With a population of nearly 2.2 million people in 2013, the city of Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., trailing only Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. The greater Houston metropolitan region also includes several million more people, so it's no wonder why there are nearly 5 million registered vehicles in the Texas Department of Transportation's Houston District.
It takes thousands of automobile mechanics to keep that many cars and trucks on the road. Houston auto mechanics and service technicians can perform a wide variety of tasks, including:
- Performing routine maintenance, such as rotating tires and changing dirty oil
- Replacing common wear items, such as brake pads, rotors, fan belts and hoses
- Analyzing, diagnosing and fixing engine or electrical problems
- Rebuilding engines and transmissions
Because of the complexity of today's vehicles, coupled with the fact that automobile dealerships and independent repair shops often prefer to hire mechanics who have completed formal training, many current and prospective mechanics in the Houston area enroll in these programs of mechanic schools in the city.
Training and Certification in Houston
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for mechanics are best for graduates of auto mechanic schools. Formal education in the field of automotive service and repair typically includes study in the following areas:
- Emission systems
- Braking and steering systems
- Electrical and fuel systems
- Engine and transmission repair
- General automotive technology
The length of time it takes to complete mechanic schools in Houston varies. Students who enroll in trade or vocational schools often complete their education in as little as six months, the BLS reports. Students who pursue Associate's degrees in Applied Science at community colleges can expect to spend about two years of full time study to complete their education.
There are 28 automotive schools in the greater Houston area, including 11 in the City of Houston, that are accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, which sets benchmark standards for automotive education programs throughout the country.
Auto Repair Careers in Houston
These tables show how three common automotive careers are performing in the Houston job market of today, complete with information on employment and salary.
|Career||Total Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||2,890||$19.95||$41,500|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||10,950||$21.05||$43,780|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||7,100||$23.75||$49,400|
Finding a School in Houston
Interested? You can find multiple automotive schools in the Houston area, such as the ones in our listing below. Contact some of your favorites by phone or email and you too can take your first steps on the road to becoming an auto repair professional.
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
- Houston Facts and Figures, City of Houston, www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/houston-facts-and-figures
- Houston, Texas, U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4835000.html
- Houston District Statistics, Texas Department of Transportation, www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/finance/discos.html?CFC__target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dot.state.tx.us%2Fapps-cg%2Fdiscos%2Fdefault.htm&dist=HOU
- NATEF-accredited schools, Houston, Texas, www.natef.org/NATEF-and-You/Students-Parents/Find-Accredited-Schools.aspx?Address=houston%2c+texas&d=50&t=0&e=1
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm