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Professional auto mechanics work on a wide variety of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and vans. They might find employment in garages, car dealerships, maintaining fleet vehicles, or at other repair facilities. To be successful in this career, you should enjoy working with your hands. Some mechanics choose to specialize in a certain type of vehicle, while others choose to focus on repairing a particular part of the vehicle, such as the transmission.

Virginia Auto Mechanic Schools

The state of Virginia offers a number of educational options for students interested in earning either a degree or certificate in automotive technology. Here are five schools with training programs in the field:

  • Thomas Nelson Community College: Located in Hampton, TNCC offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Automotive Technology, with a curriculum designed to aid students in attaining ASE Certification. Students learn about diagnostics and repair in a real-world garage setting.

  • Patrick Henry Community College: PHCC offers a Certificate program in Automotive Technology. Graduates of the program can gain the necessary skills for an entry-level position as a mechanic, with the ability to diagnose and repair a variety of mechanical issues.

  • New River Community College: NRCC's Automotive Analysis and Repair program helps prepare students for a career as an automotive technician, repair technician, or even a sales career in the automotive service industry.

  • Blue Ridge Community College: Blue Ridge offers a Master Certified Automotive Analysis and Repair program. As part of BRCC's cooperative education option, students who work 10 or more hours each week in a service facility receive college credit.

  • Advanced Technology Institute: ATI's Automotive Technician program boasts National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) accreditation and ASE certification. Students receive training on every aspect of a vehicle, including diagnostics, electrical, and computer systems.

What to Expect from Virginia Auto Mechanic Programs

In most cases, students in automotive technology programs can expect to study the eight basic areas of auto repair:

  • Electrical/electronic systems
  • Drive train and axles
  • Brakes
  • Automatic transmission/transaxle
  • Steering and suspension
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Engine repair
  • Engine performance

The advanced computer and electronic systems found in today's vehicles make qualified mechanics more valuable than ever. Students typically receive substantial training in diagnostics, as well as how to use this data to repair mechanical issues.

Along with classroom-based instruction, most programs include a hands-on training component, where students are given the opportunity to practice on actual automobile systems. These exercises may take place at a campus workshop or even a local auto repair shop.

Virginia Auto Mechanic Licensing and Certification

The state of Virginia does not require mechanics to obtain a special license. However, auto technicians may boost their résumé and earning power if they acquire Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification. In fact, some shops require it.

In addition, the EPA requires certification in the proper handling of refrigerants for mechanics working with this substance.

Resources for Auto Mechanics in Virginia

  • ASE offers free practice tests and registration for ASE Certification.
  • The EPA offers information and tests on Stationary Refrigeration Certification.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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More Virginia Auto Mechanic Schools

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Weyers Cave
Associate
4,084
Danville
Associate
4,016
Melfa
Associate
907
Richmond
Associate
12,557
Dublin
Associate
4,586
Annandale
Associate
41,266
Martinsville
Associate
2,948
Alberta
Associate
5,255
Hampton
Associate
9,368
Norfolk
Associate
25,857

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Automotive Mechanics

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Virginia. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Automotive Mechanics

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Automotive Mechanics relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Blacksburg 480 $33,340
Christiansburg 480 $33,340
Radford 480 $33,340
Harrisonburg 280 $40,230
Charlottesville 410 $38,770
Lynchburg 490 $36,410
Staunton 290 N/A
Waynesboro 290 N/A
Richmond 3660 $42,520
Roanoke 860 $32,290

Sources:

  1. College Navigator, IES, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=VA&p=47.0604+15.0803&l=91+92, accessed September 8, 2016
  2. Test Prep & Training, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, http://www.ase.com/Test-Prep-Training.aspx, accessed September 8, 2016
  3. Types of Section 608 Technician Certification, EPA US Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/section608/types-section-608-technician-certification, accessed September 8, 2016

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