What Are Average Salaries for Entry-Level Auto Mechanic Jobs?

Average salaries for entry-level auto mechanic jobs depend on your experience, location, industry and type of training. Additionally, many employers offer a minimum salary to auto mechanics who typically work on commission. Read on to learn more about salaries for this career. Schools offering Automobile Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that automotive service technicians and auto mechanics held approximately 596,830 jobs in May 2012 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS in 2012, 32% of auto mechanics worked in automotive repair shops, while auto dealers employed 29%. Self-employment accounted for 14% of all working automotive mechanics.

The BLS expects that there will be a 9% employment growth for this career over the 2012-2022 decade. Skilled and educated individuals are expected to have the best prospects, while those who haven't completed formal training may have to deal with significant competition.

Salary Overview

The BLS reports that the average hourly wage for automotive and service technicians and auto mechanics was $18.78 in May 2012, and this included commissions. The median hourly wage was $17.60. Wages for the middle 50% were between $13.06 and $23.19 per hour. The lowest-paid hourly workers earned $10.01 or less per hour, while the highest-paid auto mechanics made $28.88 or more hourly.

Weekly earnings depend on the amount of work completed. Employers will often guarantee trained technicians a minimum weekly salary. In addition, workers belonging to labor unions can generally expect to earn a higher wage and more benefits than non-union members.

Salary by Industry

Your mean hourly wage will also be determined in part by the industry in which you work. Due to the number of qualified applicants, competition will be high for top-paying jobs. The BLS shows that the three top-paying industries for auto mechanics and their mean hourly wages in May 2012 were:

  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing: $33.43
  • Natural gas distribution: $30.27
  • Scientific research and development services: $28.83

Your chance of employment might be higher in industries that employ the most number of auto mechanics. Although offering slightly lower wages than the top-paying industries, the industries employing the largest amount of auto mechanics paid the following as of 2012, on average:

  • Automotive repair and maintenance: $17.00
  • Automobile dealerships: $20.79
  • Automotive parts, accessories and tire stores: $16.27
  • Local government: $23.04
  • Gasoline stations: $16.73

Salary by State

Your salary as an auto mechanic can vary by state. The BLS reported in May 2012 that mean hourly wages for the top three states according to pay were:

  • Alaska: $24.53
  • District of Columbia: $23.03
  • Hawaii: $21.35

Mean hourly wages for the top three states according to employment level were:

  • California: $21.02
  • Texas: $17.83
  • Florida: $17.65

Salary by Experience

According to PayScale.com, years of experience also play an important role in determining the hourly wage for an auto mechanic. Salary ranges in January 2014 for the 10th-90th percentile varied depending on the years of experience that workers had achieved in the field:

  • Less than one year: $7.68 - $16.39
  • 1 - 4 years: $8.59 - $17.95
  • 5 - 9 years: $10.45 - $23.49
  • 10 - 19 years: $12.52 - $28.16
  • 20 years or more: $14.88 - $28.82

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