Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in North Carolina

If you’re seeking a prosperous career in the automotive industry, North Carolina is an ideal place for you! There are countless employment opportunities available including auto mechanics, service technicians and collision specialists – each offering various specialty areas. If this resonates with your professional aspirations, now’s the perfect time to make it happen!

    Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in North Carolina

    General auto mechanics do not need a license in North Carolina. However, if you plan to work in the automotive specialty areas (i.e., air conditioning, brakes and suspensions, engine repair) it is necessary to obtain an Automotive Service Technician license from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to qualify for this certification, you must meet certain educational requirements and pass a qualifying exam.

    Employers are often drawn to applicants that have earned an automotive technology certificate or associate’s degree from a recognized school. An accredited program can take your career aspirations further and make you more competitive in the job market.

    Auto mechanic training programs may cover the following topics:

    • Automatic transmissions
    • Air conditioning
    • Fuel systems
    • Brakes
    • Auto repair and maintenance
    • Vehicle computer systems
    • Electrical systems
    • Engine repair and rebuilds
    • Suspension and steering

    Auto Mechanic Schools in North Carolina

    There are various programs for both secondary and post-secondary automotive technology available in North Carolina. Students interested in a career in auto mechanics should consider one of the following community colleges.

    • Central Piedmont Community College. Offers associate degrees in Automotive Systems Technology and General Motors ASEP. CPCC’s automotive program is also NATEF certified.
    • Forsyth Technical Community College. Offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in Automotive Technology and GM ASEP. The school also provides a certificate program in Automotive Engine Performance System. Additionally, Forsyth Tech also offers the Toyota T-Ten program.

    ASE Certifications

    Pursuing recognition from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is an invaluable accomplishment for automotive repair professionals. Through a single comprehensive assessment, applicants can prove their proficiency and aptitude in this field. Earning ASE certification means people have demonstrated that they are qualified authorities within the industry.

    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, North Carolina is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 6% increase in this field from 2020-2030.

    According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in North Carolina earned an average salary of $39,610 per year. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $47,600 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $47,200 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $37,740.

    Auto Mechanic Salaries in North Carolina by Region

    RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
    Asheville, NC980$20,91$43,490
    Burlington, NC290$20,78$43,220
    Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC6,270$23,76$49,420
    Durham-Chapel Hill, NC940$23,74$49,370
    Fayetteville, NC780$19,70$40,980
    Goldsboro, NC260$19,43$40,410
    Greensboro-High Point, NC1,770$21,01$43,700
    Greenville, NC400$20,08$41,760
    Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC740$21,69$45,100
    Jacksonville, NC390$21,25$44,210
    New Bern, NC260$19,32$40,180
    Raleigh, NC3,360$22,91$47,650
    Rocky Mount, NC230$19,87$41,330
    Wilmington, NC870$20,06$41,730
    Winston-Salem, NC1,430$21,64$45,020

    Working as an Auto Mechanic in North Carolina

    The automotive industry is a vital part of the economy in North Carolina. With its bustling cities, growing suburbs and expansive rural areas, auto mechanics are an essential part of keeping the state’s vehicles running smoothly.

    By earning your certification as an auto mechanic in North Carolina, you will be able to take advantage of the many employment opportunities available in the state.


    • Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,