How Much Does a Mechanic Make Repairing Vehicles in the USA

Knowing how much does a mechanic make is important if you wish to tailor that part as a career.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that in 2019, more than 276 million registered vehicles were on the road. Car mechanics, also called automotive technicians, are very important for making sure cars are safe to drive. They fix the damage, fix electrical problems, and do routine vehicle maintenance.

If you know how much the average mechanic makes and how you can make more as you go along, you can decide if it’s the right trade for you.

What Does a Car Mechanic Do?

Technicians who work on cars and most pickup trucks are also called “automotive service technicians.” More specifically, most auto mechanics test, fix and replace parts. They also help customers figure out what repairs their cars need. They also change the oil, rotate the tires, and check the fluids.

With the help of new technologies, like mechanical parts and the development of electric cars, the auto industry is constantly changing. Auto mechanics work on standard engines and systems, so they need to know about the latest changes and improvements in their field.

How much does a mechanic get paid in the U.S.?

In 2020, the average salary of the highest paid auto mechanics in the U.S. was $46,760, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average salary for a mechanic is about $10,000 less than the average salary for all jobs in the country.

Many people go into this field because they love cars, like working with their hands and want to learn about new technologies in the transportation field.

Even though the pay is lower than the national average, you can improve at being a mechanic and make more money.

Salary Changes Throughout the Career Path

As part of your associate degree program, you might need to do an internship for a semester if you want to become a mechanic. Or, if you get a certificate or degree and start working right away, you may have to start as an apprentice before you can become an automotive technician.

The BLS says that most people who help with repairs and maintenance, like apprentices and interns, make between $12 and $19 an hour. That’s an average of $33,960 per year.

Opportunities for jobs and job growth

Over the past few decades, more cars have been on the road. But carmakers today have made improvements that have made vehicles more durable and reliable. J.D. Power says that car owners reported 10% fewer problems with their cars in 2021 than they did the year before.

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When cars are more reliable, their owners must fix them and take care of them less often. The BLS predicts that the number of jobs for mechanics will go down by 4% over the next ten years. (For example, it says that, on average, other jobs will grow by 4%.)

With the continuous emergence of AI self-driving cars, there is a continuous increase of technologically driven mechanic in the USA.

Other Good Things About Being a Mechanic

Full-time mechanics can get a lot from working at dealerships and large chains of repair shops.

  • Insurance for health, teeth, life, and disability
  • 401(k) or other retirement plan participation
  • Paid vacation
  • Some employers offer extra benefits like:
  • Paid training on new car models and techniques
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Tool reimbursement or stipend
  • Fees for ASE certification will be paid back.
  • Sign-up perks
  • Promotions from within and career growth
  • Discounts for employees

If you work at a smaller, private repair shop, you might not have as many benefits as you would at a large franchise. But you do get some help from working in a smaller place, such as:

  • Sick days
  • Paid vacation
  • Health care coverage
  • Promotion from within

Salary for Independent Contractors

As an auto mechanic, you can work as a contractor or run your own small mechanic business from home. This means you buy the needed parts, talk with customers about prices, and make your schedule. You might need to rent space at a shop, own your garage, or run a business that moves around.

Even though independent contractors set their rates and can decide how much money they make by working more or fewer hours, they also have costs.

Independent contractors need to cover the costs of:

  •  Places to rent or buy
  • Tools and places to keep them
  • Auto parts
  • Insurance and licenses for a business
  • Guarantees for your work

“If you want to start your own business, you need to get the right licenses and insurance,” said Kraken Automotive owner and ASE-certified auto mechanic Scott Warriner.

After twenty years as an automotive tech, Warriner went out on his own to make more money and support his hot-rod repair hobby. He warns small business owners that their costs will keep increasing as their business grows. Warriner said that just the tools could cost more than $25,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Mechanic?

High School Education or Equivalent

You will most likely need either a high school diploma or a GED. A GED varies by state, but it usually costs between $80 and $140.

Postsecondary Education

Certificate and degree programs cost between $5,000 and $12,000 on average. An associate degree costs between $5,000 and $12,000 per year.

Certification

The registration fee for each ASE test is $34, and the testing fee ranges from $47 to $94, depending on the test.

Tools

You’ll have to buy your tools, which can cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Financial help and other ways to pay

Even though an associate degree can cost twice as much as a certificate, you may be able to get help paying for it. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and talk to your community college to find out more about your options. Students can save money on tools from big companies like Matco and Snap-on.

