What Is the Salary for Entry-Level Automotive Mechanic Jobs?

An automotive mechanic diagnoses and repairs various vehicles, including trucks, buses and cars. Read on to find out how your entry-level salary can depend on many factors, including the industry that you enter and the location where you work. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a mean salary of $37,120 annually as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The 10% of workers with the lowest wages made $20,800 or less, while the 10% of workers with the highest pay earned $62,280 or more.

The entry-level salary you might earn is difficult to predict. PayScale.com reported a median salary of $33,717 for automotive service technicians and mechanics with 0-5 years of professional experience as of September 2015. However, your income can depend on the sector of work you choose, as well as your geographic location.

Important Facts About Automotive Mechanic Jobs

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 9%
Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; industry certification
On-the-Job Training Yes, depends on qualifications and education
Professional certification ASE Certification (Various options: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air-conditioning, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering)
Work Environment Auto repair shops

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.com)

Salary by Industry

The industry that you enter can greatly affect your salary as an entry-level automotive mechanic. Someone working for an automotive parts store typically earns less than one working for an automobile dealership. According to May 2014 salary data from the BLS, automotive service technicians and mechanics employed by automotive parts, accessories and tire stores earned average wages of $34,580 annually, while those working at an automobile dealership averaged $44,000 a year. The automotive repair and maintenance industry employed a high number of workers in the field and paid an average wage of $37,060.

Salary by Location

The BLS reported in May 2014 that the highest-paying states for automotive service technicians and mechanics were Alaska and the District of Columbia, with average earnings of $52,050 and $52,560, respectively. Workers in low-paying states, such as Ohio and Arkansas, averaged $20,250-$37,140. California and Texas had the most workers by state, and average earnings were $44,230 and $39,220, respectively.

Salary by Experience

PayScale.com reported that you could earn higher wages with more experience in this field. The website reported that automotive service mechanics with 0-5 years of experience made a median salary of $33,717 as of September 2015. The majority of workers with 5-10 years of work experience saw a steady rise in their income and earned a median of $40,457 per year. Median earnings rose to $45,541 with 10-20 years of experience.

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