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.
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:
In most cases, students in automotive technology programs can expect to study the eight basic areas of auto repair:
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.
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.
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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.
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.
2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary