The economic recession had a major impact on the automotive industry, sending shock waves through every department, from sales to service. However, performance has been on the upswing, particularly in Massachusetts. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), new car sales reached nearly $17 billion in Massachusetts in 2013. The NADA's 2014 report projected 2013 was a significant year of growth for an industry that continues to grow.
For individuals considering entering the automotive industry as mechanics, that growth should be seen as a positive. Auto mechanics are integral to the service component of the industry, an industry that produced approximately $4.7 billion nationally in revenue in service and parts at new dealerships alone in 2013 (NADA).
As core employees within service departments at dealerships and repair garages nationwide, auto mechanics perform a number of duties when working on vehicles. From servicing to maintenance to repair, auto mechanics may handle any of the following tasks:
- Changing the transmission fluid
- Replacing air and cabin filters
- Changing brake systems
- Serving and repairing air conditioning systems
- Changing tires
- Performing engine tune-ups
Automotive Service and Repair Training in Massachusetts
The state of Massachusetts does not require its auto mechanics to hold individual licenses, but does have rules and regulations for repair shops -- regulations that can be found through Massachusetts' Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.
Part of their recommendations to consumers is to only use trained, experienced mechanics. Prospective students can receive that training from accredited auto mechanic schools in Massachusetts. There are multiple educational paths to this training: diploma, certificate and associate degree programs. Students can find these programs at vocational schools and community colleges. Depending on the specific degree or diploma curriculum, some programs may be completed in as little as a year, while associate degrees may require two or more years of study and training to complete.
Below are two example automotive training programs found in Massachusetts:
- MassBay Community College has locations in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland. The college offers students an automotive technology program that is sponsored by major automotive companies, including Toyota, BMW, General Motors and Chrysler.
- With four locations in the state -- Canton, Woburn, Chicopee, and Worcester -- Porter and Chester Institute provides students with access to an automotive technology program that could potentially be completed in as little as one year.
Career Outlook for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics in Massachusetts
Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) projects national job growth to reach 9 percent between 2012 and 2022. However, employment growth in Massachusetts is expected to be approximately half that rate -- 4.4 percent during the same time, according to data from Projections Central.
More than 16,000 auto mechanics worked in the state in 2013 and 490 new mechanic positions are expected to join their ranks each year between 2012 and 2022. The largest job markets in the state include Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Springfield and Worcester. Below is a list of the top five employing metro areas for auto mechanics in Massachusetts in 2013 (Projections Central):
|Metro Area||Employment Projection|
Auto Mechanic Salary in Massachusetts
Although the job projections are below national averages, prospective auto mechanics should be encouraged by the earning potential in the state. The national average wage for auto mechanics in 2013 was $39,450 in 2013, while the Massachusetts state average was $43,750.
Throughout the state, earnings varied by location, with several metro areas averaging salaries even higher than the state or national average. Below is the metro area average salary breakouts for the top-five paying locations from 2013 data from the BLS:
|Area||Average Salary Breakout|
Students thinking about auto mechanic training should research their educational options available in Massachusetts and take earning and job growth potential, as well as professional and personal goals into account before enrolling.
Auto Mechanic and Automotive Schools in Massachusetts
Get started with your automotive career by choosing a schools from the list below. Also check out Massachusetts Diesel Mechanic Schools to learn about making a career in Diesel Technology in the state.
- 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_ma.htm
- Projections Central, Texas, projectionscentral.com
- IBIS World, Auto Mechanics in the US Industry Report, http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1689
- Wall Street Journal, Auto Sales, http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html
- 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
- Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/autos/lemon-laws/mechanics-of-auto-repair.html