The automotive mechanic industry is a diverse, largely decentralized industry that provides repair and service maintenance to all types of vehicles, from cars to trucks, trailers to vans. According to an October 2014 report from IBISWorld, it is a $60 billion industry, one that employs more than 550,000 people throughout the United States.
Auto mechanics perform a range of duties when repairing and servicing vehicles. At the forefront is isolating and identifying problems with the vehicle, using both professional experience and knowledge as well as today's diagnostic equipment. Example responsibilities include the following:
- Repair and service powertrain systems
- Repair and service heating systems
- Perform preventative maintenance service
- Conduct wheel alignment and tire balances
- Repair and replace parts, from brakes to engines
Automotive service and repair training in Texas
Although the state of Texas currently does not require automotive service technicians to hold a formal license, prospective auto mechanics may wish to complete an accredited training program from one of the many auto mechanic schools in the state.
Training programs typically fall into certificate and diploma programs and could be completed in as little as one year, depending on the school, course requirements and more. For example, one school in Corpus Christi offers students both a certificate and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in automotive applied technology, while another college in Killeen offers an automotive mechanic AAS degree and several specialized certification options. Other schools offer programs such as an automotive technician training program and automotive service technician training program.
Career outlook for automotive service technicians and mechanics in Texas
Nationally, job projections for automotive repair technicians and service mechanics is a mild 9 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That only equals out to slightly more than 60,000 openings across the country during that time.
However, the employment outlook for auto mechanics in Texas is projected to buck the national trend. Employment data from Projections Central, which aggregates state-level hiring data from departments of labor, projects the automotive service industry should grow by 17.7 percent between 2012 and 2022.
In 2013, approximately 51,000 individuals were employed as auto mechanics in Texas. Based on Projection Central's estimates, that number should reach 60,680 positions by 2022, an increase of more than 9,000 openings.
The current largest job markets for auto mechanics in Texas are the metro areas of Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, and Dallas-Plano-Irving. Overall, the top ten employing metro areas in the state included the following, with number of employees, in 2013:
- Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown: 9,990
- Dallas, Plano, Irving: 7,450
- San Antonio, New Braunfels: 4,290
- Fort Worth, Arlington: 4,210
- Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos: 3,630
- El Paso: 1,490
- McAllen, Edinburg, Mission: 990
- Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood: 870
- Beaumont, Port Arthur: 810
- Corpus Christi: 770
Salary overview for Texas auto mechanics
Although job growth at the state-level is projected to outpace national rates, overall salaries in Texas are slightly below national averages. In 2013, Texas auto mechanics earned an annual average wage of $38,250, compared to the national average of $39,450.
Even though the overall state salary average is lower than the national average, an investigation of location-specific data reveals that prospective students have the opportunity to earn salaries at or above the state and national rates.
- Midland: $42,920
- Wichita Falls: $41,990
- Dallas, Plano, Irving: $40,9550
- Odessa: $40,770
- Fort Worth, Arlington: $40,650
- Beaumont, Port Arthur: $40,390
- Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown: $39,880
- Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos: $39,880
Other top paying areas in Texas for auto mechanics and service technicians include:
- College Station, Bryan: $38,340
- Waco: $38,250
- Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood: $38,030
- Corpus Christi: $37,720
- San Antonio, New Braunfels: $37,640
- Victoria: $37,330
- Tyler: $37,060
Students considering enrolling in an auto mechanic training program should review the various educational options available in Texas and take location and professional goals into account before making a decision.
Read more about Auto Mechanic programs in Texas:
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 Texas, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
Projections Central, Texas, projectionscentral.com
IBIS World, Auto Mechanics in the US Industry Report, http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1689