To say that automotive careers are popular in Los Angeles, California would be something of an understatement. Repair shops and service bays in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metro area employed the second-largest number of auto mechanics of any U.S. region in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
There's even upward mobility available for graduates of automotive schools in Los Angeles, if you find employment at the right shop or dealership. Service technicians with enough education and experience can become senior technicians or service managers, who may in turn be able to rise to the position of service director and supervise the operations of an entire service department.
Training and Certification in Los Angeles
Automotive programs in Los Angeles can be found at vocational schools and community colleges all around the city. According to the BLS, graduates of formal automotive training programs in Los Angeles — particularly those who focus on advanced technology such as computer systems or hybrid fuel engines — should have the most opportunity. You may also choose to specialize in diesel engines and larger vehicles, which can provide specialized skills that other mechanics may not have. Most schools that offer auto mechanic training offer a variety of programs, each of which typically focuses on a different vehicle system. Here are just a few of the system-specific courses that may be available:
- Brake systems
- Suspension and steering
- Engine repair and rebuild
- Tune-up and maintenance
Various mechanic certifications can be earned as well, primarily from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification exams at ASE cover one system at a time and can be taken in any order, with those who successfully complete a full cycle of eight A-series exams earning the title of Master Automobile Technician.
Auto Repair Careers in Los Angeles
Here is a sample of how three common automotive careers are performing in the current LA job market, with information on employment and salary.
Finding a School in Los Angeles
There are multiple auto mechanic schools available in Los Angeles, including those we've listed below. Learn more about your options for automotive education and how they can lead to an enjoyable career.
- QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed September 28, 2015, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0644000.html
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed September 28, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive and Related Technology, Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, accessed September 28, 2015, http://college.lattc.edu/transportation/automotive-technology/
- Automotive Technician Training, Universal Technical Institute, accessed September 28, 2015, http://www.uti.edu/programs/automotive
- Test Series, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, accessed September 28, 2015, http://www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Test-Series.aspx
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics: California, Career InfoNet, accessed September 28, 2015, http://www.onetonline.org/link/wages/49-3023.02?e=1&st=CA&g=Go
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed September 28, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm