Maryland's automotive industry continues to recover from the effects of the recession, evidenced by growth in total dealerships sales across the state between 2012 and 2013. The total sales, including new and used vehicle sales, as well as service and parts, increased from $13.3 billion in 2012 to nearly $14 billion in 2014, according to data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).
For those considering a career in the automotive industry as an auto mechanic or service technician, the recovery and growth of the overall market should be welcomed news. Auto mechanics are important components of the industry, evidenced by the 11 percent market share commanded by the car service and parts sector at Maryland car dealerships.
Auto mechanics not only work at car dealerships, but can also be found at repair garages, parts and tire stores, gas stations and more. Whether working at a high performance shop or a new car dealership, auto mechanics perform an array of duties when working on vehicles. Example responsibilities may include the following:
- Servicing air conditioning units
- Changing tires
- Performing preventative maintenance services
- Repairing and servicing brake systems
- Replacing timing belts
Automotive Service and Repair Training in Maryland
Students considering training as an auto mechanic or service technician have multiple educational avenues available, including diploma, certificate and associate degree programs. These programs can be typically found at community colleges, workforce commission training centers and vocational schools in Maryland.
Depending on specific training program, degree or curriculum, some certificate and diploma programs may be completed in as little as one year of full-time study, while Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees typically take at least two years of full-time study to finish.
Below are just two examples of automotive training programs found in Maryland:
Montgomery College. Through its Gudlesky Institute for Technical Education, Montgomery College offers both certificate and associate degree programs in automotive technology. Students may choose from specialized certificate programs including powertrain specialist, engine performance specialist and more.
Prince George's Community College. Located in Largo, Prince George's Community College offers an automotive technology program that focuses on preparing students to earn Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.
Career Outlook for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics in Maryland
Nationally, employment growth for auto mechanics is expected to reach 9 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to career projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). However, job growth in Maryland is expected to remain relatively flat during that same time period.
The auto mechanic industry in Maryland employed nearly 14,000 individuals as automotive service technicians and mechanics in 2013 (BLS) and the biggest local markets included Baltimore-Towson and Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan areas:
- Baltimore-Towson: 6,420
- Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick: 3,070
- Hagerstown-Martinsburg: 560
- Cumberland: 250
- Salisbury: 240
Salary overview for Maryland Auto Service Technicians and Mechanics
Although job projections remain flat within the state, the annual earning potential should be attractive to prospective students. The national average salary for auto mechanics was $39,450 in 2013, while automotive service technicians and mechanics took home $42,780, according to the BLS.
Earning potential also varies by location, and two major metro areas surpassed both the state and national salary averages in 2013. Below is the average salary breakout by metro area in Maryland for 2013 from BLS employment data:
- Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick: $47,230
- Baltimore-Towson: $42,100
- Salisbury: $38,300
- Hagerstown-Martinsburg: $36,750
- Cumberland: $33,320
Students considering making the investment into an automotive training program in Maryland should research their educational options, taking location, time, cost and career potential into consideration before making a decision.
Read more about Auto Mechanic programs in Maryland:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, OOH, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES Massachusetts, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm
Projections Central, Texas, projectionscentral.com
NADA, State of the Industry Report, http://www.nada.org/NR/rdonlyres/1B512AC7-DCFC-472C-A854-6F5527931A2F/0/2013_NADA_Data_102113.pdf
NADA, Annual Financial Profile of America's Franchises New-Car Dealerships, http://www.nada.org/NR/rdonlyres/DF6547D8-C037-4D2E-BD77-A730EBC830EB/0/NADA_Data_2014_05282014.pdf