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Auto Mechanic and Automotive Schools in Alabama

Job opportunities for mechanics and auto techs are on the rise all over the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and employers need workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to do those jobs right. Auto mechanic schools in Alabama can get you started on the path to being one of this country's true master mechanics.

Auto Mechanic Career Outlook in Alabama

The right training and a little initiative are the first steps to getting an auto mechanic career started in Alabama. A survey of online job boards indicates dozens of opportunities all around the state, seeking everything from entry-level service technicians to master-level mechanics.

Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Montgomery and Talladega are just a few of the cities where the first job of your auto mechanic career in Alabama might be waiting. Whether you're hoping to be a general car and truck technician or focus on diesel engines, heavy machinery or another specialty, at least one of the dozens of automotive schools in Alabama is bound to have the training you need.

Auto Mechanic Training and Certification in Alabama

Numerous sources exist for auto mechanic training and certification in Alabama, including degree and certificate programs at career academies, vocational schools and junior and community colleges. On top of that, some service stations and garages may have in-house or on-the-job training programs that can help you get started or sharpen your skills.


Once you've finished your initial training program, earning a range of certifications from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) can help you advance your automotive knowledge and enhance your job prospects.


The most common study plans from automotive schools in Alabama are career diplomas and associate degree programs. Career diplomas from vocational schools can usually be completed in less time than associate degrees, but the academic route may address vehicle systems in greater depth and typically comes with the added benefit of transferable college credit.

Once you've finished your initial training program, earning a range of certifications from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) can help you advance your automotive knowledge and enhance your job prospects.

Auto Mechanic Salary in Alabama

Salary expectations for graduates of automotive programs can vary based on a range of factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Education level
  • Experience on the job
  • Certifications earned
  • Specialty skills
  • Employing industry
  • Supervisory responsibility

The BLS reports a mean annual 2014 salary of $37,140 and an average monthly wage of $3,095 for auto mechanics and service technicians in Alabama, with certain metro areas paying average salaries greater than the national mean. Auto mechanic salaries in Montgomery, Alabama, averaged to $41,550 for the year in 2014, while Birmingham-based techs made $39,420 and those in Mobile took home $41,820.

Auto Mechanic and Automotive Jobs in Alabama

Auto mechanic jobs in Alabama are expected to grow at a rate of about 9 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Labor Market Information Division of the Alabama Department of Labor, which is approximately as fast as the national average growth rate calculated by the BLS. The total number of automotive jobs in Alabama is expected to end up close to 10,000 statewide by the end of the projection period.

Dealerships and repair shops employed the highest number of auto mechanics nationwide in 2014, followed by parts stores, tire shops and gas stations. The highest-paying jobs in the field were found in the express delivery service and gas or electric energy distribution industries.

Interview with an Expert - Reuben Buice

interviewer_photo
An interview with the Automotive Technology Program Coordinator at the H. Council Trenholm State Technical College campus in Patterson, AL.
Reuben Buice

We talked to Reuben Buice about auto mechanic training programs in Alabama and how they can benefit aspiring mechanics.

Q: How does one become an auto mechanic? Is there one direct path, or are there many different options?

A: There are a number of ways to become a mechanic (commonly referred to as a technician today). There are still some who are self-taught or learn in a family business or as a helper. More common is to attend a post-secondary technical program. Some high schools offer Automotive Technology programs but most students still attend a post-secondary program as well.

Q: What type of degree/certificate do mechanics in Alabama typically need?

A: A number of people enter the field with a high school diploma or GED. There are some that don't have a high school diploma. The ones with the post-secondary degrees seem to have an advantage as far as advancement. Often someone may be able to gain knowledge from the mechanics on the job, however the electrical and electronic areas usually require training to become proficient.

Q: What are the preferred qualities/skills of an auto mechanic?

A: Dependability, responsibility, good judgment. Respect for other people and their property. The ability to work without direct supervision. A reasonable level of physical fitness. Manual dexterity. Ability to read, write and perform mathematical computations. A good driving record is very important.

Q: Why would you recommend someone enter this career field?

A: The automotive business has been good to me. I have had an enjoyable career and have made a comfortable living and been able to provide for my family while doing so. If you enjoy a challenge and enjoy working with your hands and your head then this may be something interesting for you. Also cars, trucks and things with motors are still cool.

Q: What's some advice you would give to someone just starting out on the path to an auto mechanic career?

  • Some auto colleges offer degrees and others offer a diplomas or certificates. At Trenholm State we encourage students to earn an associate degree.
  • ASE certification is very helpful as well. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers tests in many different areas. ASE requires that you pass their test and have 2 years of experience. Completion of an ASE certified program may be substituted for one year of experience.
  • We encourage our students to earn their degree, pass their ASE test and gain experience in part time jobs while in school. This has proven to be an excellent path to advancement in the automotive business.
  • People who work in the automotive service business often like fast cars. There is nothing wrong with that. If you have a less than perfect driving record today is the day to start fixing your driving record. Stop getting tickets today. If an employer cannot insure you they cannot hire you.

Enrolling in Automotive Schools in Alabama

Whether you want to go to school part-time or full-time, completely in person or partly online, with the right amount of research you can find the right program for you. If you're ready to start a career in the automotive field, take a look at the automotive schools in Alabama in the listings below and find out what programs are out there and also at the Diesel Mechanic Schools in Alabama here.

Sources:

  1. Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Employment Trends by Occupation Across States, Career InfoNet, accessed October 27, 2015, http://www.careerinfonet.org/carout3.asp?optstatus=001000000&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=493023&stfips=01&jobfam=49&menuMode=&order=Percent
  2. Alabama Occupational Projections 2012-2022, Labor Market Information Division, Alabama Department of Labor, http://www2.labor.alabama.gov/Projections/Occupational/Statewide/Detail.pdf
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 27, 2015: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm; Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm; Alabama, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm;
  4. Auto Mechanic Jobs in AL, CareerBuilder, accessed October 27, 2015, http://www.careerbuilder.com/jobseeker/jobs/jobresults.aspx?qb=1&n_SB%3Asbkw=auto+mechanic&n_SB%3As_freeloc=al
  5. Auto Mechanic Jobs in Alabama, Indeed, accessed October 27, 2015, http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Auto+Mechanic&l=Alabama&start=10
  6. Auto Mechanic Jobs in Alabama, Monster, accessed October 27, 2015, http://jobs.monster.com/v-automotive-q-auto-mechanic-jobs-l-alabama.aspx
  7. Automotive Technician Training Online School, Penn Foster Career School, accessed October 27, 2015, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/automotive-and-engine-repair/auto-repair-technician-career-diploma
  8. Automotive Technology, H. Councill Trenholm State Community College, accessed October 27, 2015, http://www.trenholmstate.edu/academics/automotive-tech.cms
  9. Interview, Reuben Buice, conducted October 22, 2015

Automotive Schools in Alabama

*This list may contain out-of-state and online schools that accept students from Alabama.