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Auto Mechanic and Automotive Schools in Virginia

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 8.1 million registered vehicles in the state as of 2016. It takes a positive fleet of automobile mechanics and auto service technicians to keep all those cars and trucks in peak operating condition, and that means a lot of opportunities for those professionals to find employment. Virginia's auto mechanics and service technicians perform a wide range of repair and service duties, including:

  • Routine maintenance for cars and trucks -- changing oil, radiator fluid and rotating tires
  • Replacing wear items, such as fan belts, hoses and brake pads
  • Installing new starters, master cylinders, radiators, fuel lines, exhausts and shocks and struts
  • Complex mechanical work, such as rebuilding engines and transmissions

Training and Certification in Virginia

The field of automotive repair looks nothing like it did when brothers Gomer and Goober Pyle fixed cars at Wally's Filling Station in "The Andy Griffith Show." Today's automobile mechanics are highly trained specialists who can complete simple tasks like changing fuses and installing new windshield wipers, as well as using expensive computer equipment to diagnose and troubleshoot problems. A common route to enter the auto mechanic industry is attending an automotive school in Virginia, where students learn not only the basics of the trade, but new trends in automotive repair as well. Programs vary in length depending on if they culminate in a diploma, certificate or an Associate's of Applied Science degree, but they typically take one to two years to complete.

Coursework at automotive schools in Virginia usually focuses on key areas such as:

  • Engine repair
  • Automobile transmissions and transaxles
  • Steering and suspension systems
  • Brakes
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Electrical and electronic systems

After completing a formal education in automotive repair, students should consider earning certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, widely recognized as a benchmark for core competencies in automotive service repair. Mechanics with professional education and ASE certifications are more likely to find work over the less experienced competition, as well as command higher wages once employed.

Auto Repair Careers in Virginia

Autobody technicians, auto mechanics, and bus/ truck mechanics are three fairly common automotive careers in Virginia. Able to find opportunities for employment in garages, popular chains, family businesses, gas stations and more, there's no question that auto mechanics are in a good place when they're living and working in Virginian metro areas like Richmond or Virginia Beach.

Autobody Technicians: Employment and Salary

These professionals spend their time repairing and refinishing vehicle bodies. Damaged vehicle frames are also their responsibility.

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

Auto Mechanics: Employment and Salary

Auto mechanics inspect vehicles for a multitude of broken parts or other issues and have the know-how necessary to repair them.

RegionTotal EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Lynchburg, VA580$17.47$36,330
Richmond, VA3,170$23.08$48,000
Roanoke, VA860$20.18$41,970
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC3,980$20.73$43,120
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Bus/ Truck Mechanics: Employment and Salary

Mechanics with a focus on buses and trucks are kept busy maintaining and repairing buses, trucks and other diesel engine vehicles.

RegionTotal EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA90$22.27$46,330
Richmond, VA1,000$25.1$52,200
Roanoke, VA390$19.76$41,100
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,400$22.13$46,030
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Finding a School in Virginia

The majority of auto mechanic schools in Virginia have been evaluated and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. By attending a NATEF-accredited school, you can be assured that the curriculum and instructors are among the best in the field. With nearly 70 NATEF-accredited automotive schools in the state, it's also a safe bet that there's one close to your home. So if you're looking to enter the field of auto repair, don't be shy: pick out a few schools from our listings below, drop their admissions departments a line via phone or email and start the ignition for your future as a mechanic in Virginia.

Sources:

  • Virginia Motor Vehicle Statistics, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/tss03.pdf
  • Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician, Virginia's Community Colleges, http://courses.vccs.edu/programs/47.0604-AutomobileAutomotiveMechanicsTechnologyTechnician
  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
  • Virginia Accredited Schools, National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, www.natef.org/NATEF-and-You/Students-Parents/Find-Accredited-Schools.aspx?State=VA&t=1&e=1

Automotive Schools in Virginia

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

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