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What are Top 10 Highest Paid Auto Mechanics Cities for AUTO Mechanic Jobs

We’ve found ten cities where the highest paid auto mechanics’ average salary is higher than the national average. Atkinson, NE, is at the top of the list. Bridgehampton, NY, and Boston, MA, are in second and third place and are not far behind. Boston, MA, is $7,482 (17.2%) above the national average, and Atkinson, NE, is another $16,588 (38.2%) above the average of $43,465.

Since the average salaries in these ten cities are higher than the national average, it seems like an AUTO MECHANIC could make a lot of money by moving to a different city.

But another thing to think about is that the average salary for these top ten cities only varies by 20% between Atkinson, NE, and Irvine, CA. This suggests that it may be hard to see much wage growth. A lower cost of living may be a factor in deciding where to live and how much to make as an AUTO Mechanic.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
-Atkinson, NE$60,053$5,004$1,154$28.87
-Bridgehampton, NY$51,958$4,329$999$24.98
-Boston, MA$50,947$4,245$979$24.49
-Deer Park, CA$50,025$4,168$962$24.05
-Morton, WA$50,014$4,167$961$24.05
-Covelo, CA$49,842$4,153$958$23.96
-Laytonville, CA$49,826$4,152$958$23.96
-Lowell, MA$49,538$4,128$952$23.82
-Green River, WY$49,374$4,114$949$23.74
– Irvine, CA$48,751$4,062$937$23.44

The highest-paid 10% of auto mechanics made more than $71,940 a year. But it’s rare for an auto mechanic to make six figures. Even so, people looking for jobs could find them in fields where there aren’t enough auto mechanics or car dealerships.

How much a professional can earn also depends on how long they have been in their field. The average annual salary for an auto technician is $36,600, which is enough to live on.

Most are also paid based on a “flat-rate” system. This means that you can only get paid if you do work. On the other hand, each task only has to be done in a certain number of hours, no matter how long it takes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Can I Become a Car Mechanic?

After high school, you should get more training to make yourself more marketable to employers. Still, companies prefer to hire people who have finished an auto mechanics training program at a trade school, college, or university.

Service technicians also undergo a specific education program that includes training on the job. Also, these newcomers become full-fledged professionals after working in the field for two to five years.

How do you become an auto mechanic?

After finishing high school and taking electronics, computers, car repair, and math classes, you can look for entry-level jobs as an auto mechanic. At the same time, auto repair programs teach the most essential skills a mechanic might need. To improve their qualifications, high school graduates should also train as helpers, trainee technicians, or lubrication workers.

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Some programs can be finished in 6–12 months, and most programs include both classroom work and hands-on training. Those who want to become auto mechanics can also get a certificate in engine performance and brake maintenance. Some mechanics also earn an associate degree to improve their job prospects.

Associate programs usually have classes in math, electronics, and customer service. Also, car companies and dealers sometimes fund associate degree programs that let people learn how to trade and experience in service shops.

What are the chances of getting a job as an auto mechanic?

The BLS Survey says that the number of jobs for auto mechanics will grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029. Also, as electric cars and cars with automated systems get better, it will be easier to fix and maintain them.

Even so, people looking for jobs with traditional education and work experience can look for independent repair shops and auto mechanics. Also, many service technicians work in these places, where employers are likely to look for people to fill jobs.

How much could an auto mechanic make?

As of May 2020, the BLS said that the average salary for an auto mechanic was $44,050. Some professionals with a lot of experience who work for car dealers also get commissions, which is a great way to make a lot more money.

But most professionals who work in repair shops get paid by the hour. So, in 2020, the median annual salary for mechanics who worked for car dealerships went up to $47,620. On the other hand, technicians who worked in shops that sold tires and machines made an average of $38,370 per year.

Can a mechanic make $100,000 a year?

Master mechanics with a lot of experience and good training can make up to $100,000 a year, and some make even more. Also of the highest paid auto mechanics in the world are in the USA.

But most people become mechanics by going to school to become automotive technicians. This is because they already know about cars and may have worked alone.

 If you stick with it and make good money, becoming a mechanic can be well worth the work and you might just become of the highest-paid auto mechanics. Still, if you don’t plan to make it for a living, you should stick to fixing cars.

How happy are auto mechanics with their jobs?

Most Americans serve until they are in their 60s, so mechanics might as well have a great job and a fulfilling career. Many people would be happy with a job with good advancement opportunities, low stress, a good balance between work and life, and a competitive salary.

Also, since technology is constantly changing, different inspection schools offer the best car training.

How many people want to be auto mechanic technicians right now?

Right now, many people are looking for people who can fix cars. But the employment rate is expected to rise by about 4% by 2029. Getting a job in this field could be a good thing. Also, going to a good car repair school might make it easier for you to get a good job.

Lastly, ensure you visit the Apply for a Job homepage and also check out our Jobs in USA category, for more essential information.

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