Automotive mechanic salaries can depend on a number of factors, from your amount of education and experience on the job to the geographical location where you find employment. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates an auto mechanic salary range of more than $40,000, with the bottom ten percent of earners making $20,800 or less for the year in 2014 and the top 10 percent taking home more than $60,280.
The national median auto mechanic salary was $37,980 in 2014, according to BLS data, but mechanics in certain regions of the country reported averages that were, in some cases, thousands of dollars higher per year than that figure. Here are the five states or regions in the U.S. that offered the highest average automotive mechanic salary in 2014:
|State||Automotive Salary in 2014|
Automotive mechanic salary expectations changed based on the employing industry, as well. Here's a list of the four highest-paying industries for mechanics and service techs, organized from densest employment concentration to least:
|Industry||Automotive Salary in 2014|
|Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution||$59,250|
|Couriers and Express Delivery Services||$62,560|
|Natural Gas Distribution||$66,280|
|Scientific Research and Development Services||$56,330|
Certification and amount of experience on the job tends to have a direct correlation with an auto/car mechanic's salary, as well. HR analytics firm PayScale has crunched the salary numbers of variously tenured ASE certified Master Automotive Technicians and produced these median figures, current as of August 2015:
- 1-4 years of experience: $40,732
- 5-9 years of experience: $48,524
- 10-19 years of experience: $53,197
- 20+ years of experience: $55,960
Finding your highest possible auto or car mechanic salary may be as easy as undergoing auto mechanic training and moving to an area where your skills are in high demand. Urban environments tend to be home to higher average auto mechanic salary ranges than rural zones, thanks in part to consumer access to newer vehicles and generally larger groups of potential customers per repair shop.
Washington, D.C., and the area around the San Francisco Bay offered the largest number of well-paying auto mechanic jobs, according to 2014 BLS numbers -- a total of 10,840 working auto mechanics in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose combined to report an average yearly pay of $52,546, while the average of $52,560 inside the Beltway was taken from 9,470 individual auto mechanic salaries.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed August 24, 2015: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed August 24, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Average Salary for Certification: ASE Master Technician, PayScale, accessed August 24, 2015, http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=ASE_Master_Technician/Salary#by_Years_Experience