Considering taking an automotive technician job? Becoming a mechanic can be a very good career move. It provides you with skills and knowledge that can be put to use in a wide range of places, from exhaust shops to dealerships and everything in between. It can also pay very well. The national average for a mechanic is just over $37,000, and for mechanics in Mississippi, the average annual salary is $35,220. This is slightly under the national average, but it is important to remember that this is only the median earnings – there are jobs that pay less and those that pay more. In order to earn the most, you’ll need to plan your career correctly.
Start with training, education, and certification
Like most other careers, you have the best chance of earning a good salary from mechanic jobs if you get your education first. Thankfully, there are a number of technical schools and community colleges throughout Mississippi that can give you the head start you need. Just a few of the options available include:
- East Mississippi Community College
- Holmes Community College
- Jones County Junior College
- Meridian Community College
- Southwest Mississippi Community College
Some of these courses can be as short as six months, and will provide you with the basic knowledge and certification needed to get started with entry-level automotive technician jobs. From this point, you will want to earn one or more of the nine different ASE certifications.
ASE certification has become the gold standard for the automotive industry in terms of training and ensuring expertise and knowledge. There are plenty of different individual certifications that you can earn if you want to specialize in a particular area, such as brakes, air conditioning, vehicle electronics, and the like. Of course, you can also pursue your ASE master technician certification, which will open many other doors for you and help boost your potential earning potential.
If you’re interested in working with a dealership, then you can take advantage of dealer certification programs. These are usually sponsored by branded dealerships and automakers, and are designed to teach you about that automaker’s technology and vehicle designs. As such, it provides the most value with other dealerships working with the same brand (Honda dealers, Ford dealers, etc.), but it can provide you with benefits outside the world of dealerships as well.
Supplement your income with work as a mobile mechanic
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 Mississippi? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.