Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Florida
If you’re passionate about cars and you enjoy working with your hands, becoming an auto mechanic or technician could be the perfect career for you. Whether you’re most interested in working as an auto service technician or mechanic, working on cars that have been damaged in auto accidents and making auto body repairs, repairing or installing auto glass, or bus and truck service and diesel mechanics, There are many different career paths you can take as an automotive technician. This page will help you find the best automotive mechanic schools in Florida and provide all the information you need to make a decision about your future.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Florida
Individual auto mechanics do not need to be licensed in Florida. However, employers may require some form of higher education or certification in order to work in the shop.
Those who choose to go the educational route, can expect some of the following topics to be covered in an automotive training program:
- Automatic transmissions
- Braking systems
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Automotive repair
- Exhaust systems
- Use of diagnostic tools to identify and troubleshoot problems
- Safety practices
- Computer systems
- Environmental regulations
The best job prospects go to those with formal training and experience, such as a higher education or certification. Many employers prefer applicants who have both.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Florida
There are many postsecondary education options throughout Florida for those who are interested in attending an auto mechanic school. The Sunshine State is home to several colleges, technical institutes and schools that offer auto mechanic programs. Three of these institutions stand out for their exceptional opportunities:
- Miami Lakes Educational Center and Technical College. This college offers an Automotive Technician program with a variety of courses in auto repair, diagnosis and maintenance. This school gives students the chance to finish the Toyota T-Ten program. It is a partnership between Toyota and Lexus dealers that auto mechanic programs can join. The goal of the program is to provide a more immersive learning experience with hands-on practical work in service departments at dealerships.
- Pinellas Technical College Clearwater. The Clearwater campus of this technical institute has a certificate-level auto technology program that has a variety of course offerings. If students are interested, Honda PACT offers an internship setting where students are paired with dealerships in the vicinity.
- Broward College. Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has an Automotive Technology Associate Degree program with various classes and specialty tracks. One option for students is to finish the GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP). GM ASEP is a joint effort between GM, dealerships and some colleges across America that readies students for positions in the automotive industry through a mix of classroom learning and hands-on experience at GM dealerships.
After finishing a degree or certificate program at an auto mechanic school, those who choose to can pursue certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE is a nonprofit that tests and certifies professionals who work in all areas of the automotive industry. All technicians are required to take a series of exams that cover diagnosis, repair, and maintenance procedures. After passing the ASE tests, professionals can use the credentials to signify their expertise in the field.
Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations
The auto service industry in Florida is rapidly expanding and filled with opportunities for those seeking employment.. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2020, there were a total of 48,640 auto service technicians and mechanics employed in the state. Additionally, 9,480 auto body and related repairers were employed as well as 1,010 auto glass installers and repairers. 13,810 bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists rounds out the list. It is predicted that these numbers will grow by 19 percent over the next decade.
Working as a mechanic in Florida is highly lucrative, based on the May 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The average salary per year for an auto service technician and mechanic was $41,950, with mechanics at the top of their field earning as much as $63,280 annually. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists had some of the highest paying jobs in this field however; they averaged $48,340 annually or $23.24 hourly.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Florida by region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||1,790||$22,70||$47,210|
|Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL||630||$21,78||$47,210|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||1,290||$21,11||$43,900|
|Homosassa Springs, FL||310||$19,93||$41,450|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||1,470||$21,99||$45,730|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||12,370||$22,41||$46,620|
|Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL||880||$22,87||$47,580|
|North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||1,950||$23,34||$48,550|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||1,230||$20,99||$43,660|
|Panama City, FL||400||$21,51||$44,740|
|Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL||1,110||$21,95||$45,650|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||1,080||$21,59||$44,910|
|Punta Gorda, FL||450||$21,61||$44,940|
|Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL||380||$21,39||$44,480|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||6,880||$22,28||$46,350|
|The Villages, FL||140||$19,70||$40,980|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Florida
An automotive career can be a great choice for those interested in the automotive industry. With many postsecondary options and certifications available, individuals can find success in the field while earning a competitive salary.
To sum up, auto technicians and mechanics who work in Florida are well-compensated and have access to numerous educational opportunities as they progress their career.
Q&A with an Expert
An interview with the President at the Universal Technical Institute – Orlando
Q: What qualities/skills do you look for in a person interested in a career in auto mechanics?
A: In a word: passion. They have a passion for their chosen market segment. Many are enthusiasts and have chosen a career path that supports their passion for a particular market. Any car enthusiast would find a career in a dealership filled with the latest models extremely rewarding.
Our students are young men and women who are passionate about cars, tend to be hands-on learners, are the “fixers of things” and want to make a career out of doing something they love. Many tend to grow up around people who have influenced them in a positive way about the industry.
About 97 percent of our students are men between the ages of 18 and 34, but we are seeing a growing number of women enrolling in our programs. About 20 percent of our students are veterans.
“Florida has a vibrant industry that is dependent on transportation, so there will always be a demand for skilled technicians to keep the transportation industry and infrastructure running.” – Steve McElfresh, President, UTI-Orlando
Q: Are there any specific licensing requirements in Florida for someone interested in an automotive school?
A: Automobile technicians are not required to get a license to service cars or trucks in Florida. Nevertheless, job seekers with training in advanced automotive technology from a renowned automotive school in Florida should enjoy the best job prospects while those who don’t have formal training are likely to face strong competition for entry-level jobs.
Mechanics who match the following standards are considerably more likely to get a career in an automobile repair center as compared with job seekers who do not meet many of these minimal criteria:
- Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certifications (Master Technician status preferred)
- Work experience in one of the following areas:
- Repair Technician – 1, 2, or 3 years
- Service Consultant – 2 years
- On-the-job training from local automotive dealers
- Plus: Any car manufacturer certifications (e.g., BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz)
For those interested in automotive careers in Tampa, Florida, there are a number of auto mechanic and automotive schools to choose from. Check out the school listings on this page to get started on your automotive career path today.
- 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
- Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, May 2016, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, https://www.ase.com/Home.aspx
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 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
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*This list may contain out-of-state and online schools that accept students from Florida.