What Is the Employment Outlook for a Career As an Auto Mechanic?

Employment for auto mechanics is expected to rise at an average pace over the 2012-2022 decade. New jobs are expected to emerge as vehicle ownership increases. Read on to find out the employment outlook and salary for this career. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment levels for automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to increase nine percent between 2012 and 2022, which is an average growth rate. The projected employment in 2022 is expected to be 761,500, which is an increase of 60,400 positions from the 701,100 people employed in the field in 2012. Growth will be concentrated in automobile dealerships and independent repair shops, and many job opportunities are expected as skilled technicians retire.

Important Facts About Auto Mechanics

Required Education High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
Work Environment Auto Repair Shop
Similar Occupations Small Engine Mechanic, Diesel Service Technician, Automotive Body and Glass Repairer
On-the-job Training New workers usually start off as trainee technicians for 2-5 years

Growth Factors

Employment growth is mainly due to increases in vehicle ownership and longer lifespans for older vehicles. Companies will need to hire technicians who can do maintenance and repair work on cars and trucks. Regardless of economic conditions, car owners rely on their vehicles for daily transportation and getting back and forth to work. Car owners tend to postpone maintenance and repairs during hard economic times, which can affect the availability of work. Employers will tend to cut back on hiring new employees during economic downturns instead of letting experienced mechanics go.

Improve Your Job Prospects

Job prospects are expected to be very good for people who complete high school or postsecondary automotive training programs. Auto mechanics should earn certification through the Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to ensure they earn higher wages. These professionals should have good diagnostic skills and problem solving abilities. Mechanics trained in automotive technology will have the best opportunities for employment. Formal training is highly recommended due to the high competition for entry-level jobs.

Salary Information

Automotive service technicians and mechanics averaged $39,980 annually in May 2014, according to BLS figures. The middle half of workers made between $27,270 and $49,780. Workers in the natural gas distribution industry and the couriers and express delivery services industry had the highest salaries, earning, respectively, $66,280 and $62,560. Two other popular industries - automotive repair and maintenance; and automotive parts, accessories and tires stores - paid much lower average wages of $37,060 and $34,580, respectively.

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