The City of Tampa, located in Hillsborough County in Florida, has a population of 352,000 residents in 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Hillsborough County, at just under 1.3 million people, is the third-largest population center in the state of Florida, behind Jacksonville and Miami.
There were 844,040 cars and trucks registered in Hillsborough County in September of 2014, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department reports. Tampa's mechanics and service technicians play a pivotal role in the region's transportation industry by keeping cars and trucks rolling smoothly.
Automobile mechanics in Tampa are available for wide variety of service and repair duties. They use sophisticated computer diagnostic equipment to determine mechanical problems and propose repair solutions to customers. They also perform more routine tasks, such as engine tuneups to optimize performance, rotating tires or replacing worn-out parts. Some auto mechanics in Tampa specialize in one particular area of repair or on a certain manufacturer's vehicles.
With the increasing complexity of cars and trucks and increasing prevalence of alternative-fuel systems, auto mechanics often are required to complete formal education programs to gain employment at Tampa-area automobile dealerships and repair centers.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Tampa
Depending on where students choose to study, length of auto mechanic schools in Tampa can vary from about six months to two years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Vocational and trade-school programs that culminate in a certificate typically are much shorter than community college programs that culminate in an Associate's of Applied Science degree.
Auto mechanic schools in Tampa teach students how to work on the following areas of service and repair:
- Engine performance and repair
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Drivetrains and transaxles
- Air conditioning and heating systems
- Braking and steering systems
- Automotive technology
Tampa has many options for study in automotive repair, including 16 schools accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, an independent body that certifies the quality of automotive schools and instructions throughout the nation.
Salary Expectations and Career Outlook for Mechanics in Tampa
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5,850 mechanics and service technicians working in the greater Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan region in May of 2013. Mean annual wages were $36,740, below the national figure of $39,450, according to BLS figures. The top 10 percent of mechanics working in the region earned more than $57,000 annually, while the bottom 10 percent took home just over $20,000.
Nationally, the field of automotive service and repair is expected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 through 2022, slower than all other occupations combined, the BLS states. Job prospects for mechanics who graduate from auto mechanic schools in Tampa are expected to be better than for mechanics lacking formal education, the BLS reports. Mechanics can improve their chances for employment even more by earning ASE certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
- "Orlando moves past St. Petersburg to become Florida's fourth-largest city", Orlando Sentinel, http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2014-06-05/news/os-orlando-fourth-largest-city-20140604_1_orlando-mayor-buddy-dyer-pinellas-county-population
- Registered vehicles by county, Florida Department of Transportation, http://flhsmv.gov/html/reports_and_statistics/cvr/14-15/cvr-09-2014.pdf
- Hillsborough County, Florida, U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12/12057.html
- NATEF-accredited schools, Tampa, www.natef.org/NATEF-and-You/Students-Parents/Find-Accredited-Schools.aspx?Address=tampa%2c+florida&d=50&t=0&e=1
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm