Auto Mechanic and Automotive Schools in California

California is home to the highest number of auto mechanic positions of any state in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Graduates of training programs at mechanic schools in California fill automotive jobs at garages, dealerships, parts warehouses and service shops across the state; the Golden State is, in fact, the single biggest employer of auto technicians in the entire U.S., with 63,550 positions active as of 2016. The southernmost third of the state makes up the largest portion of employment; Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Glendale boasted 15,630 of the state's active positions between them in 2016.

Training and Certification in California

Students at automotive schools in California can typically choose among a variety of study plans, each of which may lead to a career diploma, professional certificate, associate degree or other credential. Diploma and certificate programs typically take less time to finish than associate degrees, but associate programs also include some general education coursework that may transfer to a four-year college if you decide to go further in your education after graduating.

Each auto mechanic school sets its own curriculum for its programs, but the following subjects are common among programs that cover the full range of vehicle systems:

  • Engine performance
  • Ignition systems
  • Fuel systems
  • Steering and suspension
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Emissions controls

Certification is one of the most trusted ways for a mechanic to illustrate their skill and experience to employers and customers. Graduates of auto mechanic schools in California can look to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for certification in a variety of vehicle systems. Besides such subjects as those mentioned above, ASE certification tests cover specialty areas like hybrid/ electric vehicles, alternate fuels, advanced engine performance and undercar/ exhaust systems.

Auto Repair Careers in California

Three common automotive careers in California are autobody technicians, auto mechanics, and bus/ truck mechanics. With opportunities available in garages, popular chains, family businesses, gas stations and more, there's no shortage of good places to pursue your passion for engines in the Golden State.

Autobody Technicians: Employment and Salary

Autobody technicians repair and refinish vehicle bodies, as well as straightening damaged vehicle frames.

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Auto Mechanics: Employment and Salary

These professionals locate problems with a vehicle and do the repairs necessary to fix them.

RegionTotal EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division5,440$24.19$50,320
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division14,960$21.02$43,710
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA7,150$22.37$46,520
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA6,150$21.93$45,620
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Bus/ Truck Mechanics: Employment and Salary

As the name suggests, these mechanics focus on maintaining and overhauling buses, trucks and other diesel engine vehicles.

RegionTotal EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division4,400$27.91$58,050
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Division1,830$27.71$57,640
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA3,700$24.86$51,720
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA1,520$26.11$54,310
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Finding a School in California

There are automotive schools all over California, and interested students only have to get in touch with them to find out what it takes to enroll. Pick out a few schools from our listings below, make contact with their admissions department via phone or email and get started on the road to a strong, steady career as a mechanic in California.


  • California, Quick Facts, United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/, accessed October 2017
  • 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
  • School pages: Automotive Technician, San Bernardino Valley College, http://www.valleycollege.edu/academic-career-programs/degrees-certificates/automotive-tech/automotive-tech-cert; Automotive Technology, Reedley College, http://www.reedleycollege.edu/index.aspx?page=911; Automotive Technician Training, United Education Institute, http://www.uei.edu/programs/uei-college/automotive-technician; Automotive Mechanical Repair, Cerritos College, http://cms.cerritos.edu/uploads/Auto/auto_roadmap_2015.pdf;
  • Test Series, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, http://www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Test-Series.aspx

Automotive Schools in California

*This list may contain out-of-state and online schools that accept students from California.

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