How to Become an Auto Mechanic

Here are some of the best programs to consider to become an auto mechanic and get a paid apprenticeship.

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In our growing automated society, it is no surprise that the demand for auto mechanics is increasing.

With almost 280 million vehicles registered in the United States, the opportunity for auto work is only rising. If you are mechanically inclined, interested in hands-on labor, and prefer a career path that requires less formal education, becoming an automobile technician may be the job for you. In just a couple of years, you could be a successful mechanic earning a competitive salary.

Many people have no clue where to begin when considering mechanical work. If this includes you, do not worry. The necessary steps to become an auto mechanic are relatively easily to follow in a short period of time. Often, there is no college or educational degree required.

Definition of an Auto Mechanic

You might be asking yourself, what exactly is an auto mechanic? An auto mechanic focuses on the repair and maintenance of automobiles and the systems involved to operate them. Many auto technicians conduct their work in garages and work on the general repair of all vehicles, while others may specialize in specific areas of reparation. Previously, auto work focused solely on mechanical systems, but in today’s world, it can also include computerized systems.

If you possess a mechanical aptitude or interest, becoming an automotive mechanic may be the career path for you. One of the large appealing factors of working in the auto industry is that it does not require years of study or formal education to earn a significant amount of money. Some other advantages of becoming a mechanic include the following:

  • Earn a sizable paycheck fast. You can obtain an automotive repair certificate or license in almost as little as six months. The automotive industry mainly includes learning on the job, so you have the opportunity to earn profit from the very beginning.
  • Choose the path for you. Becoming a mechanic does not have to start and stop with vehicles. Most often, learning the necessary skills for automotive repair can lead to work in many other contracting or construction industries.
  • Enjoy a stable job. With the amount of planes, trains, and automobiles our world enjoys increasing daily, the demand for work in the auto repair industry is not going anywhere soon.

Where to Begin

There are many different ways to begin your path to becoming a practicing mechanic. As a basic outline, here are some of the ways to begin:

Start Early: One of the best ways to enter the automotive industry is to begin early. Taking courses focused on mechanics and auto repair in high school can help you learn the basic skills and knowledge you will need to start your career.

Training: Obtaining an auto technician certificate or license is the most common way people enter the auto repair world, but there are alternative options available. Earning a two-year associate degree or a bachelor’s degree can help lay the foundation for higher-up positions in the industry.

Get Involved with Dealerships: In addition to taking classes or courses at an educational institution, sometimes local dealerships or garages will offer training programs for those looking to enter the industry.

Become an Apprentice: Undergoing an apprenticeship is one of the best ways to earn on the job experience. Not only this, but most often you will have the opportunity to earn money while you gain the necessary skills and knowledge. The average auto mechanic apprentice earns $18 per hour while also gaining the skills and experience needed to become a full time mechanic one day.

Obtain a License: Obtaining a license issued by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is not easy to complete but doing so can increase your paycheck significantly. The license requires at least two years of experience and the passing of eight exams.

Earning Potential

One of the large advantages of the auto repair industry is competitive pay rates. Auto technicians earn a average pay of $58,587 per year. Pay is most often determined by place of employment with some states paying much above this. For example, auto mechanics in New Jersey earn $85,681per year and mechanics in Georgia earn $70,000 per year.


Once you have mastered the ins and outs of becoming an automotive mechanic, it is time to pick a career path. Some of the most popular job titles for auto technician are:

  • Auto machinist
  • Collision technician
  • Servicer
  • Paint specialist
  • Auto-body shop owner

Becoming an Auto Technician

If you have decided that formal education is not for you but you are mechanically inclined and enjoy working with your hands, following the path to becoming an automotive technician might be perfect for you. It is essential that if you choose to become an auto technician, you conduct the necessary research and create a plan to follow.

One of the best ways to begin the journey to becoming an automotive mechanic is to learn about different training courses and programs that are available to you; many can be completed in under one year. Earning the required certificates and licensing can help you get ahead in the field. With the endless opportunities for work in this field increasing, there are many different options to choose from.

It is important that you conduct your research and learn what your options are before you make any decisions. It is recommended that you compare several different choices prior to making a conclusion.

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Searching online is the most efficient way to research all of the benefits and disadvantages you should consider when deciding to become an automotive technician.