Miami is ideally positioned for students interested in careers in the automotive industry -- the season-ending NASCAR Ford EcoBoost 400 is run at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Working as a NASCAR mechanic may be the pinnacle of success in the automotive industry, but it's the thousands of everyday mechanics that help to keep the cars and trucks of Miami-Dade county on the road. They've got their work cut out for them: as of September 2014, there were 1.58 million cars and trucks registered in Miami-Dade country.
Auto mechanics and technicians in Miami perform a variety of service repair duties, from mundane oil changes to complex engine repairs. Tasks completed during their workdays vary depending on customers needs -- a mechanic in Miami may start his or her day installing a new starter in an Acura or putting in a new radiator in a Honda. After lunch she could be fitting a GMC with new belts and hoses or servicing the air conditioning system on a Volvo. Some mechanics choose to specialize on a certain make of car, such as Toyota or Chevrolet.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Miami
Auto mechanic schools in Miami prepare students to work at dealerships and independent repair shops -- and those employers, the largest in the field, often only hire mechanics who have completed formal automotive repair training programs to guarantee the quality of repair work leaving their shops, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Educational programs typically cover all aspects of working on passenger cars and light trucks, including:
- Electrical systems
- Electronic fuel injection
- Suspension systems
- Transmissions and transaxles
- Emission systems
- Engines repair
- Braking and steering
While there are many different options for automotive education in Miami-Dade County, many students seek out schools that have been accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, which establishes benchmark standards for automotive repair educational programs throughout the country.
Educational programs at vocational and trade schools can take as little as six months to complete, the BLS notes, while programs at community colleges that culminate in an Associate's of Applied Science degree usually take upwards of two years to wrap up.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Auto Mechanics in Miami
According to the BLS, there were 4,960 automotive service technicians and mechanics working in Miami and Miami Beach in May of 2013, a small part of the state's total of 38,820 mechanics, which is third-highest in the United States. BLS data shows that mechanics in the Miami area earned mean annual wages just north of $35,000, which is below the national mean of nearly $40,000 per year. The top 10 percent of mechanics in the Miami metropolitan region earned $55,490 annually, while the bottom 10 percent earned $18,810 per year.
With U.S. Census Bureau population estimates of 19.5 million in 2013, Florida offers a host of viable job opportunities for qualified mechanics. Job prospects, the BLS notes, should be best for mechanics who have completed formal training programs and are ASE certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Nationally, the BLS reports, the field of automotive service and repair is expected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 through 2022, slower than all occupations combined.
2014 Ford EcoBoost 400, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com/Tickets/Ford-400.aspx