///    California Auto Mechanic Schools

California had more than 23.2 million registered passenger vehicles on the road in 2013, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles reports, and it's a safe bet that California's large fleet of automobile mechanics and service technicians keep the majority of those cars and trucks running smoothly.

Auto mechanics perform many different functions of service and repair, including:

  • Routine car and truck maintenance, such as changing oil and other vital fluids and installing and rotating tires
  • Repairing and replacing worn-out parts, such as brake pads, belts and hoses
  • Identifying problems with various mechanical systems, typically using highly technical computer diagnostic equipment
  • Major overhauls to engine and transmission systems

California's auto mechanics often specialize in one particular area of service or repair as they gain experience with a particular automotive system. Specialty mechanical fields include working on drive trains, transmissions, suspension, engines and automotive air conditioning systems. While many mechanics working in California learn the craft by working at repair and service shops, others choose to attend automotive technology programs in California to learn the trade.

Auto Mechanic Schools in California

In the old days, mechanics got by on pure mechanical aptitude since automotive systems in passenger vehicles were relatively straightforward. Today's vehicles, however, are much more sophisticated and include many different computer-controlled systems.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers often prefer to hire mechanics who have completed formal training in automotive technology. Students who graduate from automotive technology programs in California are better prepared to land entry-level jobs in the field, the BLS notes. Auto mechanic schools usually take between six months to a year to complete and provide students with the essential skills and knowledge needed to begin working in automotive service and repair.

Programs vary by institution. For instance, students who study at vocational schools typically receive a certificate of completion or a diploma, while students who attend automotive technology programs at California community colleges typically are awarded Associate's of science degrees.

Coursework includes study in the following areas:

  • Braking systems
  • Suspension and steering
  • Emission systems
  • Engine performance
  • Transmissions and transaxles
  • General automotive technology
  • Electrical, battery and charging systems

Community colleges usually require completion of college-level English and math courses for Associate degree programs, as well. When students complete their education at auto mechanic schools in California, many choose to earn ASE certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence, considered a benchmark for core competency in the field of automotive service and repair.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for California Auto Mechanics

According to the BLS, there were 56,000 auto mechanics and service technicians working in California in May of 2013, which is the largest number of mechanics working in any state in the U.S. The Greater Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area was the largest employment center in the state with more than 13,000 mechanics, the BLS reports.

California's mechanics earned median wages of $19.23 per hour, according to the BLS. However, wages for mechanics working in the San Francisco-San Mateo metropolitan region were the highest in the country at more than $26 an hour. Other top-paying metro regions of the state include San Jose and Sunnyvale ($24.36), Santa Ana and Irvine ($24.20) and Oakland, Fremont and Hayward ($24.02). Mechanics who possess years of experience and hold different ASE certifications usually earn significantly more money per hour, though.

With such a large fleet of vehicles on the road, job prospects for auto mechanics in California are expected to remain strong -- especially for mechanics who have completed formal training programs and possess ASE certification, the BLS reports. Competition for jobs is expected to be strongest in entry-level positions, with the majority of new job openings to be found at automotive dealerships and independent repair shops.

Read more about Auto Mechanic programs in California:

California NATEF Certified Auto Mechanic Schools in California

California NATEF Certified Diesel Mechanic Schools

California NATEF Certified Collision Repair / Autobody Technician Schools

AYES Affiliated Auto Mechanic Schools in CA

California Ford ASSET Participating Mechanic Schools

California GM ASEP Participating Auto Mechanic Schools

California BMW STEP Program Participating Schools


  1. "Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm#tab-2
  2. "Automotive Technician," San Bernadino Valley College, www.valleycollege.edu/academic-career-programs/degrees-certificates/automotive-tech/automotive-tech-cert
  3. "May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: California", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm#49-0000
  4. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
  5. "State of California Department of Motor Vehicles Statistics for Publication January through December," California Department of Motor Vehicles, http://dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf

Browse California Auto Mechanic Schools by City:

Alameda   |   Anaheim   |   Bakersfield   |   Fremont   |   Fresno   |   Glendale   |   Long Beach   |   Los Angeles   |   Norwalk   |   Pasadena   |   Sacramento   |   San Diego   |   San Jose   |   San Luis Obispo   |   Santa Ana   |   Stockton   |   Torrance


Auto Mechanic Schools in California:

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

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
UEI College , Gardena
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Offers flexible class times including weekends.
  • Programs range from 8  or 9 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has been providing  career training since 1975.
  • Admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Show more [+]
2 Program(s) Found
  • Providing accredited online courses and degree programs since 1987.
  • A military-friendly school, it ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Students can customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Program and course tuition is all-inclusive: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Alumni can enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
  • Offers a high school diploma program through distance learning materials.
  • Specializes in distance learning courses to award diplomas.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Its career-focused online and hybrid programs are designed to address the skills gap in America.
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
  • Offers over 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Founding member of the National Home Study Council in 1926 (now DETC).
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • A dedicated student services team is available to help students with scheduling, housing, academics, financial concerns, and free tutoring.
  • Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
  • Campus is located in Inglewood, CA.
Show more [+]
Copyright 2002-2014 QuinStreet, Inc. | Home | About Us | Updated Privacy | Terms Of Service | Contact us | FAQs | Sitemap
TRUSTe online privacy certification