Interested in pursuing an automotive technician job in Illinois? If you have a passion for automotive technology, this can be a lucrative career choice. The nationwide average for a mechanic’s annual salary is just over $40,000. However, the average auto mechanic salary in Illinois is $43,600, which is quite a bit over the national average. Moreover, this is just an average – there are mechanic jobs that will pay significantly more than this, as well as those that will pay less.
It starts with auto mechanic school
While you can work your way up in the industry without a formal education, understand that this is the slow route to success, and there is a chance that you will never earn as much as a mechanic with their certification and credentials. Enrolling in an auto mechanic school will give you the education you need to get started and teach you all the important basics about automotive technology, maintenance and repair. There are several good schools in Illinois, including the following:
- Lincoln Land Community College
- Kishwaukee College
- Illinois Valley Community College
- Lewis and Clark Community College
- Richland Community College
After earning your certification and graduating from the school, you’ll be prepared for entry-level positions, or even a more advanced job. However, it is critical to understand that your education is not finished, not if you want to earn the highest automotive technician salary possible.
The next step is to pursue ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification. This is the gold standard for the industry, and ASE certified master technicians earn considerably more than their counterparts without certification, even if they have the same amount of experience. You can pursue general mastery, or you can complete specializations that allow you to fill niches in the industry.
There’s also the potential for dealership certification if you take a position working with a branded auto dealership. These courses are mandated by automakers, and are centered on automaker technology and design. This allows you to specialize in that brand, and you can take your training and experience to any dealership that sells that automaker’s vehicles.
Supplement your income with work as a mobile mechanic
Get the education you need, and commit to ongoing training and certification. Compare your employment options, and you’ll find that embarking on a mechanic career is an excellent choice.
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 Illinois? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.