Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Alabama
If you’re the type of person who loves working with their hands and figuring out how things work, then a career in automotive technology and mechanics is a great choice for you. There are many different types of jobs in this field, including automotive service technicians (or auto mechanics), diesel mechanics, auto body and collision repair workers, and glass installers and repairers. You can pick the job that best suits your skillset and interests.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Alabama
Auto mechanics in Alabama do not need to have a license in order to work. However, they do need to complete an accredited automotive program and pass an exam to be certified. There are several different certifications available, including ASE certification, which is the most common type.
In addition to completing a formal training program, auto mechanics need to have good knowledge of mathematics, electronics, physics and mechanics in general.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Alabama
There are several auto mechanic schools, career technical centers, and colleges in Alabama for students who wish to pursue a career in automotive service technology. Those interested in an automotive mechanics program should consider the following options:
Bevill State Community College in Sumiton, offers either an Associate in Applied Science Degree or a certification in Auto Body Repair (ABR) or Diesel Technician (DEM). The Vehicle Technology and Repair Program at BSCC is ASE-based and certified through NATEF.
Lawson state community college Offers a Certificate and Short Certificate. You can also earn an Associates degree by completing the AUM Certificate, some additional General Education courses, and the Medium/Heavy Truck Short Certificate. Other available programs include Ford ASSET, general motors ASEP and, Toyota T-Ten.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Contact the financial office at the institute you are interested in for more information.
ASE Certification Exam
Automotive service excellence certification is not only beneficial but necessary if you want to become a mechanic. ASE certification exams certify an individual’s skills and knowledge in the field and are open to anyone interested. Plus, most employers see it as proof of competent work experience!
There are more than 40 different ASE certification exams, some of which include:
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Transit bus certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
Earning all the certifications can take a few years, but it will provide you with the credentials and recognition necessary to become an automotive mechanic or technician in Alabama.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, Alabama is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 7% increase in this field from 2020-2030.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in Alabama earned an average salary of $47,970 per year. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $60,270 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $48,070 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $37,920.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Alabama by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL||280||$19,05||$39,610|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Alabama
Alabama is a big state with plenty of opportunities for auto mechanics. Major employers may include car dealerships, automotive repair shops, independent garages and gas stations.
Auto mechanics in the state of Alabama need to be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality of service. As an auto mechanic in Alabama, you will need to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and procedures in order to be successful.
Interview with an Expert – Reuben Buice
An interview with the Automotive Technology Program Coordinator at the H. Council Trenholm State Technical College campus in Patterson, AL.
Q: How does one become an auto mechanic? Is there one direct path, or are there many different options?
A: There are a number of ways to become a mechanic (commonly referred to as a technician today). There are still some who are self-taught or learn in a family business or as a helper. More common is to attend a post-secondary technical program. Some high schools offer Automotive Technology programs but most students still attend a post-secondary program as well.
Q: What type of degree/certificate do mechanics in Alabama typically need?
A: A number of people enter the field with a high school diploma or GED. There are some that don’t have a high school diploma. The ones with the post-secondary degrees seem to have an advantage as far as advancement. Often someone may be able to gain knowledge from the mechanics on the job, however the electrical and electronic areas usually require training to become proficient.
Q: What are the preferred qualities/skills of an auto mechanic?
A: Dependability, responsibility, good judgment. Respect for other people and their property. The ability to work without direct supervision. A reasonable level of physical fitness. Manual dexterity. Ability to read, write and perform mathematical computations. A good driving record is very important.
Q: Why would you recommend someone enter this career field?
A: The automotive business has been good to me. I have had an enjoyable career and have made a comfortable living and been able to provide for my family while doing so. If you enjoy a challenge and enjoy working with your hands and your head then this may be something interesting for you. Also cars, trucks and things with motors are still cool.
Enrolling in Automotive Schools in Alabama
Whether you want to go to school part-time or full-time, completely in person or partly online, with the right amount of research you can find the right program for you. If you’re ready to start a career in the automotive field, take a look at the automotive schools in Alabama in the listings below and find out what programs are out there.