Pursuing an automotive technician job can be very rewarding. It allows you to take your passion for vehicles and translate that into a lucrative career. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a mechanic in the US is just over $40,000. In Iowa, the average auto mechanic salary is $38,780. While this is slightly below the national average, it is higher than in several other states. It’s also important to realize that this is an average, and many jobs will actually pay more. Of course, you need to ensure that you’re the best candidate for those higher paying jobs.
Education is of key importance
While you can work your way slowly up the ladder and eventually become a mechanic, it’s far better to get the education you need right away. Completing a course at a community college, vocational school or tech school can ensure that you have a firm understandings of the basics of automotive technology and take advantage of entry-level positions in your area of Iowa. There are actually quite a few auto mechanic schools in the state that can offer the education you need, including the following:
- Western Iowa Tech Community College
- Kirkwood Community College
- Des Moines Area Community College
- Iowa Central Community College
- Iowa Western Community College
After completing your course, you will have the knowledge needed to enter the workforce. However, you shouldn’t stop there. While earning your certification is the right first step, it is only one of several. You will now need to improve your education and training. That can be done partially through experience gained on the job, but it’s a better bet to go for ASE certification. Becoming an ASE-certified master tech ensures that you will have higher paying job options. Remember that hirers want to see knowledge and training, and nothing trumps ASE certification.
There’s also the option of going through dealership certification if you choose to work with an auto dealer. Most branded dealerships today are required to put their technicians through a certification process. This teaches those technicians about the technology and design used by the automaker. Once you’ve earned your certification, you have that knowledge forever, and can take it with you to another dealership, or any other employer.
Supplement your income with work as a mobile mechanic
Get your education, and then carefully consider your options. There is a rewarding career path for you.
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 Iowa? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.