How to Become a Mechanic in Texas

3/17/2023

Are you someone who lives in Texas, has excellent attention to detail, enjoys problem-solving and appreciates opportunities to work with your hands? If so, consider a career as a mechanic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas had the second-highest employment level of automotive mechanics in 2021. The state also had the highest employment level among bus and truck mechanics, and automotive body and related repairers in the nation in 2021.

From collision repair to motorcycle mechanics—there are various routes to pursue. Regardless of the route taken, you can play a crucial role, ensuring safe and reliable transportation for the community you serve.

Keep reading to learn more about how to become a mechanic in Texas. This guide is filled with training opportunities, job outlook and answers to frequently asked questions.

Mechanic School in Texas

While there’s no written requirement for technical school, many candidates choose to attend one as it teaches them the entry-level skills many employers are looking for in candidates. Mechanic school is especially beneficial to anyone who lacks a technical background as most employers require previous experience.

As previously mentioned, a large portion of mechanics work in Texas, so it is no surprise there are leading mechanic schools in Texas, like Universal Technical Institute (UTI).1

Through a blend of online instruction and hands-on training, UTI provides students with practical skillsets related to their industry of choice.

The technical school also has more than 35 brand relationships that have assisted UTI in creating a curriculum relevant to current technicians, ensuring students learn to handle the tools, machinery and equipment commonly utilized in the field.

In addition to providing technical knowledge, a good trade school fine-tunes the soft skills displayed by many successful mechanics, such as professionalism and excellent customer service.

UTI Dallas graduate Jerome Jackson shared, “UTI was highly focused on professionalism — everything from how you presented yourself in person to how you presented yourself on your résumé.”

Mechanic Job Outlook in Texas

Texas is an excellent state for a mechanic to pursue a career. According to BLS, in 2021 there were:

  • 49,810 automotive service technicians and mechanics employed in Texas.93
  • 23,950 bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed in Texas.95
  • 11,400 automotive body and related repairers employed in Texas.6.2

Many aspiring mechanics wonder how much mechanics make in the state of Texas. This can vary by career type. Let’s break down common mechanic career paths and their median annual salary. According to the BLS, the May 2023 median annual salaries in Texas were:

  • $46,800 for automotive service technicians and mechanics25
  • $56,780 for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists29
  • $48,330 for automotive body and related repairers28

Median means half of the mechanics earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand, and cost of living in the area.

Types of Mechanics in Texas

There are various paths an aspiring mechanic can pursue. Common mechanic careers include:

  • Automotive mechanics: These mechanics evaluate and repair cars and light trucks. They may also perform maintenance and specialize in air-conditioning, brakes, drivability, transmissions and more. They often work for dealers or maintenance and repair shops.
  • Diesel mechanics: These mechanics inspect and repair any vehicle with a diesel engine, including buses, trucks, bulldozers, cranes and dump trucks. They typically work in truck transportation, wholesale trade, the marine industry or local government.
  • Auto body mechanics: These types of mechanics repair vehicles damaged, usually by collision. They restore the vehicle to a safe driving state and often work in repair centers, dealerships, fleet workshops or manufacturing facilities.

5 Steps to Become a Mechanic in Texas


1. Determine Your Goals and Desired Jobs

As you’ve probably learned by now, there’s a variety of mechanic careers to choose from, and each one calls for specialized training.

Therefore, determining which type of role you’d like to pursue is the first step to take. Doing so will also assist you in finding which school to enroll in.

Start by listing your background, interests, why you want to become a mechanic and what you hope to gain from your career. From there, research different mechanic roles to find the best fit for you.

Your desired work environment is another critical aspect to consider. Some mechanic jobs leave room to work in various environments while others may confine you to a single setting.

2. Research Various Mechanic Schools in Texas

Once you decide on the kind of mechanic job you’d like to have, begin researching mechanic schools in Texas.

Find one that offers a specific program for the career you're interested in. For instance, if you’d like to become a collision repair mechanic, search for "collision repair programs in Texas."

