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Automotive Technician Salary in the U.S.: A 2023 Guide

Apr 21, 2023 ·

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Wondering if a career as an automotive technician is right for you?

If you want to work on cars and perform diagnostics, maintenance, repairs and inspections, the answer might be… yes, it is!

All of these tasks are typical automotive technician (also known as automotive mechanic) duties that are critical in keeping vehicles on the road running smoothly.

Fortunately, students can learn these skills at Universal Technical Institute's 51-week Automotive Technology training program7 and pursue work in a variety of different settings such as:1

  • Dealerships
  • Repair shops
  • Specialty shops
  • Rental agencies
  • Racing teams and race shops

But how much do they get paid?

Keep reading to learn more! We’ll key you in on the most recent automotive technician salary figures and what could potentially influence these numbers.

Average Automotive Technician Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics in the United States was $46,970 in May 2022.25 This means that half of automotive technicians earned more while the other half earned less.

Top 10 State-Specific Annual Median Automotive Technician Salaries

Salary is determined by a variety of factors, including years of experience, employer requirements, industry demand and local cost of living.

An excellent option for those seeking a career in the industry is Universal Technical Institute's 51-week Automotive Technology program, which hosts automotive courses that help students gain hands-on experience performing automotive work. These courses can help graduates pursue auto tech careers in any state!

The BLS has also reported the median wages of automotive technicians across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Looking at these figures can help you understand how salaries vary across the country and plan your next career move. (Rankings based on BLS median annual salary figures from May 2021).

Read: What Is a Fleet Mechanic?

1. District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., has a rich history and culture and is the location of major national political processes. The city is also densely packed with museums, monuments, major league sports teams and fantastic restaurants.

D.C.-based mechanics can also pursue a wide range of unique career opportunities, including positions with the CIA and the United States Capitol Police. Of course, positions with dealerships and repair shops are also available. This can be an exciting city to work in!

2. Alaska

For those who enjoy the outdoors and being off the grid, Alaska could be a fitting place to live. Various industries such as oil and gas, fishing, timber, mining and agriculture fuel this state's economy.

Automotive mechanics in Alaska can also work in dealerships, repair shops and insurance companies. Some even become agricultural automotive mechanics, maintaining and repairing farm equipment to support one of the state's driving industries!

3. California

California, the third-largest state in the country, is the most populated state in the U.S. As a result, the Golden State is home to a large number of vehicles that require maintenance. Additionally, many out-of-state visitors come to California to enjoy its many attractions, which include several major amusement parks, film studio tours, Napa Valley wine tastings and the many miles of the Pacific Ocean coastline.

That means business for automotive technicians in California! The coastal state also has one of the highest costs of living, which may explain why its automotive technicians are paid more than technicians from some other states.

Read: How to Train to Become an Auto Electrician

4. Washington

According to U.S. News & World Report, Washington is the best state for health care, education, economy and infrastructure. With waterfalls, lakes, numerous hiking trails and other pristine landscape features winding through forests and mountains, the state is also a haven for nature lovers.

There's also always something exciting going on in Seattle, a bustling metropolis that often attracts tourist traffic. Automotive mechanics of all skill levels, from entry-level to master technicians, can pursue a career in this state.

5. Hawaii

For many, Hawaii's laid-back lifestyle and opportunities to participate in water sports such as surfing, sailing and scuba diving make it an ideal place to live and work. Tourism, defense, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and power are all major industries in the state.

Whether you want to work in a dealership, maintain fleet vehicles or even open your own shop, this state could be a viable place to start! Like those in other states, residents and businesses in Hawaii also rely on auto mechanics to keep their vehicles running.

6. Colorado

Colorado’s impressive landscapes provide a wide range of nature-based experiences, from mountain skiing to forest hiking. Its capital, Denver, is also home to world-class museums and a thriving nightlife scene.

Manufacturing, mining and agriculture are among Colorado's most important industries. Automotive technicians can find work in any of these industries, especially since their skills can service vehicles that transport goods used in manufacturing.

Read: What is an Automotive Service Manager?

7. Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a richly celebrated local history. The state also has a prestigious reputation for its Ivy League school presence.

This Northeastern state has an active automotive industry. A large part of the action can be found in tourist-friendly Boston, New England's most populous urban city. In fact, tourism is also the state's fourth-largest industry, meaning technicians can also service vehicles from out of state.

8. Delaware & New Jersey

Delaware and New Jersey are tied for having beautiful beaches, a plethora of historical landmarks and the eighth-highest median annual salary for automotive mechanics.

For those thinking of opening their own shop one day, good news! Due to its extensive corporate presence, small business-friendly laws and lower statewide taxation laws, Delaware is known as a “corporate haven.”

New Jersey can also be a suitable place to live and work since transportation is its top industry. The state's need for technicians is also one of the reasons UTI chose to open its Bloomfield campus in 2018.

9. Maryland

Maryland is another historically significant state known for its fresh seafood; charming small towns; proximity to Washington, D.C.; and scenic water views.

The state can also be an apt place to work as an automotive technician. It’s home to some big names in the automotive industry, which can offer opportunities to auto mechanics seeking a change.

10. Oregon

Oregon’s top industries are in fishing, tourism and manufacturing. Vehicles are used to transport goods in both fishing and manufacturing, necessitating the need for mechanics.

Additionally, tourists frequently arrive by car and contribute to local traffic. This could increase statewide demand for automotive services.

Aside from that, you can also enjoy outdoor activities (especially alongside or on top of the water), visit Portland (aka the Land of Books) and shop at Bend's last operating Blockbuster video rental store!

Read: Automotive Shop Safety Rules

How Long Does it Take to Become an Automotive Technician?

Completing essential automotive technician work requires the right skills, knowledge and persistence to succeed. However, the amount of time needed to pursue and secure an entry-level position in the industry varies. Fortunately, future automotive technicians can gain more in-depth skills through options such as technical training.

An automotive trade school can provide industry-standard instruction and technology, both of which help future technicians in honing key automotive technician traits. A career path may include some or all of these steps:

  1. Get a high school diploma/GED
  2. Enroll in a trade program
  3. Get certified (if needed)
  4. Get licensed (if needed)
  5. Continually seize learning opportunities

As you can see, the path toward becoming an automotive technician could evolve even after you obtain an entry-level position. That is, if you maintain a constant state of curiosity and a willingness to seize opportunities. Doing so will allow you to adapt to rapidly changing trends and advancements in your industry!

Read: Automotive Specialized Training Programs

Train in Automotive Technology at UTI!

Auto mechanic jobs are available throughout the country, so there are likely opportunities in whichever state you want to work! After learning about each state's automotive technician salary trends, you can make a more informed decision about where you want to work.

According to the BLS, completing postsecondary automotive technician training is a great way to prepare for entry-level positions. In just 51 weeks, UTI's Automotive Technology program will provide you with the knowledge and skills that today's employers seek.

To learn more about how UTI can help you succeed in your career, visit our website today to request information and speak with an Admissions Representative! Apply to our automotive technician school when you’re ready to learn.

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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

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

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 2022 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 range for persons employed as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics (49-3023) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $32,140 to $53,430 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled automotive technicians in North Carolina is $21.80 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 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 $15.23 and $13.48, respectively.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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