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Ranking the Highest Paying Automotive Technician & Mechanic Salaries in the U.S.

Nov 30, 2020 ·
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Do you love working on cars? Training to become an automotive technician may be the perfect career choice.

Automotive technicians (commonly referred to as automotive mechanics) are responsible for diagnosing, maintaining, repairing and inspecting cars, trucks and other types of vehicles. They play an important role in keeping the vehicles that help fuel our economy on the road.

Skilled automotive technicians can work in a variety of different settings, including:

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

No matter where auto mechanics decide to apply their skills, this can be a career path that offers great opportunities for growth and advancement in the field.

How Much Do Automotive Mechanics Make?

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to choosing a career is knowing how much does a automotive technician make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual automotive service technicians and mechanic salary in the United States was $44,050 in May 2020.25 This means half of automotive technicians 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. While the number stated above is an average of the earnings of all automotive technicians in the U.S., it can be helpful to look at the median wages of technicians in the 50 states and District of Columbia as reported by BLS. This can help you to understand how salaries vary across the country so you can plan your next career move.

Keep reading to learn how the annual median salaries for automotive technicians vary in the U.S. (median wages reported in May 2020):

Top 10 Annual Median Salaries for Automotive Technicians

1. District of Columbia: $65,420

Washington, D.C., is known for its vibrant history and culture. Living here means you're surrounded by museums and monuments, major league sports teams and some of the best restaurants in the country.

This city offers a variety of unique job opportunities for automotive mechanics, from roles for the CIA and Capitol Police to positions with dealerships and repair shops, just as might be found in other states. This can be an exciting city in which to work — plus, it’s currently ranked as offering the highest median annual salary for automotive techs.

2. Hawaii: $53,280

Hawaii's relaxed island vibes and watersport opportunities make it a desirable place to live and work. Tourism, defense, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and power are all industries that fuel the state’s economy.

Whether you’re looking to work in a dealership, maintain fleet vehicles or even open a shop of your own, the Aloha State may be a great place to launch your career. Residents and businesses look to auto mechanics to keep their vehicles on the road, so there are many different avenues techs can pursue here.

Mechanic works on a vehicle.

3. New Jersey: $51,360

Part of the charm of living in New Jersey is its close proximity to other East Coast states, like New York and Pennsylvania, as well as its famed New Jersey culture and boardwalks. There's also a lot of nature here and opportunities to get out on the water.

According to Investopedia, transportation is the fifth largest industry in the state, which creates opportunities for skilled technicians. There’s a growing need for technicians here, which is why Universal Technical Institute (UTI) decided to open its Bloomfield campus in 2018.

4. Alaska: $51,330

If you love the outdoors and being farther off the grid, you might love living in Alaska. This state’s economy is driven by a variety of industries, including oil and gas, fishing, timber, mining, and agriculture.

Automotive mechanics in Alaska can find employment in all kinds of settings, from dealerships and repair shops to insurance companies. Some even go on to find success as agricultural mechanics who maintain and repair farm equipment, which supports one of Alaska’s most prominent industries.

5. California: $50,950

As the third-largest state in the country, California has plenty of vehicles on the road that need to be taken care of. There lots of commuters and tourists who like to take advantage of the many miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, which could lead to plenty of opportunities for automotive technicians.

6. Washington: $50,230

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Washington the No. 1 state overall, and has ranked it in the top five states for health care, education, economy and infrastructure. Washington is a nature lover's dream, with plenty of forests and mountains to explore. Bustling Seattle always has something fun going on entertainment-wise.

Automotive mechanics of all skill levels can be found working in the state, from entry-level to master certified technicians. With opportunities across a variety of industries, this is a great place to start your technician career.

7. Colorado: $50,170

Colorado offers a variety of nature experiences, from skiing on mountains to hiking in forests. Its capital, Denver, is home to top museums and a lively dining and nightlife scene.

Some of the biggest industries in Colorado include manufacturing, mining and agriculture. Within each of these sectors, automotive technicians may be able to find work. For example, technicians and mechanics are needed to service the vehicles that transport goods for manufacturing.

8. Wyoming: $49,180

Known for its national parks and jaw-dropping scenery, Wyoming attracts millions of tourists every year. Major industries that support the state’s economy include mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Automotive mechanics are in demand in the state, and employers tend to offer great wages to those skilled in the trade. Whether you just graduated from school and are searching for an entry-level position or are an experienced technician looking to advance to a service manager position, you’re likely to find great opportunities here.

9. Virginia: $48,940

Virginia has been ranked the seventh state overall by U.S. News & World Report. Its extensive history dates back to the birth of the country. Today, it ranks No. 7 for education, No. 8 for fiscal stability and No. 9 for opportunity, and crime and corrections.

According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the state is home to all facets of the automotive industry, from the largest Volvo Truck assembly plant in the world to the research conducted at the second largest university-level transportation institute in the country. This creates exciting opportunities for those looking to break into the industry.

10. Maryland: $48,080

Maryland is another state rich in history. It's known for its delicious fresh seafood, charming small towns, proximity to Washington, D.C., and its picturesque water surroundings.

Maryland is also a great place to call home if you’re an automotive mechanic or technician. According to Zippia, some of the leading automotive companies to work for in Maryland include Sport Collision Center, Carroll Motor Fuels and Frederick Motor Co.

Ranking All 50 States and the District of Columbia

RankStateAnnual Median Wage
1District of Columbia$65,420
3New Jersey$51,360
13North Dakota$46,420
14New Hampshire$45,610
20Rhode Island$44,640
24North Carolina$42,840
32South Dakota$41,970
38New York$41,160
42South Carolina$40,540
47New Mexico$39,770
51West Virginia$32,250

Let Us Show You Jobs in Demand & How You Can Train in Less Than a Year

Auto mechanic jobs are available in diverse places all over the country. Wherever you want to work, you’re likely to find opportunities.

According to the BLS, completing a postsecondary automotive technician training is a great way to prepare for entry-level positions. UTI’s Automotive Technology program was designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills today’s employers are looking for in just 51 weeks.7

To learn more about how UTI can prepare you for career success,1 visit our website and request information to get in touch with an Admissions Representative 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

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 is for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2020 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 $20.59 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2020 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 percentiles of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $14.55 and $11.27, 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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