Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in New York

In New York, many employers favor applicants with post-secondary education for automotive jobs. They typically also demand industry certification after someone is hired. For most entry-level positions in this field, the bare minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in New York

In New York, auto mechanics do not need to hold a professional license. However, they must have a valid driver’s license and be eligible to work in the United States. Hiring managers usually demand that applicants have a higher education and hands-on experience, so it is advisable that people seeking an entry-level position have some experience working as a mechanic or automotive technician.

The following topics may be covered in an automotive technology program or apprenticeship:

  • Engine repair
  • Brake systems
  • Suspension systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Automotive steering
  • Electronic systems
  • Hydraulic pressures
  • Diesel technology
  • Basic maintenance and auto repair
  • Heating systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Engine performance
  • Manual drive train
  • Automatic transmissions
  • Manual transmissions

Auto Mechanic Schools in New York

New York offers a number of vocational and trade schools with automotive technology programs. These programs typically last between one and two years, depending on the school and program concentration. Prospective students should ensure that the institution they choose is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

Consider one of the following institutions:

  • CUNY Bronx community College. BCC is located in New York City and is also a two-year public school in the largest city in New York. Automotive Technology students at this school can either earn an Associate in Applied Science degree or a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics. Coursework includes brake systems, engine repair and diesel technology, as well as other related topics.
  • Corning Community College. Offers a two-year public program located in rural Corning, NY, near the Pennsylvania border. The three programs they offer are a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics, Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology and an Associate in Occupational Studies in Automotive Technology.

ASE Certification

The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a certification organization that evaluates technicians on their knowledge and skills. To become certified, applicants must pass at least one ASE exam in the specialty they wish to pursue. A valid driver’s license is also required for certification. Additionally, applicants may need to show proof of two years of work experience in the specialty field in which they wish to be certified. ASE certifications are valid for five years. After that, technicians must recertify to maintain their status.

Job Opportunities and Salary Expectations

Over the next decade, New York is anticipating a growth in employment for mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 29% increase in this field from 2020-2030.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in New York earned an average annual salary $47,270. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists made an average $59,770 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $48,120 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $45,330.

Auto Mechanic Salaries in New York by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY1,830$22,92$47,670
Binghamton, NY470$21,07$43,820
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY2,640$21,80$45,340
Elmira, NY180$21,67$45,070
Glens Falls, NY310$21,70$45,130
Ithaca, NY180$22,10$45,970
Kingston, NY420$24,28$50,490
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA23,780$26,14$54,370
Rochester, NY2,500$22,65$47,110
Syracuse, NY1,530$22,33$46,440
Utica-Rome, NY580$21,16$44,010
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY260$21,75$45,250

Working as an Auto Mechanic in New York

Auto mechanics in New York also have the opportunity to earn additional certifications and further their education in order to increase their earning potential and set themselves apart from other professionals in the field. With continuing education and professional experience, auto mechanics in New York can become master technicians or move into management roles.

Overall, New York is a great place for those interested in becoming an auto mechanic. With a variety of schools and certifications available, as well as strong job growth, the opportunities are vast. With hard work and dedication, auto mechanics in New York

Q&A with an Expert

An interview with the Associate Professor and Chair of the Automotive Trades Department at SUNY College of Technology in Alfred, NY.

Kent Johnson

Q: What type of degree/certificate do mechanics in New York typically need?

A: When prospective students come here to see our program, I generally tell them that they should visit as many schools as possible to determine what is important to them. Alfred State offers a two-year AOS (Associates of Occupational Studies) degree. This is primarily a hands-on degree in that the students spend 4.5 hours daily working in the labs, and 1.5 hours daily in the classroom focused on vehicle repair related topics. Some schools offer AAS degrees (Associates of Applied Science) which include liberal arts requirements, but typically offers less hands-on lab practice, and some schools offer shorter certificate programs. There are pros and cons to all three, so it really depends on what is important to the individual and what job they are trying to get.

Q: What are the preferred qualities/skills of an auto mechanic?

  • They need to be well trained with a desire to continue learning
  • They need to be thinkers and problem solvers
  • They need strong work ethics
  • They need to be able to communicate and they need people skills
  • They need to be focused on professionalism

These are all qualities that the automotive department at Alfred State works very hard to instill in our students.

How to Enroll in an Automotive School in New York?

Every auto mechanic needs training, and earning a degree or diploma from one of the many reputable auto mechanic programs in New York is a great way to get training that you know will measure up to the standards of any shop in the industry. Start your search for auto mechanic schools in New York, by browsing the listings below and finding out what’s available at programs near you.


  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Employment Trends by Occupation Across States, Career InfoNet, accessed October 27, 2015,
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • Auto Mechanic Jobs in NY, CareerBuilde,
  • Auto Mechanic Jobs in New York, Indeed,
  • Kent W Johnson, Alfred State Staff Directory,

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*This list may contain out-of-state and online schools that accept students from New York.