Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s automotive service industry is a great way to get your career started. Some of the benefits include being able to repair both your own car and other people’s vehicles, and getting paid for it. Being an automotive technician or mechanic in Rhode Island is both rewarding and challenging.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Rhode Island
Auto mechanics in Rhode Island must maintain technician certifications in order to perform the following types of service and repair work:
- Identification and analysis of damage to vehicles
- Frame measuring and straightening systems and techniques
- Welding in collision repair
- Structural steel repairs
- Suspension, steering and alignment systems
- Safety restraint systems
- Corrosion protection
Most Automotive Technicians and Mechanics receive on-the-job training, but formal education can be a big asset. Many employers prefer hiring applicants with postsecondary experience, such as degrees from accredited automotive technology schools or certification from the National Institute of Automotive Service
Auto Mechanic Schools in Rhode Island
There are several outstanding secondary schools, community colleges and universities in Rhode Island and the surrounding states that will give students the skills they need for a successful career in automotive engineering.
- Universal Technical Institute: The UTI, based in Norwood, MA right outside of the state line, gives students an opportunity to join its Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training Program in partnership with Ford. Students not only get to work on foreign and local cars while attending school, but they can also choose to study part-time. Graduates can also substitute their completed training program for one of the two-year work requirements for ASE Certification.
- Lincoln Tech: LT in East Windsor, CT, has ASE-certified instructors who provide students with the necessary technical knowledge and hands-on training to become automotive service technicians, auto body repairers and diesel mechanics. LT offers programs in Automotive Technology, automotive mechanics, collision repair and refinishing, and diesel technology designed to prepare students for entry-level positions.
Although ASE certification is not mandatory, many employers see it as a positive when hiring mechanics. To become certified, applicants must pass tests designated by the ASE Certification Program and have either two years of experience or a combination of education and experience. The credential expires after five years but can be easily renewed.
There are over 40 different exams to choose from on the ASE website. Some of the more popular tests include:
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Light truck certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Engine Machinist certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Auto maintenance and light repair certification test
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Truck equipment certification tests
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island earned an average annual salary $47,650. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $59,770 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $48,320 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $37,920.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Rhode Island by Region
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Working as an Auto Mechanic in Rhode Island
Auto mechanics in Delaware are usually employed by auto repair shops, dealerships, and tire stores. With a combination of technical knowledge and customer service skills, mechanics here must be able to diagnose and repair vehicle issues quickly and accurately.
Due to the popularity of cars in this state, there will always be a need for well-qualified automotive technicians.
- 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