Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in New Mexico
If you’re keen to kickstart your career in the automotive field, New Mexico provides plentiful opportunities for you. You can become an auto technician, a body and glass installer or repairer, or even specialize as a bus/truck/diesel mechanic.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in New Mexico
No licensing requirements apply for auto mechanics in New Mexico. However, most employers prefer to hire technicians with some form of postsecondary training in automotive subjects. You can easily find vocational schools and community colleges that offer certificate or associate’s degree programs in the field.
If you’re seeking to take up an automotive technology program, be prepared to delve into a range of intriguing topics including:
- Engine repair
- Engine performance
- Oil changes
- Drum brakes
- Air conditioning
- Automatic transmission
- Suspension systems
- Steering systems
- Fuel systems
Additionally, you will be required to have a valid driver’s license as well as a high school diploma or GED. Furthermore, some employers might ask for an associate degree in automotive technology.
Auto Mechanic Schools in New Mexico
New Mexico has plenty of opportunities for aspiring career professionals, with several Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) programs available. In Albuquerque alone, there are four at the career enrichment center and another one at West Mesa High School. Plus, both New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs and Roswell Job Corps Center in Roswell offer maintenance/light repair courses.
All around New Mexico, you can find automotive programs that provide ample opportunity to learn and pursue an education. However, not all of them are accredited by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF). Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque is one such school with a NATEF-accredited certificate program for mechanics. Not only will students be able to attain certificates of completion in both automotive service fundamentals and technology but also gain a deeper understanding of transportation through its associate degree offering as well.
Clovis Community College, a NATEF-accredited school located in Clovis, NM offers its students certificate and associate programs that are tailored to provide them with the best preparation for ASE exams. This will enable them to progress further in their automotive careers.
Similarly, San Juan College provides associates and certificates courses in auto body technology ,automotive engineering as well as diesel technology – all of which have been awarded ASE accreditation status.
Demonstrating proficiency and expertise in the auto repair industry is a valuable asset, and one way to do this is by achieving certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To become certified, applicants need only pass one of their examinations or participate in recertification programs. Those who hold ASE certification have proven that they are knowledgeable experts within their trade – an accomplishment which can be renewed every five years either through retaking exams or participating in continuation courses.
There are over 40 ASE certification exams available, some of which include:
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Auto maintenance and light repair certification test
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, New Mexico 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 New Mexico earned an average salary of $37,920 per year. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $47,550 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $46,580 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $35,030.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in New Mexico by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Las Cruces, NM||360||$19,20||$39,930|
|Santa Fe, NM||370||$21,04||$43,760|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in New Mexico
Auto mechanics in New Mexico are employed in a variety of settings, from automotive shops and dealerships to government agencies and even some self-owned businesses. Mechanics may specialize in either repairs or maintenance, with job responsibilities ranging from diagnostics to system repair and replacement. Common tasks include inspecting vehicles for damage or malfunction, running tests on engines, changing oil and filters, and performing routine maintenance services like brake replacements.
Overall, the auto mechanic profession offers many attractive benefits for those looking for a career in the automotive industry, such as competitive salaries, flexible work hours and plenty of opportunity for growth.
- 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