How to Become an Auto Technician

Auto Technician Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $42,890
Avg. Pay / hour $20.62
Education 1-2 Years
Job Outlook 0%

Most vehicles on the road today have probably been serviced by a certified Auto Technician.

Auto Technicians are professionals that provide routine maintenance and repairs to vehicles making sure they are ready for the road and people’s busy lives.

These professionals are familiar with several different auto makers and models and can service many vehicles a day.

In today’s auto industry, Auto Technicians must also be familiar with different technologies and energy consumption familiar with newer car models.

Familiarity with cars running on different energy sources such as ethanol, gas, electricity or hybrid cars is extremely important in the current auto industry.

Auto Technicians can also provide services beyond simple routine maintenance.

They help car owners determine any problems their vehicles may have using a variety of methods to determine the root cause of any malfunctions.

After determining a cause, Auto Technicians can suggest remedies that help fix any major problems.

An Auto Technician’s work is necessary in order to lengthen a vehicle’s longevity, improve gas mileage, and can even help lower vehicle emissions and improve an engine’s performance.

Those who are passionate about cars and want to become an Auto Technician can gain skills in order to work in the auto service industry.

Education Requirements to Become an Auto Technician

Someone who wants to become an Auto Technician needs to learn the in and outs of vehicles: how they function, the major parts that make a car run and how to service them so they run smoothly and properly.

If a person knows that they want to become an Auto Technician while still in high school, they can join a school that offers the Automotive Youth Education Service (AYES) program.

The AYES program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and provides a curriculum that teaches automotive repair, chemistry and electronics.

After graduating from this program, a candidate can search for an entry level position or can choose to continue their education.

Employers are looking for candidates that have formal training.

Candidates can gain formal training by continuing their education at a trade school or community college and earn an Associate’s Degree or certification.

Through a trade school, a candidate will take a variety of courses that prepare them to work as an Auto Technician as well as provide hands on training in the field.

For positions in large city areas, a candidate should seek certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to be competitive in the field.

Visit their homepage to learn more about their certification exams and study materials.

Auto Technician Job Description

An Auto Technician is responsible for performing maintenance work on a variety of make and models.

They can also look for any problems a vehicle is having and can diagnose the problem and give suggestions to fix the problem.

They use a variety of tools and technology in order to provide maintenance and diagnostics for a malfunctioning vehicle.

They have to be able to work under pressure in case there are several autos to provide maintenance work for.

The following list includes some common daily tasks that Auto Technicians perform:

  • Be able to provide maintenance and diagnostics for a variety of vehicles
  • Provide oil changes, tire rotations, change spark plugs and oil filter
  • Troubleshoot and prevent any potential problems
  • Dispose of used oil and filters properly

Auto Technician Salary and Career Path

Auto Technicians can work for a variety of employers including government entities, auto dealer shops and private auto repair shops.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for these professionals is approximately $16.88 per hour.

Nationally, the hourly wage ranges from $9.56 to $28.71 depending on experience and location.

A skilled Auto Technician is in high demand because the majority of people depend on their cars in order to do common tasks such as going to work or go shopping for groceries.

Car owners need the services a skilled Auto Technician provides in order to lengthen the longevity of their vehicle and get around town.

The job outlook looks good especially for Auto Technicians that have at least an Associate’s Degree and is certified in the field.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$60,580
New Hampshire$49,850
New Jersey$53,230
New Mexico$42,780
New York$49,970
North Carolina$45,340
North Dakota$48,980
Rhode Island$48,380
South Carolina$41,920
South Dakota$45,920
West Virginia$35,680
Puerto Rico$22,450
Virgin Islands$41,650

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $60,580.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $60,580
Alaska - $59,800
California - $54,190
Washington - $53,720
Massachusetts - $53,340
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, OCC Code 49-3023, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an auto technician do?

Auto technicians inspect, maintain, and repair cars and trucks.

Their work consists of identifying problems, testing parts and systems to ensure that they work correctly, performing basic care and maintenance, including changing the oil and checking fuel.

They also repair and fix worn parts and explain to clients the problems and the repairs that have been performed.

Most auto technicians specialize in a subfield, such as installing and repairing air-conditioning, fixing brake problems, or diagnosing issues that prevent the engine from working properly.

Regardless of their field of expertise, auto technicians need technical skills, dexterity, attention to detail but also physical strength and the willingness to learn throughout their careers and keep up with the latest technological advances.

Customer-service skills are also essential in this field because you may have to interact with clients and answer their questions.

How much does an auto technician make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $40,710 as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors; some technicians make less than $25,000 while others earn more than $65,000 a year.

How much does it cost to become an auto technician?

If you want to become an auto technician, you should start by taking high school classes in automotive repair, electronics, computers, and mathematics.

You will also need post-secondary training in automotive service technology; these types of programs are available at many vocational and trade schools and can cost anywhere between $5,000 and more than $25,000, depending on the school and the program you choose.

What is the demand for auto technicians?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to show little or no change in the following decade.

As the number of vehicles is expected to rise, the demand for service technicians should grow but the growth will be tempered by the fact that new vehicles are more reliable and require less frequent maintenance and repairs.

How long does it take to become an auto technician?

Auto technicians typically hold a post-secondary certificate or diploma which can usually be completed in around 6 months on average.

Two-year associate’s degree programs are also available and can improve your job prospects.

Seeking certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) will help demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

ASE certification is available in 9 different fields, including brakes, light vehicle diesel technicians, engine performance, engine repair, and heating and air conditioning.

To become certified you will need at least 2 years of work experience or a diploma from a relevant training institution and 1 year of experience and you will also have to pass an exam.

If you want to specialize in fixing air conditioning you will also need a state license, which means that you will have to take and pass an exam offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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