Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Missouri
If you’re passionate about servicing and repairing automobiles, there are great career options available to you in Missouri. Two-year automotive service technology programs are offered at community colleges and technical institutions throughout the state. Some courses focus on general auto mechanics studies, while others focus on a specialty area such as chassis, electronics or transmissions. Programs feature both academic work and on-the-job training. All alumni are eligible to continue their education through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Missouri
Missouri does not require one to have a professional license for auto mechanics. However, to work as an automotive service technician in Missouri you must have a high school diploma or GED and complete an accredited post-secondary program. Once you have completed your studies and obtained the necessary experience, you will be qualified to work as an automotive service technician in Missouri.
Those who choose to pursue studies in automotive technology can expect to learn about some of the following topics:
- Auto maintenance and light repair
- Damage analysis
- Brake systems
- Auto repair and service
- Engine repair and maintenance
- Electrical systems
- Collision repair
- Steering and suspension systems
Additionally, students can expect to gain hands-on experience in the shop, performing repairs and maintenance on cars. Some programs may also include courses on business management or customer service skills.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Missouri
Missouri has numerous post-secondary institutions that offer automotive technology programs. Consider one of the following automotive programs:
- State Technical College of Missouri: STCM, located in Linn, Missouri offers students four different degrees and two certificate programs. The degree options include general automotive technology, electric and hybrid vehicles, high-performance vehicles, and heavy-duty diesel vehicles. The two certificate programs are general automotive tech and maintenance as well as light repair.
- Franklin Technology Center: FTC, located in Joplin Missouri, offers programs in general automotive technology as well as an ASE accredited program. This allows students to have both classroom and hands-on experience so they’re fully prepared for a career in auto tech upon graduation.
- Metropolitan Community College: MCC, located in Kansas City, Missouri offers an automotive technology program and courses that can lead to a certificate or associate degree. They also have a partnership with ASE so students can earn certification through their program.
To become ASE certified, a candidate must have two years of work experience or one year of work experience plus a certificate or degree. To become certified in a specialty area, the ASE requires testing and additional education.
ASE certification exams include but are not limited to:
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Light repair certification test
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Parts specialist certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Damage analyses and estimating certification test
These tests are offered at a variety of locations throughout Missouri. Passing exams and obtaining ASE certification is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field, making you more competitive in the job market.
Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations
The salary expectations for an automotive service technician in Missouri vary depending on experience, geographical location, and other factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2021, the median wage for an automotive service technician in the state is $37,500 per year. Glass installers earned an average of $46,700 per year, while bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists earned $47,120, just short of auto body and related repairers who earned an annual average of $47,590.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Missouri by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Cape Girardeau, MO-IL||310||$18,58||$38,650|
|Jefferson City, MO||350||$19,89||$41,360|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||4,920||$21,80||$45,340|
|St. Joseph, MO-KS||280||$21,26||$44,220|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||7,290||$21,78||$45,310|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Missouri
Those who have pursued an auto mechanic degree or certification in Missouri will find numerous job opportunities. Automotive service technicians work closely with customers and often need to explain complicated concepts in a clear, concise manner. They must also be able to recognize and diagnose problems quickly and accurately.
Auto service technicians may work for dealerships, private shops, government agencies, or even start their own business. With the proper training and certification, there are many career opportunities for an auto mechanic in Missouri.
- 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