Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Connecticut
There are many things you need to learn to become an automotive service technician or mechanic, and most of them can only be learned by doing the job. The best way to start your career is by completing a certificate or degree program from a secondary or post-secondary school. These programs will give you knowledge through coursework as well as hands-on learning that can help you get hired at a dealership or garage.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Connecticut
General auto mechanics do not need to apply for licensure in Connecticut. However, if you want to specialize in repairing specific types of vehicles (such as motorcycles or ATVs), then you may need additional licensing. Additionally, many employers will require completion of an accredited degree program before they consider hiring you.
Those interested in an automotive technology program can expect to learn about some of the following topics:
- Engine repair and maintenance
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Steering systems
- Brake system diagnosis and repair
- Wheel alignment and suspension
- Air conditioning and heating system repair
- Safety inspections
- Steering and transmission repairs
These courses will help you understand the fundamentals of automotive technology, as well as giving you hands on experience working with vehicles in a shop setting.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Connecticut
Auto mechanic training programs that prepare students to work as mechanics or in body repair are accredited by NATEF. Automotive technology schools usually offer a few different awards, like certificates and diplomas or two-year associate degrees. Some of these institutions also have manufacturer-specific programs so that students can become qualified to work in dealerships for those companies. Consider one of the automotive technology programs:
- Porter and Chester Institute. Port and Chester in Stratford, Enfield, Rocky Hill, Waterbury and Branford offers students a year-long certificate course that will prepare them for an entry-level mechanic or service job. This program is shorter than most others out there, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to get into the field quickly. Once you land the job, you can continue training on the job to become certified.
- Gateway Community College. Gateway’s North Haven campus offers a few undergraduate programs in Automotive Technology, each of which lead to an Associate’s Degree. The most comprehensive program is the Comprehensive Automotive Repair and Service program, which teaches students entry-level mechanical skills. For those seeking work with General Motors specifically, there is also the General Motors ASEP program designed by GM to train future workers on their vehicles. Lastly, Honda fans can opt into the Honda PACT Program instead.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Contact the financial office at the institute you are interested in for more information.
If you want to work as a mechanic, getting automotive service excellence (ASE) certification is the way to go. You’ll need to pass some exams that cover different aspects of auto repair, but it’s worth it. Once you’re certified, you can make more money and have better job prospects.
There are more than 40 ASE certification exams available, some of which include:
- School bus certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
Career Options and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, Connecticut is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 6% increase in this field from 2020-2030.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in Connecticut earned an average salary of $47,450 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 Connecticut by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||2,560||$23,71||$49,310|
|New Haven, CT||1,340||$24,30||$50,550|
|Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI||570||$23,68||$49,250|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Connecticut
Working as an auto mechanic in Connecticut can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. You’ll get to apply your mechanical knowledge and problem solving skills on the job, diagnose vehicle issues, make repairs, and maintain vehicles for customers. With additional training and experience you can move up the ladder in the field or become a specialized technician. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an auto mechanic, consider enrolling at one of the accredited schools listed above to take advantage of their various courses and programs.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm