What Are the Highest-Paying Automotive Mechanic Jobs?

If you want to become an auto mechanic, your salary may vary depending on the field you work in or the training you've completed. Keep reading for more information on some of the highest paying mechanic jobs in the automotive field. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Automotive mechanics have various roles, but their basic duty is to ensure that everyone can get from point A to point B with at least a few well-maintained wheels beneath them. Three of the highest paying jobs within the automotive mechanic field are detailed below to get you on your way.

Important Facts about This Occupational Field

Automotive Service Mechanics Automotive Body Mechanics Diesel Service Mechanics
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% 9% 12%
Required Education Completion of a vocational or postsecondary training program; some earn an associate's degree High school diploma at minimum; formal training is often preferred High school diploma at minimum; formal training may be preferred
Work Environment Automobile dealerships, repair shops, parts stores Primarily repair and maintenance shops; some work in automobile dealerships Repair shops; sometimes roadside or on-site repairs may be needed
Key Skills Mechanical, troubleshooting, customer service and dexterity skills, detail oriented Critical thinking, physical strength, time management, mechanical and customer service skills Strength, troubleshooting, mechanical, dexterity, organizational and mechanical skills

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Automotive Service Mechanics

Automotive service mechanics mainly deal with basic auto maintenance and preventative care. Some common procedures include oil changes, tire rotations and electrical repairs. Experienced mechanics may also repair or replace the components of brake, exhaust or cooling systems. Due to the technological advances in the industry, most mechanics are also familiar with computer diagnostic tools and electrical systems.

Although there are no formal training requirements for employment as an auto mechanic, you may benefit from a technical or community college training program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a mean annual salary of $39,980 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). However, mechanics who can perform a variety of repairs may receive higher pay.

Automotive Body Mechanics

Automotive body mechanics fix damaged body panels or frames. Typically, they repair vehicles involved in collisions. Because every job requires an individualized approach, you'll need extensive knowledge of structural and cosmetic repair techniques to work in this field. You also need to know how to work with materials such as metals, plastics and glass.

Employers generally prefer workers with formal training and, in some cases, voluntary certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These credentials may increase your earnings potential, according to the BLS. As of May 2014, the mean income for automobile body mechanics was $43,870 annually.

Diesel Service Mechanics

Because of their efficiency and power, diesel engines are commonly used in larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. As a diesel mechanic, you can specialize in the maintenance and repair of not only diesel engines, but also these vehicles' electrical systems and transmissions. You may also provide service and repair for heavy equipment like tractors, combines and bulldozers.

Due to the specialized nature of diesel engine repair, you'll probably need to complete a postsecondary training program to find a job. As a result, mechanics in this field received some of the highest pay. The BLS reported that the national mean earnings for diesel engine specialists and truck and bus mechanics were $45,160 annually in May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Universal Technical Institute

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  • Lincoln Tech

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    • Maryland: Columbia
  • Penn Foster Career School

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  • All-State Career - Commercial Driving

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    • Maryland: Baltimore
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  • New England Institute of Technology

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    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • Southwestern College

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    • California: Chula Vista
  • Valdosta State University

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    • Georgia: Valdosta