Once you find a technical school that fits your needs, ensure it is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. UTI is accredited by Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), ensuring a quality education.

Accredited programs prepare students to pursue a career in their industry of choice by teaching them up-to-date standards and granting them opportunities to use the tools, machinery and equipment found in the field.

3. Attend a Mechanic School or Program

Most employers require previous experience, even for “entry-level” roles. Those without a mechanical background can gain some experience by attending a trade school like UTI, where the instructors build students’ knowledge from the ground up.

Those with a mechanical background but are struggling to break into the workforce may also benefit from attending a mechanic school in Texas. Many trade programs provide graduates with a degree, diploma or certificate as proof they have a foundation of knowledge relevant to potential employers.

Attending a trade program can also help aspiring mechanics network with professionals in the industry, potentially granting them insight into what employers desire from entry-level candidates.

4. Get ASE Certified

The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) created the ASE certification to hold mechanics to a high standard. The certification ensures they have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide trustworthy and expert service within their line of work.

While the law does not require certification, working towards it can assist you in your job search. According to the BLS, industry certification is usually required once employed.

To become certified, mechanics must pass a test that evaluates their ability to provide accurate and quality service through diagnosis and repair. The institute offers multiple certification tests. The exam you take will depend on the type of mechanic field that interests you. Common ASE certification exams include:

  • Automobile & Light Truck Certification
  • Automobile Service Consultant Certification
  • Collision Repair & Refinish Certification Tests
  • Truck Equipment Certification
  • Medium-Heavy Truck Certification
  • School Bus Certification
  • Engine Machinist Certification

5. Gain Experience Through Jobs or Apprenticeships

Upon completing steps one through four, graduates are prepared to begin pursuing their career. UTI graduates who need assistance searching for jobs or apprenticeships can take advantage of Career Services.

These services include résumé development, interview training, access to a nationwide database and career coaching.

In addition to UTI's quality education, these services have helped land four out of five UTI graduates a job in their field of study.3

How to Get ASE Certified in Texas

There are two steps to becoming ASE certified in Texas:

  1. Two years of hands-on work experience
  2. Passing an online test

We suggest attending a school that has ASE program accreditation, like UTI.16 Doing so can help prepare students to take the online portion of the test.

Additionally, UTI graduates can substitute their education for one of the two years of experience. Once they’ve obtained that second year, they can check out the ASE website and navigate to their specialty and sign up for an exam.

We highly recommend utilizing the ASE study guides and practice tests before signing up, as the exams can be rigorous.

Mechanic Schools in Texas through UTI

UTI has three campuses across Texas — AustinDallas/Fort Worth, and Houston — each offering a variety of programs. Keep reading to find the best fit for you.

Automotive Mechanic School

UTI has an automotive mechanic school at all three Texas campuses. The automotive technology program combines online learning with hands-on training to teach students how to maintain and repair imported and domestic vehicles. The course topics included in this program are:

  • Automotive Engines Service & Repair
  • Professional Automotive Service Writing
  • Automotive Powertrains & Transmissions
  • Vehicle Steering & Suspension Service & Repair
  • Vehicle Brake Systems
  • Vehicle Electronic Systems & Technology
  • Automotive Climate Control Systems & Repair
  • Automotive Power/Performance Tuning & Emissions Repair
  • Hybrid Vehicle System Maintenance

Students can complete their automotive training in just 51 weeks.7 Upon completing the core program, they can go on to receive Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training with brands like BMW and GM.

Diesel Mechanic School

The diesel mechanic program is offered at all three Texas campuses as well. The core program can be completed in just 45 weeks and prepares students for careers at truck and bus companies, railroads, in agriculture, oil refiners and more.

