How to become Automotive Technician or Mechanic in South Carolina
Automotive technicians, or mechanics, work on the various systems that keep automobiles running smoothly. This can involve anything from performing maintenance checks to replacing parts and making adjustments. Some may choose to specialize in a specific area such as transmission work or engine repair.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in South Carolina
While South Carolina auto mechanics don’t need a license from the state, employers may require the completion of a certification program as requirements vary from employer to employer. However, most employers require applicants to have at least a high school diploma, or equivalent. Additionally, experience in the field may be beneficial, so attending an automotive service technology program or receiving job-specific training can give you an edge when applying for jobs.
Those who choose to pursue a higher education by enrolling in an auto mechanic training program can expect to learn about some of the following topics:
- Electrical systems
- Collision repair
- Engine performance
- Automotive diagnosis
- Brake repair
- Fuel systems
- Air conditioning
- Engine fundamentals
- Automotive safety
- Automatic transmissions
In addition to learning these topics in a classroom setting, those who are enrolled in an automotive service technology program may also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working with trained professionals. This can help prepare them for the challenges they will face when entering the workforce.
Auto Mechanic Schools in South Carolina
Auto Mechanic programs are accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Those who complete a program at one of South Carolina’s NATEF-accredited schools can apply to become certified by the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
The following schools offer automotive service technology programs in South Carolina:
- Greenville Technical College located in Greenville, South Carolina, offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology and a variety of certificate programs in related areas.
- Midlands Technical College located in Columbia, South Carolina, offers a diploma in Automotive Technology as well as a variety of certificate programs in related areas.
- Piedmont technical college offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology.
ASE Certification is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This certification lets others know that the mechanic has meet a certain level of experience and knowledge in auto technology.
There are over 40 ASE certification exams, all covering different areas of expertise, some of which include:
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Truck equipment certification tests
To become ASE certified, mechanics must pass at least one of these exams and have two years of relevant work experience.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The BLS report from May 2021 shows that bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists earned an average of $19.34 hourly or $40,220 annually, with experience auto body and related repairers could expect to earn as much as $61,830 per year. Auto service techs and mechanics earned an average of $18.07 hourly or $37,580 annually.
There are numerous jobs available for those who seek employment as an auto mechanic in South Carolina. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2020 that there were a total of 13,250 auto service technicians, 2,010 auto body and related repairers, 450 auto glass installers and repairers, and 3,170 bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists employed throughout the state. These numbers are expected to increase by 6 percent by 2030.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in South Carolina by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Charleston-North Charleston, SC||1,840||$21,07||$43,820|
|Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC||440||$20,32||$42,260|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||920||$19,51||$40,580|
Working as an Auto Mechanic in South Carolina
Job openings can be found at dealerships, independent garages, and other establishments that specialize in automotive repair and service. Individuals with the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully perform automotive repair services are likely to have no trouble finding employment as a mechanic in South Carolina.
In conclusion, becoming an auto mechanic in South Carolina is a great way to start a rewarding career. Those who take the time to pursue auto mechanic training can be certain that they will have an edge when it comes to seeking out jobs in their field.
- 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