Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Montana
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an automotive technician or mechanic, Montana is rife with abundant opportunities – whether you’re just starting out or looking to relocate. For those seeking a career in automotive, there are many positions to choose from including: Automotive Technicians and Mechanics, Auto Body Repairers, Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers, Bus and Truck Mechanics as well as Diesel Engine Specialists.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Montana
You won’t need a professional license in order to work as an auto mechanic in Montana. However, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. It’s also recommended that those who wish to pursue a career in the field complete an Automotive Service Technician program from an accredited postsecondary institution or trade school. Such programs typically take between one and two years to complete and can be found at community colleges, universities, technical schools, and trade schools.
If you are looking to make yourself a more appealing applicant for automotive industry jobs, then earning an accredited certificate or associate’s degree from a recognized school is the perfect way to do it. This can be your ticket to taking your career aspirations further and making you stand out in the job market.
The following topics may be covered in an automotive technology program:
- Automatic transmissions
- Air conditioning
- Fuel systems
- Computerized engine control systems
- Brakes and suspension
- Ignition systems
- Engine performance, repair, tuning & rebuilding
- Automotive safety standards and regulations
Auto Mechanic Schools in Montana
Although it isn’t a requirement to have specialized training in order to become a mechanic in Montana, those aiming for career growth can gain an edge with specific certifications and further instruction. Montana State University offers Associate and Bachelor degree programs in automotive technology at its campuses located in Billings and Havre. With these comprehensive education options, students have the opportunity to dive into this field of study and gain the skills necessary for a successful career. For those living in northern Montana, Havre does not offer any certification programs.
At Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, MT, you can take a range of Associate and certification programs for automotive technology. Our one-year program consists of 30 credits to maximize your performance from the start and open up more job opportunities down the line. Plus, our college’s Associate degree program is recognized by NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) Completing the associate degree program involves the same requirements as the certification program and an additional year of advanced classes.
Helena College University of Montana also offers an automotive technology program to help those looking to pursue a career in the field. The two-year curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for working as an auto mechanic, including areas such as: auto parts & accessories, maintenance, diagnostics, repairs & more.
Gaining acknowledgement from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a monumental success for automotive repair professionals. This one-of-a-kind test enables applicants to certify their skills and knowledge in this field. Acquiring ASE certification indicates that they possess expertise within this sector, further validating their capability as authoritative figures.
There are over 40 different specialties for those who are interested in taking an ASE Certification exam.
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Auto maintenance and light repair certification test
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- Parts specialist certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, Montana is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 3% increase in this field from 2020-2030.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in Montana earned an average salary of $47,120 per year. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $47,410 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $47,100 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $37,350.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Montana by region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Great Falls, MT||170||$21,66||$45,050|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Montana
Montana offers a broad range of options for automotive mechanics. From local repair shops to national chains, you can find the perfect fit for your needs. Whether you’re looking to specialize in cars or buses, Montana has something for everyone. Working as an auto mechanic can be both rewarding and challenging. You’ll gain valuable experience while getting paid well and helping others get back on the road. Plus, the job outlook in Montana is expected to be strong in the years ahead.
- 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