Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Pennsylvania
The automotive industry in Pennsylvania demands that employees have post-secondary training and certification or a degree. Although it’s possible to find entry level positions with only a high school diploma, the majority of employers prefer candidates who possess more specialized knowledge gained from formal education.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, auto mechanics do not need to have a professional license. However, they must complete a certificate or degree program at an approved technical school, college or university.
These programs cover the fundamentals of automotive repair, including:
- Automatic transmission
- Suspension systems
- Steering systems
- Fuel systems
- Automotive fuel
- Engine repair
- Engine performance
- Oil changes
- Air conditioning
Pennsylvania also requires that mechanics complete courses in environmental protection and safety, as well as be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. This certification involves taking a test administered by the EPA.
Additionally, employers may require prospective automotive mechanics to pass written tests or demonstrate their ability to perform specific maintenance tasks like changing oil and brake repair.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Pennsylvania
Prospective auto mechanics in Pennsylvania have a variety of automotive schools to choose from. Those interested in an automotive training program should consider one of the following options:
- Lincoln Tech: Lincoln Tech’s Philadelphia campus offers a range of flexible programs, from day and evening courses to certificates. You can even opt for an internship! Depending on your choice – daytime/afternoon or night-time classes – the course will take between 56-106 weeks to finish. Additionally, Lincoln Tech has another option that is especially suitable for automotive enthusiasts: their Automotive Service Management diploma program that operates exclusively during the day and takes approximately 74 weeks to complete.
- Universal Technical Institute (UTI):Universal Technical Institute, based in Exton, PA, provides a range of comprehensive automotive technology and marine vehicle maintenance courses. Participants have the option to study topics such as motorcycle care, collision repair or diesel engine mechanics in just one year. But that’s not all! UTI takes it even further with specialized manufacturer-specific classes from top brands like BMW, GMC Chevrolet Ford Toyota and many more.
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
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, Pennsylvania is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 1% increase in this field from 2020-2030.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in Pennsylvania earned an average salary of $46,490 per year. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $48,190 per year while auto body repairers averaged $47,540 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $38,280.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Pennsylvania by region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|East Stroudsburg, PA||400||$19,96||$41,510|
|State College, PA||280||$20,95||$43,580|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in Pennsylvania
Automotive technicians in Pennsylvania need to be detail-oriented and have excellent analytical skills. They should also possess mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Technicians in this field must also possess customer service skills in order to effectively communicate with customers about their vehicle needs.
An Automotive career in Pennsylvania can be a rewarding experience. With the right training, certification and experience, automotive technicians can expect to make a decent living while performing meaningful work every day.
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 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
- National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), https://www.ase.com/Home.aspx