How to become Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Maryland
Have you ever considered a career in auto or truck mechanics? It’s a great opportunity for those who enjoy using their hands and talking to people. Not only do these positions offer competitive salaries, but they also require specialized skills and training. In Maryland, you have the option of completing a degree or certificate program before applying for a job. Once hired, you will undergo training under more experienced mechanics. After working at your position for at least one year, you can seek certification as either a mechanic or specialist.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Maryland
Although in Maryland automotive service technicians are not required by law to have a license, employers may demand certification. It’s difficult to know what each employer will want from you because requirements vary between workplaces. Additionally, experience and education in the field may be beneficial as employers tend to consider candidates who have taken the initiative to study and practice on their own.
Students enrolling in an auto mechanic training program can expect to learn about the following topics:
- Auto maintenance and repair
- Brake systems
- Engine rebuilding and performance tuning
- Fuel and exhaust systems
- Electrical and electronic systems
- Suspension and steering systems
- Computerized engine control system diagnosis
Once you have graduated from an auto mechanic program, whether it is certificate or degree level, you can begin applying for jobs.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Maryland
Aside from numerous programs at the secondary level for high schoolers, Maryland also offers mechanic classes at community and technical colleges for adults. The following options are available to those who seek to further their education:
- North American Trade Schools. The diesel mechanic program at North American Trade Schools in Baltimore offers an education in the skills needed to work on diesel trucks and engines. With a completion time of only 10 months, this is an excellent choice for students looking for a big-city education.
- Milford Mill Academy. The automotive technology program at this high school in Baltimore begins students on the path to a career as a mechanic. It is guided by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
- Community College of Baltimore County. The Catonsville campus offers several programs for students interested in becoming mechanics. The global automotive technology degree is a two-year program that teaches students how to service and repair all types of cars.
Certification is an important way to prove that you have the skills and knowledge to work as a mechanic. But, you can’t get ASE certification just by completing an educational program.
One needs to pass one or more of the exams provided by ASE, some of which includes:
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Light repair certification test
- Light truck certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
By completing these tests, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the automotive industry. Additionally, certification will give you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.
Once certified, auto mechanics should keep their certifications up-to-date by taking refresher courses and continuing education classes so that they stay current with the newest technologies and methods in automotive service.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Career prospects for auto mechanics in Maryland are good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary of automotive service technicians and mechanics in Maryland is $47,930 as of May 2021. Those in the top 10 percent made an average of $78,400 that year.
The BLS also predicts a 6% job growth rate from 2020 to 2030 for this profession nationwide, which is slightly higher than the average rate of growth for all professions.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Maryland by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|California-Lexington Park, MD||170||$24,06||$50,050|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Maryland
Auto mechanics in Maryland can find work at car dealerships and independent auto repair shops, as well as with small businesses, municipalities, and more. Auto mechanics must be able to diagnose problems quickly and accurately so that they can make the necessary repairs efficiently. They also need to have strong customer service skills in order to effectively communicate with clients about their cars’ needs.
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
- National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, https://www.ase.com/Home.aspx
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*This list may contain out-of-state and online schools that accept students from Maryland