Washington Auto Mechanic Schools and Career Training Information

Career Information for Automotive Mechanics in Washington

Auto mechanics diagnose and repair mechanical problems on a wide variety of vehicles, working in garages, car dealerships, specialty service shops, and other automotive facilities.

If you enjoy working with your hands and using logic to solve problems, this may be the perfect career for you. You can choose a career as an all-around mechanic, or specialize in a certain type of vehicle, such as heavy equipment, motorcycles, or import cars.

Washington Auto Mechanic Schools

Schools across Washington offer programs in automotive technology where students can earn certificates or even full degrees. Here are five institutions with training programs in the field:

  • Bellingham Technical College: BTC offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, as well as two certificate programs in Automotive Technology. AAS graduates leave prepared for mid-level and advanced positions, while certification graduates are ready for entry-level mechanic positions.
  • Big Bend Community College: Located in Moses Lake, BBCC's Automotive Technology program meets the standards of the National Institute for Automotive Services Excellence (ASE) for automotive technician training. Graduates leave the program prepared to receive ASE Certification in all eight principles.
  • South Puget Sound Community College: SPSCC offers an AAS degree and certification in Automotive Technology. NATEF-certified, the program uses state-of-the-art equipment to prepare graduates for a career as an automotive technician.
  • Walla Walla Community College: WWCC employs ASE master certified instructors for its Automotive Repair Technology program. The program follows NATEF guidelines for curriculum and instruction, which includes hands-on application of skills.
  • Renton Technical College: RTC offers three automotive programs. Completing the Automotive Maintenance & Light Repair certificate prepares students to enter either the Automotive Technology certificate track or Automotive Technology/ITEC AAS degree program. Students learn all aspects of auto repair, with ITEC graduates fully trained in all eight ASE principles and prepared to achieve ASE Certification.

What to Expect from Washington Auto Mechanic Programs

For the most part, students in automotive technology programs can expect to learn about the following eight basic principles of auto repair:

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

To prepare students for a career working with the complex computer and electrical systems in today's vehicles, programs may also include in-depth training in diagnostics. Along with classroom-based instruction, programs typically have a hands-on training component, where students are given the chance to work on actual automotive systems.

Washington Auto Mechanic Licensing and Certification

Auto mechanics do not need a special license to work in the state of Washington. However, professionals 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 mechanics working with refrigerants to obtain proper certification.

Resources for Auto Mechanics in Washington

  • ASE offers free practice tests and registration for ASE Certification.
  • The EPA offers information and tests on Stationary Refrigeration Certification.


  1. College Navigator, IES, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=WA&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

Schools for Automotive Mechanics in Washington are listed below.

Selected Auto Mechanic Schools in Washington

quickinfoThese 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.

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Washington.

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More Washington Auto Mechanic Schools

School Name Campus Highest Award Enrolled
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham Associate 2,896
Big Bend Community College Moses Lake Associate 1,893
Clark College Vancouver Associate 9,705
Clover Park Technical College Lakewood Associate 9,829
Columbia Basin College Pasco Associate 6,393
Grays Harbor College Aberdeen Associate 2,050
Green River Community College Auburn Associate 6,919
Lake Washington Technical College Kirkland Associate 3,996
Lower Columbia College Longview Associate 3,348
Olympic College Bremerton Bachelor 6,623
Peninsula College Port Angeles Bachelor 3,180
Renton Technical College Renton Associate 4,915
Seattle Community College-South Campus Seattle Bachelor 6,664
Shoreline Community College Shoreline Associate 5,581
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon Associate 5,727
South Puget Sound Community College Olympia Associate 4,947
Spokane Community College Spokane Associate 6,961
Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla Associate 4,600
Walla Walla University College Place Masters 1,829
Wenatchee Valley College Wenatchee Associate 3,150
Western Washington University Bellingham Masters 14,276
Yakima Valley Community College Yakima Associate 4,354

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Automotive Mechanics

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Washington. 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, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Bremerton 400 $47660 1.06
Silverdale 400 $47660 1.06
Bellingham 290 $44080 0.77
Longview 140 $37520 0.87
Mount Vernon 230 $46220 1.07
Anacortes 230 $46220 1.07
Kennewick 470 $43420 0.98
Richland 470 $43420 0.98
Olympia 410 $37210 0.88
Tumwater 410 $37210 0.88
Seattle 6890 $44720 0.82
Tacoma 6890 $44720 0.82
Bellevue 6890 $44720 0.82
Spokane 920 $44100 0.9
Spokane Valley 920 $44100 0.9
Walla Walla 80 $41760 0.72
Wenatchee 200 $35650 1.04
Yakima 420 $41010 1.06
Employment For:

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