Automotive Mechanic

Is a career as an Automotive Technician right for you?
Here are some things to consider before you decide:

  • After 1 year of work experience OR completion of a trade school program and receiving your ASE (G1) Certification, you can expect to make $31.84 an hour or $66,227 a year plus overtime and benefits.
  • It is the most in-demand trade in North America. (BlueRecruit Data 2023)
  • There are 283,315 automotive mechanic businesses in the US as of 2023, which is an increase of 1.3% since 2022. (IBIS World)
  • The right personality type to become an Automotive Technician is someone who has:
    • Excellent Customer Service & Communication Skills
    • Strong Problem Solving Skills
    • Attention to Detail
    • Perform Physical Tasks with Grace and Precision

The Career Journey

Attend Trade School or Apprentice at a Shop

  • Must have a GED or HS Diploma
  • Technicians have the option to attend an Automotive Technician program or apprentice in an entry-level position for 1 year.
  • Trade School Programs are offered Nationwide.
  • Average length of program is 10-12 months and can be used towards the 1-year work requirement for ASE Certification
  • The cost of a Automotive Technician program can range from $10,000 to $20,000. When vetting a program and its cost, determine which certifications you will receive upon graduation. It is important that you are job-ready at the completion of the program or you may require more schooling.
  • Skills you will learn: Engines Service & Repair, Powertrains & Transmissions, Steering & Suspension, Brake Systems and Electronic Systems & Technology, Climate Control Systems

Find an Apprenticeship

  • To continue developing your certifications, you will need 3 years of hands on experience.
  • You can apprentice while attending school which means you are able to earn while you learn. Some employers will even sponsor your school tuition if you commit to a multi-year employment contract post-graduation.
  • An apprentice will typically earn $25.00 an hour, but your wages will increase as you earn your licenses and certifications.

Earn Your Credentials

  • ASE Certification (G1) – 1 year of hands on experience or completion of a certain trade school programs are required to sit for this exam.
  • ASE Certification ( A1-A9, B2-B5, E1-E3, F1, H1-H8, MIL2-MIL8, S1-S7, T1-T8, and X1) – These certifications require at least 2 years of hands on experience. Repair Technicians who have 2 or more years of experience will also automatically receive credit for the 1-year requirement.
  • ASE Certification (L1, L2, L3, and L4) – These certifications require at least 3 years of hands on experience. Repair Technicians who have 3 or more years of experience will also automatically receive credit for the 1-year and 2-year requirements.
  • Veterans with Diesel Service Experience – AARTS, SMART, DD Form 2586 (VMET), DD Form 295, or DD Form 214 can replace work requirements. A variety of military MOS’s can qualify to meet the experience requirements, particularly if the equipment being repaired is powered by a diesel engine.
  • Canadian Technicians – A valid provincial automotive trade certificate is acceptable evidence of sufficient work experience to satisfy the Repair Technician 1-year and 2-year requirements.

Learn more about ASE Certification and requirements here.

Become a Master Mechanic

  • Master Technician status is earned when you achieve certification in all required testing areas for that series. For example, technicians certified in tests A1 through A8 are Master Automobile Technicians. Those certified in tests T2 through T8 are Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technicians, and so forth.
  • Master Technician status is not for life. You must keep each one of those certifications current to maintain Master Technician status.
  • The automotive industry is constantly evolving and becoming more advanced in technology, which makes this trade one that you can never truly master and will require dedication to continual growth in knowledge and certification.

Learn more about becoming a Master Mechanic here.

Career Paths within the Trade

Service & Repair Technician

Collision Technician

Paint Technician

Shop Supervisor

Fleet Maintenance

Fleet Maintenance Supervisor

Aircraft Mechanic

Diesel Mechanic

Automotive Machinist

Featured Story:

The car mechanic trade is dying. Who will fix our high-tech cars?

Leslie Roberts, 30, is exactly the type of young person the auto technician trade needs. He arrives to his bay at an Acura dealership in Pompano Beach an hour before his start time to sweep his floor and organize his tools.

He works on cars in a fever-pitch pace, moving his short and stocky frame around the shop almost as fast as he’ll move his mouth to tell you about his passion for cars. He leaves work hours later than he should. At home, he spends his free time studying for certification exams and reading everything he can get his hands on about the latest in auto technology.