Students will learn to diagnose, repair and replace components on large diesel trucks and engines. The core program course topics include:

  • Gasoline & Diesel Engine Service & Repair
  • Diesel Truck Manual Transmission
  • Diesel Truck Brake Systems & Chassis
  • Diesel Truck Steering & Suspension Systems
  • Automotive Climate Control Systems & Repair
  • Diesel Hydraulic Systems
  • Vehicle Electronic Systems & Technology
  • Diesel Truck Transport Refrigeration
  • Diesel Truck Preventative Maintenance

Upon completing the core program, graduates can further their studies in a specialized program, gaining familiarity with brands like Cummins,46 Peterbilt,15 Freightliner and more.

Collision Repair School

UTI’s Auto Body Collision School is available at the Houston location and takes 51 to 54 weeks to complete. UTI’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology curriculum was developed with the help of I-CAR — the provider of collision repair standards as defined by the industry, including car manufacturers, insurance companies and repair shops.

Throughout the program, students earn I-CAR certifications, further preparing them to pursue a career as a collision repair mechanic. The program courses include:

  • Exterior Panel Alignment
  • Exterior Panel Repair I and II
  • Exterior Panel Replacement
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Structural Damage Analysis
  • Structural Alignment & Replacement
  • Introduction to Refinishing
  • Vehicle Preparation for Painting
  • Finish Applications
  • Skills Application
  • Power Systems & Controls
  • Drive Train & Related Systems
  • Vehicle Undercar and SRS
  • Damage Analysis
  • Custom Paint Fundamentals
  • Custom Body Fundamentals

UTI’s Collision Repair program also provides students with experience using products from industry-leading companies like 3M, Audatex and Axalta.

How to Become a Mechanic in Texas FAQ

How long does it take to become a qualified mechanic?

The amount of time it takes to become a qualified mechanic can depend on the type of career you pursue, as well as the path you take. Many aspiring mechanics choose to attend trade schools, like UTI, before entering their careers. UTIs mechanic programs can be completed in 45 to 54 weeks.

Do you need a mechanic license in Texas?

While there’s not a requirement for mechanic certification in Texas, many candidates choose to obtain ASE certification. Doing so can better prepare them to pursue a career and proves to employers that they have the knowledge and technical skills crucial to the role.

Learn How to Become a Mechanic in Texas at UTI

If you’re passionate about helping others, prefer working with your hands and enjoy problem solving, allow UTI to help you build on these skills and prepare you to become a mechanic. Ready to get started? Contact an Admissions Representative or request info to learn more today.

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1 ) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2 ) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
3 ) Reserved.
6.2 ) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate of total employment for Automotive Body and Related Repairers, May 2021. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed March 10, 2023.
7 ) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
15 ) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation. Programs available at select locations.
16 )  Not all programs are accredited by the ASE Education Foundation.
25 ) UTI’s Automotive Technology Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as automotive technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as an automotive technician, such as service writer, smog inspector, and parts associate. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary for persons employed as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics (49-3023) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $36,730 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2022 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageAllIndustries/OEWResult?A=01&GA=000025&OG=493023&Dopt=TEXT) Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled automotive technicians in North Carolina is $22.39 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $16.63 and $14.06, respectively.
28 ) UTI’s Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology (CRRT) Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as collision repair technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Automotive Body and Related Repairers as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a collision repair technician, such as appraiser, estimator and inspector. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary for persons employed as Automotive Body and Related Repairers (49-3021) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $40,530 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2022 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageAllIndustries/OEWResult?A=01&GA=000025&OG=493021&Dopt=TEXT#). Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled collision repair technicians in North Carolina is $23.43 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages, Automotive Body and Related Repairers). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $21.04 and $17.01, respectively.
29 ) UTI’s Diesel Technology Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as diesel technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as diesel truck technicians, including in industries such as heavy equipment repair, power generation, and agriculture. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists (49-3031) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $48,980 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2022 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageAllIndustries/OEWResult?A=01&GA=000025&OG=493031&Dopt=TEXT). Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled diesel technicians in North Carolina is $25.28 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $21.55 and $18.00, respectively.
46 ) Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
93 ) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate of total employment for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, May 2021. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed March 10, 2023.
95 ) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate of total employment for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, May 2021. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed March 10, 2023.

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