How Much Do Automotive Technicians Make a Year?

An automotive technician works with cars, trucks, and other vehicles to perform maintenance or repairs and to diagnose vehicle problems. Technicians often work in a variety of settings, including with car dealerships, repair shops, and auto-supply stores, as well as independently. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2016, an estimated 468,700 technicians worked across the country; roughly half were self-employed. Technicians earned an average of $38,640 per year according to the BLS; however, income can vary significantly based on what type of work you do and where you work.

The Average Salary

An automotive technician is an employee of a company that specializes in car and vehicle repairs. A technician’s salary can vary depending on his or her experience, skill level, and area of expertise. In 2014, the average salary for an automotive technician was around $37,180 per year. Those with extensive knowledge of repair parts generally earn about $3,000 more per year than their counterparts who lack these skills. In total, the median annual salary for technicians was $38,030 in 2016.

Salary Ranges

A typical automotive technician salary ranges from $35,000 to $50,000. Some technicians may make more or less than this depending on where they live and what their level of experience is. Experienced automotive technicians can make up to $70,000 or more. You could also pursue higher education to potentially earn even more money in the field! There are many different degree programs available for automotive technology, including associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees. An automotive technician salary might be based on what level of education you have attained or your length of employment with your company as well as the area you work in.

Cost of Living

Most automotive technicians will make around $40,000 a year in median salary. That being said, the cost of living is important to consider because many Americans make between $25,000 and $80,000 depending on their location. For example, employees in New York may be able to afford more luxury items than those working for an automotive company in Wyoming. Knowing your budget can help you set realistic expectations when looking for work as an automotive technician.

Cost of Living

Certification and Education Requirements

In the United States, automotive technicians are typically required to have at least one year of post-secondary education and/or certification as well as 2,000 hours of work experience in order to become certified. These requirements vary by state. In California, for example, potential technicians must complete three years of education at an accredited technical school and take and pass the ASE certification exam. They must also complete 1,000 hours of paid supervised training. For most people who want to pursue a career in automotive repair this will entail attending an apprentice program sponsored by their local community college or vocational program.

Taking on Other Jobs or Second Jobs

There are no set hours for automotive technicians, and their workload can vary based on demand. When there are a lot of cars to be serviced or when one car needs a lot of work, automotive technicians can spend upwards of 12 hours at the shop. When there is little to do, automotive technicians may only spend about 3 hours working. Most people who work as an automotive technician work in this occupation alone, but some combine it with another job or other part-time employment. This type of second income is typically temporary and offers more consistent hours because they are not at the shop every day like an automotive technician might be.

Taking on Other Jobs or Second Jobs

Job Outlook

There’s no set salary for automotive technicians. The technician’s pay is based on experience, industry standards, and the type of work performed. The median annual wage in 2016 was $35,920.

The United States Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that the growth in jobs for automotive technicians will be 16 percent between 2016 and 2026. This is much slower than the national average. With more baby boomers nearing retirement age, there should be increased demand for car maintenance services over the next decade as these people trade their cars in for newer models.


An automotive technician typically makes between $28,000 to $42,000 each year. Salary largely depends on their job title and the geographic location of their employment. Those in Southern California typically make the most while those living in Ohio or Pennsylvania earn the least. What’s more, training program graduation rates can have an effect on salary as well. Those who graduate from a 3-year training program generally get paid better than those with only 2 years’ experience, which only goes to show that education is key when it comes to reaching your financial goals as an automotive technician.

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Olivia is a seasoned blogger with a flair for lifestyle and fashion. With over 6 years of experience, she shares her passion for the latest trends and styles, offering inspiration and guidance to her audience on all things lifestyle-related.

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