How to become an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Nebraska
An automotive technician, also known as an auto mechanic, is a trained professional who specializes in the repair and maintenance of automobiles and other related vehicles. Automotive technicians use specialized tools and diagnostic equipment to inspect, diagnose, service, maintain, and repair cars and other motorized vehicles.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Nebraska
In Nebraska, automotive service technicians must be licensed by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV) in order to legally practice.
To obtain a license, applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Complete a minimum of two years of education or training from a qualified automotive school or program
- Pass the Automotive Service Technician Examination administered by the NDMV.
- Complete a 12-hour orientation course approved by the NDMV
- Submit an application for licensure and pay the applicable fees.
There are many technical institutions to choose from throughout Nebraska. Students will learn all aspects of mechanical maintenance and repair in an automotive technology program.
Topics covered in auto mechanic training programs may include:
- Air conditioning
- Engine performance
- Collision repair
- Auto maintenance
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
Once licensed, automotive technicians in Nebraska must complete continuing education courses to maintain their license.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Nebraska
There are several schools and programs in Nebraska that offer training or automotive technology programs. Consider one of the following options:
- Metropolitan Community College. Located in Omaha, this college offers a one-year certificate program in Automotive Technology and a two-year associate’s degree in Automotive Technology.
- Southeast Community College. This college has four campuses throughout Nebraska and offers a variety of automotive programs, including certificates and diplomas in Automotive Technology and an associate’s degree in Automotive Service Management.
- Eastern Nebraska Community College. Located in Omaha, this college offers programs in automotive technology, including certificates and diplomas as well as an associate’s degree in Applied Science.
If you want to advance in the automotive industry, you’ll need to obtain an ASE certificate. This certificate is offered by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE certification test assesses the knowledge and skills of automotive professionals. By obtaining this certificate, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to excellence in automotive maintenance and repair.
There are over forty different ASE tests, each pertaining to a different automotive system or subsystem, some of these tests include:
- Light truck certification tests
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Light repair certification test
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
ASE certification requires one or more exams that cover specific knowledge areas related to the automotive field. After successfully passing an ASE exam, a person is considered certified in that particular area.
Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations
The demand for auto mechanics is expected to grow due to the increasing number of vehicles on the roads and aging of the existing fleet. According to the bureau of labor statistics, employment for automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow by 1% from 2020 to 2030.
The median annual salary for auto mechanics in Nebraska was $47,380 in 2021. For those with ASE certification, salaries may be higher. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists had a median annual salary of $47,120 while auto body repairers earned an annual average salary of $47,470.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Nebraska by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Grand Island, NE||200||$23,01||$47,850|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||1,880||$23,85||$49,610|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Nebraska
Job openings for auto mechanics can be found in repair shops, dealerships, and other automotive service centers. Automotive technicians may also find employment with government agencies, fire departments, and police departments.
If you’re interested in a career as an auto mechanic in Nebraska, then there are plenty of opportunities available to get the training you need. With proper education and ASE certification, you can start a career in automotive maintenance and repair with good job prospects and competitive salaries.