The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has certified eighteen West Virginia auto mechanic schools. These secondary schools, community colleges and technical centers offer programs in automobile and medium/heavy truck maintenance and repair, as well as collision repair and refinishing. The programs offered by auto mechanic schools in West Virginia vary in length and include two-semester certification programs, which might qualify you for a job or translate to college credits, as well as two-year associate degree programs. Or you can enroll in a program through a national online university to work toward a diploma at your own pace.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), West Virginia has the fourth-highest concentration of auto mechanics and service technicians in the country. The state's 4,020 auto repair workers earned a 2009 mean hourly wage of $13.01, or $27,060 annually. Hourly mean wage is reported as higher in the areas around Hagerstown-Martinsburg ($17.17), Cumberland ($14.80) and Charleston ($13.24). Mean hourly wage is slightly lower in the nonmetropolitan areas in the state's southern ($12.88) and north central ($12.84) regions. Mechanics specializing in buses, trucks and diesel engines generally out-earned auto mechanics, with a 2009 mean annual wage in West Virginia of $32,160.