechanic salary is about $37,000 per year. In Oklahoma, the average pay is $38,260, which means you will earn more than many mechanics. However, this is only an average, and there are jobs that pay more (as well as those that pay less). In order to ensure that you’re well compensated for your work, you need to be the most employable technician possible.
Complete your education first
The first step toward ensuring that you’re the most employable job applicant is to get your training. Today’s automotive technology has changed dramatically from what it once was, and it continues to evolve, as well. By completing a formal course at an auto mechanic school, you earn the basic skills and knowledge needed. There are quite a few choices available when it comes to getting your education, too. They include the following:
- Oklahoma Technical College
- Francis Tuttle Technology Center
- Tulsa Tech
- Gordon Cooper Technology Center
- Southern Oklahoma Technology Center
The courses available to you run between six months and a year, although there are multi-year courses on offer, as well. Completing this portion of your education will help you find entry-level positions in the industry, but this is not the end of your training. In some ways, it is just the beginning. If you really want to earn a higher auto mechanic salary and enjoy access to better technician jobs, you’ll need to pursue ASE certification.
You should start with ASE Student Certification and then move on from there. You’ll find certification courses for every imaginable aspect of automotive technology, and then some. Ultimately, your goal should be to become an ASE certified master technician, as this credential will open many new doors for you in terms of employment, and substantially increase your potential pay. If you are remotely interested in starting your own business, this is necessary.
It may also be a wise decision to pursue dealership certification if you intend to work with branded dealerships, or you intend to specialize in providing service for a particular automaker’s vehicles.
Supplement your income with work as a mobile mechanic
In the end, there are many options available that will allow you to pursue your passion and earn a good living as an automotive tech.
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 Oklahoma? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.